Monday, August 09, 2004

Iraqi Ambassadors To Athens 2004 - Update I

Two weeks ago I wrote about the Iraqi Olympic team heading to Athens. I raised the issue of Ala'a Hikmat, the sole Iraqi female Olympic athlete, who had no proper training or gear like her male peers. The post got lots of attention as it should. Thanks to the bloggers who have linked to this story and helped spread the word.

Today, I received an e-mail from a regular reader of this blog, Michael Jinks, from South Carolina. Michael sent the following e-mail to Russell Athletics company asking for help:

I refer you to the following Boston Globe story of the inequality and injustices (disgrace) heaped upon the lone female Iraqi Olympic member, Ala'a Hikmat, and her significant trials and tribulations as well as her inner strength and character. Anything that Russell Athletic, Inc. could do would surely of importance. She has no shoes, training clothes or team uniform.

Today the company sent him back the following e-mail:
[Russell Athletics] didn't want you to think we had ignored your message. We have been trying to come up with a way to get some product to her before the Games. We are now working with some contacts our Moving Comfort division has with people who will be in Athens and might be able to get some of their performance products to her.

I'll let you know if we are able to get anything to her. Our Moving Comfort folks are using their connections and it will be their product that we want to send -- since that's the product we have that was designed by women for women, particularly women runners.

Ala'a will be competing in the 100-meter and 200-meter races. Let's keep our fingers crossed in hope that Ala'a gets some of the Moving Comfort products and does well in the Olympics.

I can say one thing at the end of this post, "My readers ROCK." They never disappointed me when I asked for their help. And that's what blogging is for me, raising issues and trying to find help for people who need it the most.

We can't change everything for the best in Iraq in one day. We can work on one person or one problem at a time. It works well this way. It's the only way to win the peace.

Before I leave, I want to share these words from Michael with you :
Sir Winston Churchill gave a very, very famous five word speech to the graduating class of Harvard University. He arose and stood and waited and waited until the applause stopped and there was utter silence. Then he spoke :"NEVER!..., NEVER!..., NEVER!...GIVE UP!" and then he sat down—finished!

Arabic Word of The Post :

week : أسبوع - / isbooa /
two weeks : أسبوعان - / isboo-aan /
weeks : أسابيع - / asa-beea /

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