Saturday, August 04, 2012

Dana Abul Razak holds the Iraqi record in the 100 meter dash

 Dania Hussein

KUNA notes that Tunisia's Oussam Mellouli (swimmer) and Iraq's Dana Abdul Razak (pictured above, competes in the 100 meter track event) were the only Arabs to make it through the heats and qualify for the first rounds in their competitions.  And from there?  Jim Caple (ESPN) reports,"Dana Abdul Razak lined up in Lane 2 at Olympic Stadium for Heat 5 in the first round of the women's 100-meter dash. Two lanes over, Allyson Felix planted her feet in the starting blocks. The starter's gun went off and the Iraqi runner burst down the track alongside America's most famous female sprinter. Abdul Razak finished last in the heat, losing to Felix by eight-tenths of a second, but that didn't matter much. Earlier in the day, the Iraqi had won her heat. She had raced with some of the world's best and she had advanced women's sports in her country."  John Canzano (Oregonian) observes, "It wasn't lost on me that many of the sprinters around Abdul Razak in the mixed zone didn't grow up in a nation where being able to compete would even be a question. Also, with Allyson Felix of the U.S. coming through moments later after winning the heat and wearing the finest track and field gear to go with the best training/nutrition to go with a USA Track and Field handler who escorted her, I wondered about the vast disparity in resources available to athletes here."  She now holds the record for Iraq in the 100-meter dash (11.91).

When Dana Abdul Razak first competed in the Summer Olympics it was 2008 and she was the only athlete from Iraq.  This year she was one of eight at the Summer Olympics.  She's part of a group of Iraqi athletes making steady progress.   The other seven Iraqis competing in London were Ahmed Abdulkareem, Adnan Taess Akkar, Noor Amer al-Ameri, Mohanad Ahmed Dheyaa al-Azzawi, Safaa al-Jumaili, Rand al-Mashhadani and Ali Nadhim Salman Salman.

Kevin Sullivan (Washington Post) notes something other than the violence in a lengthy article which contains some unintentionally hilarious passages.  Chief among them referring to Nouri al-Maliki as "Iraq's democratically elected leader."  Yes, indeed.  He was voted on by both DC and Tehran.

It's a long article and there's a great deal to praise but moments like that stick out.  (Nouri al-Maliki caused an 8 month political stalemate after his State of Law came in second to Iraqiya in the 2010 elections.  With the support of DC and Tehran, he was able to stomp his feet like a surly little child until the US-brokered Erbil Agreement got him a second term as prime minister.  And if Sullivan means 'democratically elected' to his first term, Nouri wasn't who the Parliament voted as their first choice.  That was Ibrahim al-Jaafari and the US government wouldn't allow him to have that second term so Nouri became the compromise candidate.)

Saturday morning Al Mada published a story where Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq sounded like a complete idiot (because he apparently is one).  He and Nouri had kissed and made up and all was well.  al-Mutlaq hopes they never have a cross word again.  Things are now perfect.

The Happy Idiot learned otherwise before day's end.  AFP reports that one bodyguard died in a bombing attempt on MP Hamed al-Mutlaq's life.  Hamed is the brother of Saleh.  Things still looking perfect, Saleh al-Mutlaq?  Or are you now remembering what you told CNN back in December?

Alsumaria reports an attack on a Mosul military checkpoint left 1 soldier dead and two more injured.  In addition, they report that two men and two women kidnapped a nine-year-old boy in Kirkuk. 

Meanwhile Al Mada reports that the Iraqi Communist Party is upset with violations of the Constitution.  Maybe they should have remembered that before they embraced Nouri.  Al Mada notes Nouri appears to think he can use Saleh al-Mutlaq to repair the burned bridge between himself an Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi.  Setting aside al-Mutlaq looking like a fool publicly and repeatedly over the last few days, there's also the fact that Iraqiya doesn't trust Saleh the way they once did.  That's what all the rumors have been about the last two months.  Saleh al-Mutlaq has explored taking over Iraqiya, Nouri has told him he would back him and Iraqiya members are aware of that.  Ayad Allawi is very aware of that.

The political blocs big disagreement today?  Whether Iraqis should be sent to the US to train to fly the F-16s and, if so, which pilots?  It appears they'll shortly be exploring a quota option a la -- 10 Shi'ites, 8 Sunnis, 6 Kurds, 2 Turkmen . . . 

Nouri's attacks on Turkey in recent days (over the Thursday visit to Kirkuk by Turkey's Foreign Minister) means the Iraqi press is full of Turkish 'scandals.'  The best one?  Turkish actress Nebahat Cehre wore a sheer black dress that, with dozens of flashbulbs going off, allows you to see the outline of her nipples.  The article notes she was a model and a Miss Turkey and that she married Yilmaz Guney whom she saw as her mentor (they were married for 15 months).  Yilmaz Guney was a Turkish artist who, prior to fame as a director, was often arrested and after his sixties fame was again often arrested.  He would flee Turkey for France where he became even more celebrated as a director.  Nebahat Cehre has remained in Turkey and, at 66, is still acting  [she is part of the Turkish prime time soap opera Muhtesem Yuzyil which is set during the rule of Suleiman (1520 to 1556)].  For many she is Turkey in the way that Sophia Loren is Italy, Catherine Deneuve is France, Vanessa Redgrave is England and Jane Fonda is the United States.  And that can translate as, those usually shocked by something one of those women do will be shocked by the photo and the larger group that usually embraces what one of those women do will just think, "For 66, she looks really good."  (And she does.)

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