Born Again

John Stanmeyer VII for TIME

Three years after the waves took everything, Hidayat has a new business near where his former home stood

Hidayat Ali's story is one of blackest despair, and unconquerable hope. In late December 2004, the native of Banda Aceh, the capital of Indonesia's Aceh province, withdrew his life savings from the bank — a $40,000 cash payment on a new shop. A few days later, Hidayat was out with his family when he heard news of an earthquake. He rushed home to drop off his family, then went to check on a friend on the other side of town. Minutes later, the waves struck, washing away everything Hidayat held dear: his wife and two children, his house and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!