Friday, May 25, 2007

Struggling with the heat?

After a disappearance lasting several months, the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has magically reappeared in the holy city of Kufah, in Iraq. I've just watched him giving a press conference, half-hidden behind a battery of microphones. You can read the various theories why he has suddenly rematerialised here. Reuters adds that he is trying to reposition himself as a nationalist. In his sermon today he apparently called on his supporters to protect Sunnis and Christians from attack.

What was interesting was the way that Moqtada frequently wiped his face with a handkerchief throughout. His aides claim that he has been in Iraq throughout his absence. But it looked to me as if he was struggling with the heat. My guess, for what it's worth, is that he has just returned from somewhere rather higher and cooler, perhaps in the mountains across the Iranian border.

No comments: