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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March 2005, 20:00 GMT
Tributes to Qatar bombing victim
Jonathan Adams
Jonathan Adams was very active in the Sittingbourne community
A charity show is being planned by theatre colleagues of a Kent man who died in a suicide car bombing in Qatar.

Jonathan Adams, who was in his 50s and from Sittingbourne, was killed when the bomb exploded outside a theatre in Doha where he was directing Twelfth Night.

He taught at Borden Grammar School and was a member of several drama groups.

He also helped set up The Avenue Theatre in Sittingbourne, which will now stage a fundraising performance for the rebuilding of the theatre in Qatar.

Friends and colleagues have been speaking of their memories of Mr Adams.

"His knowledge was tremendous and he helped lots of youngsters," said Noreen Westcott, who worked with him.

'Dreadful accident'

Ms Westcott, a former chairman of the theatre company, said she heard the news about Mr Adams' death by telephone.

"When he was in Sri Lanka he was so close to being hurt in the bombing there," she said.

"It seems ironic now that in Qatar, which seemed much safer, he had this dreadful accident.

"He heard a car revving up outside and - so like John - it annoyed him that it was disturbing his production.

Map graphic of Qatar and surrounding countries
The suicide bombing has been widely condemned in Qatar

"He went outside to investigate and the driver of the car detonated an explosive and the blast blew John back into the theatre where Rosemary, his wife, was one of the first to reach him."

Mr Adams was also a keen cricketer but it was through their shared love of theatre that he and his wife were able to help many young people.

"He started a youth group at The Avenue Theatre which continued for many years - he was very, very keen to help youngsters," said Ms Westcott.

She said his death was a tremendous loss and her heart went out to Mrs Adams.

"They were very, very close. I just can't imagine how life is going to be for her without him," she said.

'Twinkling eyes'

Another friend, John Spann, said there was a feeling of "shock and bewilderment" among colleagues at the theatre in Sittingbourne.

"The first picture that came into my mind was his smile," said Mr Spann.

"He had a very quiet, wry smile and twinkling eyes."

Mr Adams had been a teacher at Borden Grammar School for 17 years.

Blast scene in Doha, Qatar
The blast of the car bomb blew Mr Adams back inside the theatre
Current head teacher Harold Vafeas said: "We have already started to have e-mails from former students saying that if there is to be a memorial service, they would like to be involved.

"I think that sums him up - someone who contributed a great deal to Borden."

Reports have said Mr Adams had been in Qatar for about two years.

When the bomb went off about 100 people were in the theatre, which was near a British school. Another 12 people were injured.

The bomber has been named as Egyptian Omar Ahmed Abdullah Ali, who worked for state-run Qatar Petroleum.

British police are flying out to the Middle East to help with the investigation into the bombing.

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12 Aug 04 |  Country profiles

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