In the West Bank and Gaza, more than 30,000 people have been killed or wounded in violent events since the start of the second Palestinian intifada in September 2000, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society. In the same period, Israeli casualties have numbered about 12,000 people.

Almost 3,000 died in the attacks on New York, Pennsylvania and Washington on 11 September 2001. In the October 2002 Bali bombing, more than 400 were killed or wounded. There were more than 2,000 casualties in the Madrid train bombings in March 2004. More than 100 have died in the war against terror in Saudi Arabia since May 2003. A total of 756 people were killed or injured in the London bombings on 7 July 2005.

This is about two men named Gardner. Both are on this terrible and lengthening casualty list. Both are friends.

Frank Gardner considered working for MEED before choosing an initial career as a banker. His metamorphosis into a television reporter is recorded in his book Blood & Sand, published earlier this year. After spells for the BBC in London, Dubai and Cairo, Frank returned to the UK as BBC television security correspondent. On assignment in Riyadh on Sunday 6 June 2004, he was shot six times by gunmen associated with Al-Qaeda. One shot left him permanently paralysed from the waist. His cameraman Simon Cumbers was killed in the attack.

Blood & Sand is in reality two stories. One is about Frank’s life and times in the Middle East from his days as a student living in Cairo. The other is the painfully precise account of being shot, coming close to death and slowly recovering sufficiently to stand unassisted to receive an OBE at Buckingham Palace in October 2005.

Both are compelling. But it is his refusal to succumb to crippling injuries and the extraordinary courage of his wife Amanda (they have two young children) that touches the heart. I met them both at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai at the end of 2005 in Frank’s first visit to the region since the shooting. I know it will not be his last.

David Gardner, who is not related to Frank, was part of the team that managed MEED’s accounts before joining Associated Newspapers. One of

the last things I did in London before moving to Dubai in September 2003 was watch him play the title role in a performance in Hampstead of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which he

also directed.

On the morning of 7 July 2005, David was on a Circle Line train pulling out of Edgware Road station when a suicide bomber standing three feet to his left blew himself up. After almost an hour, he was dug out of the wreckage. Before being put under anaesthetic, David shouted: ‘B positive! That’s my blood type, not my state of mind.’ He lost his spleen and left leg.

Married to Angela and with a two-year-old son called Matthew, David, like Frank, is rebuilding his life. A marathon runner, he is planning to prove the experts wrong by running again. And on 7 July, the anniversary of the tube bombings, he will be back on stage once more in Hampstead, this time in the role of Brutus in a production, which he is directing, of Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar.

In an interview with the London daily Evening Standard in June, David said he felt no hatred for the perpetrator who died in the attack: ‘I believe life is sacred and that you advance causes by showing love.’ If you agree, see the show. And pray for all the victims.

Blood & Sand, by Frank Gardner. Bantam Press, 61-63 Uxbridge Road, London W5 5SA. Julius Caesar, directed by David Gardner, will be performed at Hampstead