15 January 2005

Noble Sentiments

One can only hope that the people have the will to follow through on these sentiments:
"Going to the polling stations is a victory for the Iraqi people," said Ali Danif, a 45-year-old writer.

"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."
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.

Still, I hope that the sentiment has reality at its core.

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