Thursday, January 10, 2008

In memory of Umran

Umran was our Iraqi kitchen manager, working for a subcontractor under BLP. He worked very hard to keep BLP and his diners happy.

He was murdered at his home in early December, and I didn't get a proper note up about him before I left on my break.

I have referenced him before- he had done a "make good" meal that I discussed in one posting about Iraqi cultural gestures. And his work has been featured in at least one or two pictures where I'm eating at special meals for the Iraqi National Police.

No photos of him recently were available. Speaks a bit to how much we had him as part of our life, but not much of a personal relationship. I think some of it is the language barrier, and some of it is the class differences we superimpose on relationships- western vs Iraqi, management vs labor- of course, he was management, but of a subcontractor. Not saying it is right- but it is how things are here.

So this is a photo of him in his earlier days, provided by his wife- Muqadam- Lieutenant Colonel - Umran in the Iraqi Army back in the day.

And here's some of the types of meals that he would prepare, except these photos were taken at our Iraqi Police Day Officers and NCO's meal a few nights ago- his staff has had to carry on without him, preparing about 6,500 meals a day or so.

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