Monday, January 29, 2007
Mr. Hakim Al Jaburi
He was our Arabic translator when we were in Iraq. He was not only kind but he was a funny and generous man as well. His trailer was next to mine and a whole bunch of us spent many evenings in his trailer drinking chai and talking about each other's families. He let us borrow his wool blankets when the coldness in the desert evenings became too much to bear, and before we left Iraq, he was going to apply to be a Rhodes Scholar and come to study in the U.S., and I thought that it was only going to be a matter of time before we all meet again.
It was not to be, however. After a week of getting back to the states, we got word that Hakim was assinated when he was driving back from the U.S. base to his family after he had collected his wages for the week.
His death was not the only death that I've encountered during my tour in Iraq, but his passing was especially sad because we've gotten to be friends over the time that I had spent in Iraq.
I think heaven, or whatever that'll come after life, will be a very interesting place, at least for me. Let's see, my grandmothers will be there, so will many of their friends that I used to know, and I know that Hakim will be there too. Now if I can just figure out how to be at least half as nice and generous and some of these people....