In the last few days, Sohaib Athar (@reallyvirtual) has gone from an IT consultant living in Pakistan to the "the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it."
At 1 a.m. on Sunday in Abbottabad, Pakistan, he heard the noise of a helicopter and tweeted, "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)". He continued tweeting about a large explosion and what he then thought was a crashed Pakistani Army Helicopter.
Only later would he find out that he was live-tweeting the U.S. military raid that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden. Since his experience, he has received endless interview requests and questions leading him to tweet, "Bin Laden is dead. I didn't kill him. Please let me sleep now."
Today, Sohaib Athar is here to answer any questions you might have about Pakistan, Abbottabad, the power of social media, and his experience during the raid. If you want to ask Sohaib a question, leave a comment or tweet your question under the hashtag #reallyvirtualChat. Ask him anything!
05/04/2011 2:38 PM EDT
I am done for the day. It is almost midnight here. If there are any more questions that the HP readers have, they can tweet them with a #q2rv and I will try to answer them on my blog when I get the time.
05/04/2011 2:37 PM EDT
Have you tasted Ilyasi masjid pakoras?Question from @luckyfatima:
Have you tasted Ilyasi masjid pakoras and if so, do you think they are really worth all of the hype?Many times. Actually I think it is their chutney that is pretty special.
05/04/2011 2:34 PM EDT
Town Reaction to Umar Patek's ArrestQuestion from @malibumiss:
When Umar Patek [was] arrested how did [the] town react?I did not witness that event, I was probably in Lahore at that time.
05/04/2011 2:32 PM EDT
Weed in Abbottabad?Question from @buckyturco:
Is weed growing in Abbottabad, Pakistan common?Weed (wild strains) is VERY common in this part of Pakistan and grows naturally. A lot of people don’t know it as a drug, but ask the kids in Islamabad and they will tell you how foreigners roam around collecting it.
05/04/2011 2:31 PM EDT
Did celebrations of Osama's death go overboard?Question from Huff Post Commenter sls74:
Do you feel the celebration of Osama's death went a little overboard in America? Do you think people should [not] celebrate the death of another, no matter the circumstances? Does it make Americans look uncouth and heartless?I have not seen that particular footage yet, I do not have a TV and could not get the time to view a stream today. My personal opinion is that if they actually did celebrate, it helps them to bring closure to the hate they had kept inside them and to move on to better things.
05/04/2011 2:25 PM EDT
Will Abbottabad be forever known as "place OBL was killed"?Question from @zswartz0407:
Abbottabad will forever be known as "the place OBL was killed." What are other things you wish it would be known for?Forever is a long time. I am sure it will be known for many more things besides OBL in the days to come.
05/04/2011 2:20 PM EDT
Questions from @danlybarger @ilanabit and @billscow
What kind of coffee do you serve in your shop? any specialty coffees served at your shop? Are there muffins and scones as well? At your shop, how much for a 20oz. straight black coffee, in USD?
Coffity was supposed to be an experimental business and a place to work from, but is demanding more attention after 2 months. There are muffins most of the time. a 20oz americano would cost around 2$. I will post a more recent menu image on http://www.facebook.com/Coffity.Abbottabad whenever I can.
05/04/2011 2:15 PM EDT
Can western women travel to Pakistan alone?Question @boomerdog1:
Could a western woman visit Pakistan and travel without a male escort or would this be frowned upon?It depends on which part of Pakistan you go to, really. You can get into trouble if travelling alone in a few cities only, but not because you are a ‘western’ woman, only because you are a woman traveling alone. This is not much different from any other country.
05/04/2011 2:13 PM EDT
PR stunt by Abbottabad Tourism Board?Question from @iamstocker:
Was this all a PR stunt by the Abbottabad Tourism Board to raise awareness?If it was, they should be running the Pakistan Government next.
05/04/2011 2:12 PM EDT
U.S. Gov Contacted You?Question via Twitter:
Has the US government contacted you or offered any support to you because of how sensitive the OBL matter is?No.