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Zahra (6), Fatima (7) and Eman (9) - the daughters of Sondos Ismail and Ahmed Alzalimi -  three of the 146 children who lost their lives when the vessel that has become known as SIEVX foundered in international waters en route to Christmas Island on 19 October 2001.
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New Survivor Transcript Online

by Marg Hutton
26 December 2003

Today publishes important interviews with four of the Mandaean passengers on SIEVX who departed the vessel before it sank. is proud that SBS Arabic radio's Walkley award winning journalist, Ghassan Nakhoul, has made available to us an English language transcript of 'Early Survivors' a program that went to air in September.

The interviews in this program provide further pieces of the jigsaw puzzle which, when put together with other pieces, reveal more of the shadowy picture surrounding the sinking tragedy.

For example, when these interviews are read in conjunction with other information held on it is possible to conclude that Abu Quassey sent his brother-in-law on another ill-fated boat only months before the sinking of SIEVX which had to be rescued off Christmas Island!

The interviews in 'Early Survivors' also show contradictory recollections of events leading up to the sinking. This highlights the importance of hearing and considering every voice connected with the tragedy.

Ghassan Nakhoul has now interviewed more than a dozen people who travelled on the doomed vessel, as well as a number of relatives of the survivors and the victims.

'The Five Mysteries of SIEV X' - the program for which Nakhoul won his Walkley - is one of the most highly regarded documents concerning the SIEVX voyage. 'Five Mysteries' has been quoted by Senator Faulkner in his 'Additional Commments' in the CMI Report and in his most recent speech about SIEVX delivered at a Melbourne meeting of the Fabian Society in July. David Marr & Marian Wilkinson also drew on it for their SIEVX chapter in Dark Victory.

'Early Survivors', like 'Five Mysteries' and Keysar Trad's translation of Survivor accounts is destined to become another important source for SIEVX researchers. ( 8463) | ©Copyright Marg Hutton ~ / 2002-2014