"Going to the polling stations is a victory for the Iraqi people," said Ali Danif, a 45-year-old writer.Having spent time in the Middle East, I've got to say that it is a place where the conversational art of the overstatement over cups of tea has been honed to perfection. And you must be a little suspicious that they were reacting the way they thought the interviewer wanted.
"The elections are more important than the candidates," insisted Jamal Karim, his garrulous friend.
Not to be outdone, a smiling Suheil Yassin jumped in. "It's one of my wishes to die at the gate of the polling station," he said, a gesture that was self-consciously dramatic. "I want to be a martyr for the ballot box."
Still, I hope that the sentiment has reality at its core.