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Objective: To explore children's' and families' experiences of using intensive care diaries after discharge and the role of diaries in the process of recovering from a stay in the paediatric intensive care unit.
A diary is a written or audiovisual record with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period. Diaries have traditionally been handwritten but are now also often digital. A personal diary may include a person's experiences, thoughts, and/or feelings, excluding comments on current events outside the writer's direct experience. Someone who keeps a diary is known as a diarist. Diaries undertaken for institutional purposes play a role in many aspects of human civilization, including government records (e.g. Hansard), business ledgers, and military records. In British English, the word may also denote a preprinted journal format.
Today the term is generally employed for personal diaries, normally intended to remain private or to have a limited circulation amongst friends or relatives. The word "journal" may be sometimes used for "diary," but generally a diary has (or intends to have) daily entries (from the Latin word for 'day'), whereas journal-writing can be less frequent.
Although a diary may provide information for a memoir, autobiography or biography, it is generally written not with the intention of being published as it stands, but for the author's own use. In recent years, however, there is internal evidence in some diaries (e.g. those of Ned Rorem, Alan Clark, Tony Benn or Simon Gray) that they are written with eventual publication in mind, with the intention of self-vindication (pre- or posthumous), or simply for profit.
The earliest known book resembling a diary is the Diary of Merer, an ancient Egyptian logbook whose author described the transportation of limestone from Tura to Giza, likely to clad the outside of the Great Pyramid. The oldest extant diaries come from Middle Eastern and East Asian cultures, although the even earlier work To Myself (Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν), today known as the Meditations, written in Greek by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the second half of the 2nd century AD, already displays many characteristics of a diary. Pillowbooks of Japanese court ladies and Asian travel journals offer some aspects of this genre of writing, although they rarely consist exclusively of diurnal records.
In the medieval Near East, Arabic diaries were written from before the 10th century. The earliest surviving diary of this era which most resembles the modern diary was that of Abu Ali ibn al-Banna in the 11th century. His diary is the earliest known to be arranged in order of date (ta'rikh in Arabic), very much like modern diaries.
Among important U.S. Civil War diaries are those of George Templeton Strong, a New York City lawyer, and Mary Chesnut, the wife of a Confederate officer. The diary of Jemima Condict, living in the area of what is now West Orange, New Jersey, includes local observations of the American Revolutionary War.
One of the most famous modern diaries, widely read and translated, is the posthumously published The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, who wrote it while in hiding during the German occupation of Amsterdam in the 1940s. Otto Frank edited his daughter's diary and arranged for its publication after the war. Many edits were made before the diary was published in other countries. This was due to sexually explicit material, which also led to some libraries banning the book.
As internet access became commonly available, many people adopted it as another medium in which to chronicle their lives with the added dimension of an audience. The first online diary is thought to be Claudio Pinhanez's Open Diary, published at the MIT Media Lab website from 14 November 1994 until 1996. Other early online diarists include Justin Hall, who began eleven years of personal online diary-writing in 1994, Carolyn Burke, who started publishing Carolyn's Diary on 3 January 1995, and Bryon Sutherland, who announced his diary The Semi-Existence of Bryon in a USENET newsgroup on 19 April 1995.
The internet has also served as a way to bring previously unpublished diaries to the attention of historians and other readers, such as the diary of Michael Shiner, an enslaved person in the 19th century who documented his life in Washington, D.C.
Web-based services such as Open Diary (started in October 1998) and LiveJournal (January 1999) soon appeared to streamline and automate online publishing, but growth in personal storytelling came with the emergence of blogs. While the format first focused on external links and topical commentary, widespread blogging tools were quickly used to create web journals. Recent advances have also been made to enable the privacy of internet diary entries. For example, some diary software now stores entries in an encrypted format, such as 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption, and others only permit access to the diary after correct PIN entry on a secure USB device.
With the popularization of mobile apps, diary or journaling apps have become available for iOS and Android. Proponents have cited numerous reasons for journaling using digital applications, including ease and speed of typing, mobile portability, and search capabilities. Digital diaries are also tailored towards shorter-form, in-the-moment writing, similar to user engagement with social media services such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The German Tagebuch ('days-book') is normally rendered as "diary" in English, but the term encompasses workbooks or working journals as well as diaries proper. For example, the notebooks of the Austrian writer Robert Musil and of the German-Swiss artist Paul Klee are called Tagebücher.
A war diary is a regularly updated official record of a military unit's administration and activities during wartime maintained by an officer in the unit. Such diaries can form an important source of historical information, for example about long and complex battles in World War I.
There are numerous examples of fictional diaries. One of the earliest printed fictional diaries was the humorous Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith and his brother Weedon. 20th-century examples include radio broadcasts (e.g. Mrs. Dale's Diary) and published books (e.g. the Diaries of Adrian Mole). Both prompted long-running satirical features in the magazine Private Eye: the former entitled Mrs Wilson's Diary in reference to Mary Wilson, wife of Prime Minister Harold Wilson, the latter entitled The Secret Diary of John Major Aged 47¾ and written as a pastiche of the Adrian Mole diaries from the perspective of the then-Prime Minister John Major. Another famous example of the use of fictional diaries as prose is Bram Stoker's Dracula. A modern example includes the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series where each book of the series is written in a first-person view of the main character, as if the book were an actual diary. Other examples are the Bert Diaries and the cellphone diaries in the Japanese manga and anime television series Future Diary.
The diaries, repeatedly cited but never released by U.S. officials in making the case for holding a number of prisoners at Guantanamo, have been long sought by terrorism experts and journalists for their participant-observer account of the decade's events leading to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that claimed almost 3,000 American lives. The U.S. government says the man who wrote those six notebooks chronicling his life in the mujahedeen training camps and the emergence of Al-Qaeda, amid clashing egos and the chaos of post-Soviet Afghanistan, was a senior member of Osama bin Laden's organization.
Zubaydah told his Combatant Status Review Tribunal hearing in March 2007 that the CIA's refusal to honor what he said had been a promise to return the diaries to him had caused him to suffer 40 seizures.
When held up against public documents and statements by the U.S. government, Zubaydah's diaries present a fuller picture of the high-profile prisoner, his role in the "war on terror," the roles of other boldface names in the lead-up to 9/11 and its aftermath, the training, organization and infighting among their networks, the effectiveness of torture and more. In fact, in October 2009, the Obama administration admitted that its understanding of Zubaydah's role in Al-Qaeda's activities "has evolved with further investigation" and that it no longer stands behind the claims of the Bush administration.
The Yoo memo's claims about Zubaydah's status in bin Laden's organization became conventional wisdom in statements by intelligence and government officials, books and news reports. But some of those claims may be at odds with some of what the diaries reveal, as will be shown in future installments of this story.
The official story was that Zubaydah began writing a diary in 1992, after he had suffered a shrapnel wound, impairing his memory, while fighting in Afghanistan. We now know that he began to write the first volume of his diaries in June 1990, while he was a 19-year-old college student in Mysore, India. This first diary, stamped "For Official Use Only" by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, has been deemed "protected" by a federal court judge presiding over Zubaydah's habeas corpus case, meaning that his attorneys cannot discuss or share its contents with the public.
The first volume of Abu Zubaydah's diary begins 23 years ago, when he was a troubled college student. He feels so betrayed by friendship that he decides to address his 30-year-old self in the diaries.
Nonetheless, the fact that Zubaydah wrote to different versions of himself led some in the intelligence community, notably FBI Special Agent Dan Coleman, who was assigned to the CIA's elite Al-Qaeda-tracking Bin Laden Unit, to conclude that Zubaydah had a "schizophrenic personality." 781b155fdc