Thursday, 24 March 2011

Scottish Woman Translator Killed By Muslim Bomb in Israel

A British national killed after an explosion ripped through a bus stop in Jerusalem was an evangelical Christian who was studying Hebrew.

Mary Jean Gardner, 59, originally from Orkney in Scotland, was caught in the blast on Wednesday afternoon when a device weighing up to 2kg exploded in a busy bus station.


From the Telegraph:

Miss Gardner, who was a well-regarded Bible translator, came to Israel at the beginning of the year to study Hebrew and took courses at Hebrew University.
She had come to Israel to hone her Hebrew skills before embarking on a translation of the Old Testament into Ife, one of the languages spoken in Togo, West Africa.


Miriam Ronning, a Finn who founded the centre with her husband in 1994, said the dead woman was quiet but popular among fellow students and dedicated to her task of translating the Bible for tribesmen in Togo.
"She was a very deep person, very motivated to study, very industrious," Mrs Ronning said. "You would often see her in the library. She was very much appreciated. Gentle, introverted and very kind, it is a real loss for the project in Togo and to our student body."
Mrs Ronning said students were taken from and to the Hebrew University by bus every day for their own security, but that Miss Gardner had a day off and had gone into town to meet an Irish friend who had just arrived in the city with a tour group. Miss Gardner was heading to a restaurant to meet her friend and happened to be passing the bus stop on foot when the bomb exploded.
"She was very excited to be seeing her friend from Ireland," said Mrs Ronning. "That friend is now broken hearted. She blames herself, saying if she had not come to Israel, she (Gardner) would still be alive."
"We are really, really reeling from all this," said Mrs Ronning. "We've had students coming here for 10 years and this is the first time anything like this has happened. The shock of the evil behid the killing of civilians for the sake of killing is hard to take."
Eddie Arthur, executive director of Wycliffe Bible Translators, said: “She was a very popular lady. She was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed. She was highly regarded as a translator and a linguist. People who spend more than ten years in an African village and devote their lives like that are hard to come by.”


Miss Gardner's death comes nine years after Glasgow-born teenager Yoni Jesner was killed in a Tel Aviv suicide bomb, carried out by Hamas.

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