Many years ago I entered into a rather unpleasant online dispute with an Iraqi doctor who had been plucked from a rather mediocre job in the British health service and appointed head of the Medical City teaching hospitals in Baghdad, I was angered by the lies and exaggerations, and following a post here exchanged several emails with the since obscure surgeon
I remembered those feelings last week
Someone had started a new Facebook group, and I had been included in the invitees
These were some of my fellow university students, a list of a hundred people, some instantly recognisable, others rather less so, photos and families, memories and anecdotes, I found myself smiling and clicking on the little red numbered messages that kept popping up
People started to write resumes of their lives over the past twenty-five years since we graduated, medical specialities, children in universities, travels around the globe in search of safety and career, struggles with new languages and cultures, so much success all around the world, and a lots of congratulations and reflected glory
And then he placed his resume....
The fifth top graduate...travelling to the UK ....consultant position....head of department... followed by a change in career....and current position as ambassador of Iraq in....all interspersed with the political jargon- the -previous criminal government- the recent dramatic changes-his excellency the so and so-
The theme is religious rather than nationalistic but the general feel was all so familiar it instantly took me back thirty years
I instantly google the name (and initially find nothing from his medical background because like so many of us he has changed his surname to emphasise his religious subgroupe) I eventually find the hospital but very little else.
But I do find the youtube that apparently went viral of his bodyguards manhandling a young cyclist who came too close to his diplomatic car.
Unlike previously I did not enter into debates, I didn't send him this http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/99f970bc-a4c9-11e3-9313-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2vIbqcXUM
I simply left the group and unfriended the people who felt obliged to congratulate him