Iraq Ambassador to Run Boston Marathon to Show Solidarity with US

Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 03:09 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Lukman Faily, Iraq's ambassador to the United States, will run in the Boston Marathon in April to honor last year's bombing victims and to show Americans that his government will stand with the United States when terrorism happens in their country.

“The ambassador was keen to run a marathon this year, and given Iraq’s experience with terrorism, the Boston Marathon was seen as a timely opportunity to show solidarity with victims from both our countries,” Ali Al-Mawlawi, a spokesman at the Iraq embassy, told The Washington Post.

The world-famous race is expected to draw about 36,000 runners and spectators on April 21. The race gained a new identity last year, though, when two homemade pressure-cooker bombs detonated near the finish line in the April 15 race, killing three people and injuring another 264. The incident marked the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger of two ethnic Chechen brothers, could face execution if convicted on charges that he and his now-dead brother Tamerlan planted the deadly bombs.

Faily said he also wants to remind Americans that while some in the United States have  fatigue when it comes to Iraq, people from his country don't feel the same way about the United States.

"We don't have U.S. fatigue-ness in Iraq," Faily said during a talk at American University in Washington in February. "What we have is the eagerness by all Iraqis for a strong and long-term healthy relationship with the United States."

While this will be Faily's first Boston Marathon, he is not a stranger to long-distance races, as he ran in two marathons in Tokyo while he was the ambassador in Japan. The Boston Marathon will be his first U.S. race.

He's been discussing the race through his Twitter account, saying:



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