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My Sister, Nicole Vienneau, Has Gone Missing in Syria - The Beginning Of My Ascendance — LiveJournal
April 22nd, 2007
10:59 am

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My Sister, Nicole Vienneau, Has Gone Missing in Syria

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From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 1st, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
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I spent three weeks in syria albeit pre-iraq invasion. Getting money in syria electronically was almost impossible, so I went with $3000 dollars strapped to my leg. Also, at that time use of the internet was restricted and i dont remember seeing a single internet cafe. I left no record of bank withdraws and did not communicate with anyone out side of syria.

There are probably 3 or 4 Reuters and AP freelance reporters living in Damascus. They are usually 30 something guys, well traveled, super helpful, and often well connected. They are a good start for informed tightly-nit expat communities and might be able to offer some help.

hope everything turns out alright and when you sister comes back you can tell her she had the whole world worried.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 1st, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC)

Third World Countries

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I wouldn't be worried just yet about this turn of events. When I was in Brazil I could not find any Internet cafes in the back water I was living in and the Internet at the hotel did not work. I was there for three weeks without Internet.

How long is she expected to be in Syria? Has she got explicit instructions to contact you and the other members of her family? If not, then I would just wait and she will eventually be in a position to use modern day technology for communication.
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From:vienneau
Date:May 1st, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)

Re: Third World Countries

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Nicole has an agreement with the family to contact someone at least every two weeks. This was more difficult to do when she was 18 and the Internet wasn't everywhere, but for this trip it was very easy. If she expected to be late, she'd let us know ahead of time. This is her fourth big trip, so it was a standard routine.

Unfortunately, there is no possibility that she just "forgot" - we only wish it were so!
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From:somuchforhope
Date:May 1st, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
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Internet cafes are all over the place now, even in many small towns. In the cities they are often 24 hours.

ATMs, too. As of two years ago, the economy was opened up to private banks, and you can find them in pretty much any major town or city.
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From:vienneau
Date:May 1st, 2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
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I like your idea of contacting the Reuters/AP freelancers, but I'm not sure of the best way to do that?
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