Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine

Readers respond to Youssef Eddafali, who detailed his friendship with one of the Marathon bombers.

A Lost Friendship

Youssef Eddafali’s account of heartbreak in his personal friendship with Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev, the younger of the two [brothers in the] Marathon bombing duo, was mesmerizing and gut wrenching (“My Ex-Friend, The Marathon Bomber,” September 30). I was a nurse at [Brigham and Women’s Hospital] at the time. I cared for many of those bombing victims and their years of pain and recovery. Eddafali is a remarkable man. The world suffered post-traumatic stress disorder over the cowardly acts of the “bomber brothers.” Our nation needs people with Eddafali’s maturity, insight and compassion. Ethnicity is never the issue; what matters is that human life and respect are valued above all else.

Maryann Ciampi Medford

Powerful and important story. Deep empathy for what [Eddafali] has been through, and high hopes for where he is going. Trauma comes in all forms, and its effects last a lifetime.

McNamara Buck Cambridge

This powerful and touching story should be integrated into Massachusetts school curriculum to teach intercultural relations. Thanks to him for writing it so eloquently and to the Globe Magazine for running it.

Francine Achbar Longboat Key, Florida


Thanks to Eddafali for writing such a personal account of his experiences as a Muslim in Cambridge! He writes beautifully and from the heart! I am very glad he has come through this crisis such a strong young man and wish him all the best.

Corrine Wagner Sarasota, Florida

My heart goes out to this young man, who carries feelings of shame and guilt he doesn’t deserve. I hope he is getting the help he needs to be more at peace and to succeed in life. I am impressed by the do-it-yourself steps he has taken so far to heal himself and to go forward.

Peg Espinola Sudbury

Wow! So well written and honest. He is obviously intelligent, thoughtful, and self-aware. My hope is that he will complete his degree work and fashion a good life.

Marilyn Tarbox Sanford, Maine

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Thank you, Youssef Eddafali, for your bravery in sharing this beautifully written, emotionally moving piece about your life, your pain, your strengths, your struggles — and how your life intersected with Jahar’s. You are an amazing young man. I admire your courage.

Suzi Sluyter Cambridge

How moved I am by his article. I am deeply saddened that any Muslim in our country has to feel like they have to hide themselves, their faith, their culture. That tears me, a white, former Texas Southern Baptist, up. I hope and believe articles and testimony like his will help to change that.

Greg Gunter Denver


I found the article most interesting, compelling, and a sad commentary on many of us here. It was uplifting in the sense he has persevered. I thought it was well written.

Robert Leach Weston

For too long the stories about the pain Jahar caused his friends have been underreported. Eddafali’s story is one of many the world needs to hear. As much as many of us grieve for the victims of the bombings, we grieve for the psychological damage Jahar did to his friends who are part of our Cambridge family. Their stories need to be told.

Beverly Mire Cambridge

Eddafali’s article was so well written and heartfelt. We need more people like him in our country — wanting to fit into being a true American, yet maintaining religious ties to his heritage. I wish him well. He has the goods to make it here.

Ed Glennon Stoughton

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Eddafali’s unique perspective and relationship with Tsarnaev and shared experience of growing up Muslim in Cambridge. His story was engaging, personal, and well written. I hope he continues writing and living his best life.

Jennifer Potts Westborough

I am an old man, an American who grew up overseas and came to live here when I was 16. [This] wise and powerful story, so well written, showed me again how much I have to learn from a younger generation.

Carl Scovel Jamaica Plain

CONTACT US: Write to or The Globe Magazine/Comments, 1 Exchange Place, Suite 201, Boston, MA 02109-2132. Comments are subject to editing.