Monday, March 07, 2005

"The wife back in Manchester worries a lot"

A dentist from Manchester, England, whose only previous cause was supporting his local soccer club, has turned his back on drilling and filling

writes the Daily Telegraph's Colin Freeman,

to become the reluctant savior of one of the Sunni Triangle's most violence-prone trouble spots.

Abdallah Al Jibouri, 45, an exiled Iraqi who spent more than 20 years in Britain … originally had planned merely to check up on his elderly mother when he visited his hometown of Miqdadiyah, 60 miles north of Baghdad, shortly after the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein.

His language skills, however, ensured that he was pressed into service as unofficial negotiator between U.S. troops and Iraqis, who elected him mayor.

Much to his astonishment — and, he says, to the dismay of his British wife, Sharon — he also became governor of the province of Diyala, with a population of 1.8 million.

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