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Ruzicka, Marla

  1. -Ruzicka, Marla (Boston Globe)
      "ARMED ONLY with her humanity, Marla Ruzicka did the impossible. Virtually alone, she directed attention and resources to the invisible victims of war. She moved the military without using force, galvanized official Washington without powerful connections, and motivated the press without sensationalism -- just intimate connection to civilians whose deaths she documented and grieved. Her work was a triumph of the heart."

      "She healed as she moved through ravaged communities: holding victims, crying with the bereaved, gathering evidence of harm, and promising help. Strangers responded to her for no reason other than her authentic concern."

      "Marla represented Americans better than we deserved. Honoring her life means asking our government to acknowledge the unintended victims of armed conflict and to learn from their suffering." 5-05

  2. Ruzicka, Marla (CBS News)
      "Still struggling with the loss of his own parents, Rakan said through a translator that he wanted to send a message to Clifford and Nancy Ruzicka, preparing to bury their much-loved daughter on the other side of the world."

      " 'I say to her parents: God bless her soul, God give them strength to endure this tragedy,' he said. 'I lost her, they lost her and every poor Iraqi has lost her.' " 4-05

  3. Ruzicka, Marla (
      "It is with deep sadness and regret that I am writing to inform you that Marla died on Saturday at the age of 28 in a suicide bomb attack. Faiz, CIVIC's Iraq Country Director, was also killed. It is tragically ironic that two beautiful people who devoted their lives to helping innocent victims of war have now become them."

      "Their deaths are profound losses not only for their family and friends, but for the entire world. There are precious few who have the courage to stand up and demand justice for all the victims of conflict wherever they may be. This troubled world cannot afford to lose people like them." 4-05

  4. Ruzicka, Marla (
      "As founder of CIVIC (Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict), Ruzicka works 15-hour days in the thick of the war zone, going door to door to assess the harm done to innocent Iraqis caught in the line of fire. Ruzicka then uses that information to lobby the U.S. government for assistance."

      " 'I decided not to take a position on the war but to try to do the right humanitarian thing,' the 26-year-old said during a recent trip to San Francisco, before Saddam Hussein was captured. 'No one can heal the wounds that have been inflicted; you just have to recognize that people have been harmed.' "

      "Would she ever consider doing something a little ... safer?"

      " 'To have a job where you can make things better for people? That's a blessing,' she said. 'Why would I do anything else?' "

      Marla was slain by a car bomb on April 16, 2005 as she was helping the people of Iraq. 4-05

  5. Ruzicka, Marla (Human Rights Watch)
      "Everyone who met Marla was struck by her incredible effervescence and commitment. She was courageous and relentless in pursuit of accurate information about civilians caught up in war and her desire to provide some compensation to relieve their suffering. Her personal warmth and dedication made her a formidable advocate for her cause." 4-05

  6. Ruzicka, Marla (
      " 'Although there have been many nice things said about Marla, I don't think she would want to be held up as this unattainable ideal,' Alexander said from Iraq. 'She would want people to know that if she, this California girl, came to Iraq with no money and no contacts, and made a difference in a conservative Middle Eastern country, then anyone could. Anyone who is inspired by her work -- and has the gumption to come over here -- should honor her by doing that.' " 8-05

  7. Ruzicka, Marla (MSNBC News)
      "Marla played many roles. She was a do-gooder to war victims, social maven, matchmaker and caretaker to many by simply taking the time to ask us how we were doing. Every journalist, NGO worker or government official knew Marla."

      "She kept people's spirits up by organizing weekly parties and never seemed to run out of energy. She made the war zones bearable and was perhaps one of the most selfless and fearless women I have known." 4-05

  8. Ruzicka, Marla (New York Times)
      "For more than two years, Marla Ruzicka worked to get help for innocent civilians caught in cross-fires here. A 28-year-old Californian with blond hair and an electric smile, she ran a one-woman aid group." 4-05

  9. Ruzicka, Marla (
      "While others argued, Marla acted. She gave her young life to help the innocent victims of the Iraq war. At 28, she represented the best of America." 4-05

  10. Ruzicka, Marla (
      "We didn't know what to make of Marla Ruzicka. Young, blonde, relentlessly buoyant and sometimes giggly, she stood out among the tired, cynical hacks and aid workers that usually populate war zones, so much so that battle-weary journalists nicknamed her "Bubbles" in the early days, uncertain what to make of this gregarious life force that had dropped in our midst. In Kabul and Baghdad during the past few years, Marla was the life of the party. She would rent a house for a day, arrange food and drink and then fire off e-mails to friends and colleagues inviting us to a celebration that sometimes ended with a display of her enviable salsa-dancing skills. But behind her party girl attitude and surfer-girl looks was a fearsome determination and astonishing compassion, qualities that were instrumental in her securing millions of dollars in aid money from the U.S. government last year to help the victims of American bombing in Afghanistan and Iraq." 4-05

  11. Ruzicka, Marla (
      "When Marla first told me about CIVIC, I was incredulous. It continues to be a mystery why some of our $200 billion in U.S. war funds does not include millions of dollars in funds for victims. There is a much smaller aid program, but it covers mostly infrastructure and large projects, not the daily needs of those caught in the middle." 5-05

  12. Ruzicka, Marla (
      "Marla Ruzicka, (December 31, 1976 April 16, 2005), of Lakeport, California, was an American Green Party activist and aid worker who was killed by a car bomb blast in Baghdad. She founded the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), an organization that assists Iraqi victims of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq."

      " 'Marla Ruzicka is out there saying, "Wait, everybody. Here is what is really happening. You'd better know about this." We have whistle blowers in industry. Maybe sometimes we need whistle blowers in foreign policy.' " - Senator Patrick Leahy. 4-05


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