As you may have heard, Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday night in a daring commando raid on his compound in Abbottabad, a city about thirty miles from Islamabad, in Pakistan. Abbottabad, as Christopher Hitchens has pointed out, is named after Major General James Abbott, a British military officer who ruled over it as a player in the "Great Game" in the 1850s -- in fact, the entire district, Abbottabad Province, is named after him.
James Abbott was rocking that look way before Osama.
Upon his departure from Abbottabad, Abbott wrote a short poem about it, which is inscribed on a plaque in the city's Lady Garden Square. Here's the poem, "Abbottabad":
I remember the day when I first came here
And smelt the sweet Abbottabad air
The trees and ground covered with snow
Gave us indeed a brilliant show
To me the place seemed like a dream
And far ran a lonesome stream
The wind hissed as if welcoming us
The pine swayed creating a lot of fuss
And the tiny cuckoo sang it away
A song very melodious and gay
I adored the place from the first sight
And was happy that my coming here was right
And eight good years here passed very soon
And we leave you perhaps on a sunny noon
Oh, Abbottabad, we are leaving you now
To your natural beauty do I bow
Perhaps your wind's sound will never reach my ear
My gift for you is a few sad tears
I bid you farewell with a heavy heart
Never from my mind will your memories thwart
You can see the plaque itself in this Major-Abbott-themed photo tour of Abbottabad. It looks like a pretty nice place to hide from the largest manhunt in the history of the world.
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