Tuesday, December 14, 2004

"Viral Freedom"

I found Iraq the Model not long after the three brothers — Omar, Ali and Mohammed — began blogging from Baghdad. A tentative (at the time) but incredibly positive voice, what they wrote was the complete opposite of the total negativity I’d been reading in the newspapers and seeing on television.

After living under Saddam for decades where even the suspicion of thinking incorrectly would result in the torture and death not only the "guilty" but the entire family, what we take for granted — the right to speak freely — was new to them. And new to even the concept of blogging, none of the brothers had any reason to believe that anyone would read what they wrote.

That was a little over a year ago.

Since I first discovered them, whenever the news about Iraq as "reported" here started getting me down, I always knew where to go for a pick-me-up. Because of them, I could see the challenges and changes through their eyes.

Two of the brothers, Omar and Mohammed, arrived in the United States a few days ago to attend meetings sponsored by Spirit of America.

Grim blogged about one of meetings, and it is a must read.

Several U.S. bloggers have had a chance to meet Omar and Mohammed in less formal settings. Andrew Sullivan was supposed to have lunch with them, except at the last minute the brothers had to beg off. He understood why.

They’d been invited to the Oval Office.

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