The story of Adnan Shati

When I spoke at Minneapolis South High School’s forum on Iraq the Friday before the war started, a South High student teacher and refugee from Iraq told his life story to frame the discussion. His heartbreaking, almost unbelievable story indelibly portrays the sheer evil of the reign of Saddam Hussein.
Two weeks ago we posted Kay Miller’s fascinating Star Tribune profile of Alexandra Stein, “The story of O.” I called Kay the morning after the story had run to ask a few questions related to it. Kay was then working on a story about the special impact of the war on some Minneapolis residents, and asked me if I knew of anyone who might fit her story. I gave her Adnan Shati’s name and a few of the details of his life story that he had provided during his speech. Kay wasn’t able to reach him in time to meet the deadline for the story she was working on, but she continued to attempt to reach him and in tomorrow’s Star Tribune she profiles Adnan in a story devoted to him exclusively: “Iraqi-American Adnan Shati is a man caught in two worlds.”
Here is a sample: “For two hours last week Shati described — with elegant dispassion — the brutality, murders, wars and want that Saddam inflicted on his people. That was another life ago, another world far from his peaceful south Minneapolis home. Yet it never leaves him.
“Remembering the wistful way his father watched the ducks on Hiawatha Lake, Shati broke down crying. His sobs turned to wails, then howls of sadness. Frantic at seeing him cry, Shati’s 4-year-old son, Zachary, raced to get him a tissue. Shati pulled him onto his lap. ‘You see, Zaki, how your father came from halfway across the world so that he could give you freedom?'”
Don’t miss this one.


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