05 October 2008

Raed Jarrar at AFSC

Raed Jarrar spoke to about twenty of us on Friday afternoon at the New York City offices of the American Friends Service Committee (a Quaker organization that I have long supported). He is an Iraqi, based in the Washington AFSC office, and is an architect by training. He's lived in the US since 2003 and I was very interested in his use of "we" when talking about Americans. I liked that very much and, if we were running, I'd vote for him for legislator in a heartbeat. Actually I'd vote for him for president but he might have to temper his passion, not that he isn't temperate but we need legislators who can argue well and convincingly. He is strongly convinced that a total withdrawal from Iraq will allow them to return to a peaceful state. He had drawn up a chart showing the religious connections of the separatists and nationalists in the Iraqi parliament. The conflict is not primarily based on religious differences. Even Hussein's government was not segregated. Jarrar is of mixed Sunni/Shiite heritage and married to a Palestinian. One of his Sunni uncles traded houses with a Shiite uncle when the neighborhoods were being cleansed. Jarrar didn't express it but it sure seems to me that such temperance and diversity wouldn't necessarily last forever so let's get completely out of Iraq now. For a profile of Raed Jarrar and his work, see "Mr. Jarrar goes to Washington" in Mother Jones. Actually I got quite a few hits in Google on "raed jarrar" including his blog called "In the Middle."

No comments: