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Iraqi Expat

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Iraq's Parliament Speaker Hajim Al-Hassani

Voted to become the new National Assembly Speaker, a job reserved for a Sunni Arab, by 215 out of 241 deputies.

He was born in Kirkuk in 1954 and graduated from Mosul university. He then moved to the United States in 1979 and spent most of his working life there.

He has degrees in agriculture and economics from the universities of Nebraska and Connecticut. Later he spent 12 years working in Los Angeles, where he became head of an investment and trading company.

He returned to Iraq after the fall of Saddam in 2003 and emerged as a leader of the Sunni-dominated Iraqi Islamic Party. He helped negotiate a cease-fire between U.S. forces and insurgents in Fallujah in April 2004 and later he backed the US-led assault on Fallujah late in 2004.

"I am a firm believer in the democratic process, in the democratic system," he said. "For the last two years, people like me have been pushing Iraqis to work in the middle of the political process."

In June, he was appointed as a minister in the interim government and in January's elections he broke with his party, which boycotted the vote, to win a seat in the National Assembly.

"The Kurd has put his hand in the Arab's hand and the Shia has taken the Sunni's hand so they could all walk side-by-side along with their Christian and Turkmen brothers," he said in his acceptance speech.

Hussain Al-Shahristani, a Shia Muslim former nuclear scientist, and Aref Taifour, a Kurd, became deputy speakers by winning 157 and 96 votes, respectively.

Fore more visit: USA Today | BBC News

5 Comments:

Blogger Rosemary said...

Thank you so much for the information. Are you aware that only Iraq the Model and you have any news whatever on this?! You did an excellent job. Have a great day.

April 05, 2005 12:22 pm  
Blogger Louise said...

He sounds like a good choice.

April 05, 2005 2:24 pm  
Blogger Louise said...

I like Hussain Al-Shahristani, too. I've heard a lot of good things about him.

April 05, 2005 2:29 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Rosemary,
I wasn't aware that other blogs were not reporting on this.

Louise,
Yes, he does sound like good choice. Al-Shahristani is good too; he was imprisoned and tortured by Saddam for not obeying orders to build a Nuclear Weapon; he worked for NGOs; basically he is a decent guy.

April 05, 2005 2:55 pm  
Blogger Brian H said...

Now to pick a president. Faster, please!

But these things take as long as they take. As long as they succeed, it is just as well the rough edges of negotiations get knocked off now; practice, practice, practice!

April 06, 2005 2:19 am  

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