In Remembrance: Omar Bani-Salem

Omar Bani-Salem, a Jordanian deminer, was killed on 21 December 2010 by the uncontrolled detonation of an M-19 anti-tank mine. Bani-Salem was clearing a minefield on the border between Jordan and Syria as part of the Norwegian People’s Aid Northern Border Demining Project when the explosion occurred.

Bani-Salem was a retired engineer who spent 20 years working for the Royal Engineers Corps in the Jordanian Armed Forces as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist. He began working for NPA in April of 2008 as a deminer whose responsibilities included conducting technical surveys, defusing mines, and training other deminers to defuse and handle mines. Throughout his extensive demining experience, he was regarded as a diligent, capable and careful worker. Describing him as a “martyr” for the causes of humanitarian aid and peace, Yasin Al-Majali, NPA Special Advisor, stated, “Omar [was] known to everyone as very calm and accurate during the handling of any demining mission, and all of his supervisors trust[ed] his work…. All NPA staff were shocked by his accident and grieved for his death.”

Bani-Salem was 48 years old and is survived by his wife and eight children. J

This report was compiled by Meghan Wallace, a member of The Journal’s editorial team.