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Previous | Next :: Sardar : Security Team Leader : Kurdistan : Iraq | January 22, 2012, 1:59 pm

Sardar : Security Team Leader : Kurdistan : Iraq
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Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness. — James Thurber

This is a portrait of Sardar who was running our security team he was a great bloke with a very nice way about him........

Journalists are sometimes in need of security teams ... and you certainly feel a lot safer traveling with a small band of armed security guys on your side when in Iraq ......... but there is a problem working like this ...... we need to be able to approach people and be approachable ...... obviously classic security demands a secure zone of separation from ordinary folks ....... this is completely no good ....... well it might be OK for executives and diplomats ...... but you just cannot work like that as journalist or photojournalist in particular..... if you stay inside a bubble of tight security you will know and see nothing ..... so a security team can lead to problems in doing any journalism ..... but not a team lead by Sardar......... he and his guys gave a very real sense of security........ something you absolutely could never have if you were drifting about on your own ..... but they were also very sensitive to not appearing to be armed heavies....... they primarily appeared as just people assisting to translate and drive etc....... they were very rarely out with their full weaponry openly displayed ....... I have to say they were excellent .......... Sardar in particular really helped us with translation and suggesting pertinent things that might be relevant ...........

Sadly for journalists and others this is Sardar's last day on the job....... myself and the writer on this story were the last journalistic party that he is protecting........... in fact we are the last people he is personally protecting full stop. Sardar is getting married in 10 days and has promised his new wife he will not carry on with this dangerous and unpredictable life on the road ...... he is now after 7 years of close protection...... with this security company....... and 3 years with different American operations ........ finally hanging up his AK-47........ for a desk job......... and very importantly....... a home life .........

Good luck to you and your new wife Sardar....... I wish you both a lovely wedding and a very long blissfully happy married life......... :-)))))))))))))

Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXX

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