Local man from Iraq feels torn

By CHARLES PEARL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Frankfort's Hisham Saaid hasn't watched much TV this past week. It's too painful.

The 70-year-old American citizen and retired state environmental protection official was born in Baghdad, Iraq. His father was in the Iraqi military, which meant his family moved a lot.

Hisham Saaid briefly checks TV coverage of the war in Iraq each day and prays it will end quickly. When he sees maps on TV showing Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk, childhood memories return. He lived in all those places.

Saaid is glad Saddam Hussein's days as president of Iraq are about over. But he hates to see war, and lives lost.

"I have mixed emotions," he said, after Friday afternoon prayers at the Islamic Center of Frankfort, where he is president. "I, more than anybody else, want Saddam Hussein gone. He has lasted 30 years, and every year has brought more misery to the people of Iraq.

"I've seen it all in my lifetime, the good times in Iraq and the bad times. Who is responsible for all the misery? Only one man, a ruthless dictator. He has brought this fertile land and rich country to its knees, and has punished the people."

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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