Nobody would want his birthday to be brought to notice in such a fashion. But it must be celebrated at least symbolically. It is the continuation of hope that Alan is safe and the certainty that he will have many happy returns, while his 45th birthday will continue to be marked as an occasion for remembering that no one is immune from harm despite unlimited goodness. It will also be remembered that in a strange way, Alan has become the friends of many who used to follow his reports, wanting to know more about him than the events he has covered.
Alan will remain assured that as his reports reached all corners of the globe, what he has come to has resonated worldwide. It has made everyone of different creeds and nationalities concerned about him. We all wish you well. Your modesty will make you more humble about the support and sympathy you received from the thousands who know you personally or who got involved with you’ve come through without ever meeting you. We all hope to see you back as soon as possible and like other correspondents of the BBC, you will be presenting shows of BBC WHYS and I will have the opportunity to speak to you.
Once again happy birthday.