Saying goodbye to a newspaper's driver in Iraq
January 27, 2010 10:34 AM   Subscribe

A farewell to Yasser. The Times of London's driver of seven years in Baghdad was killed in a bombing this week. This was his story.

Although their names rarely show up in the media, fixers and drivers do much of the hard work in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are the ones who translate, mediate and explain the facts on the ground to johnny-come-latelies from North America and Europe. Their job can also be deadly. Between 2003 and 2007, 39 fixers were killed in Iraq and more in Afghanistan, including several brutal tortures. But in the work of foreign journalism, fixers are vital.
posted by huskerdont (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Another unnecessary death due to the lies of George Bush and Tony Blair.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 10:46 AM on January 27, 2010

This is senseless, regardless of the circumstances precedth.

Politics aside, please.

Here's to Yasser and the other 38 we haven't read about:

posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 10:53 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by e40 at 10:56 AM on January 27, 2010

posted by rollbiz at 10:58 AM on January 27, 2010

Hope and trust The Times is making proper arrangements to care for his family. Sad news and sadder still that it's not a shocking as it ought to be.
posted by Abiezer at 11:01 AM on January 27, 2010

Last line of the article:

I cried with him, because Yasser was not just another faceless statistic. He was a friend and a heroic colleague who will be missed forever.

Glaringly missing from that first sentence are the words "to me." No death, in war or out of it, is "another faceless statistic."
posted by Pallas Athena at 11:11 AM on January 27, 2010

. x 39

Thanks for your courage and faith.
posted by toodleydoodley at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2010

posted by fuzzypantalones at 11:40 AM on January 27, 2010

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro had a piece on Morning Edition this morning about Yasser. Apparently she knew him pretty well.

posted by Target Practice at 12:14 PM on January 27, 2010

It's always struck me that these translators and facilitators are like "the chief" on a ship. The chief is typically a wizened enlisted man who knows the ship inside and out, keeps her running and afloat, and advises the captain on what she (the ship) can do. A smart captain leans on his chief, just as journalists abroad have always leaned on guys like Yasser.
posted by muffuletta at 12:38 PM on January 27, 2010

Thank you for your work and for your passion for freedom.
There are so many casualties in wars. We should always try our best to prevent them.

Once, Yasser was a child. Imagine him being 3,4 years old. The effort&love to raising a child is huge. Far too much to loose your childs in wars later on.
posted by diwolf at 1:03 PM on January 27, 2010

posted by effugas at 1:46 PM on January 27, 2010

posted by robtf3 at 6:18 PM on January 27, 2010

posted by aqsakal at 11:05 PM on January 27, 2010

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