Iraq’s Football Team Wins the Asian Cup Title

There is no shortage of discouraging news about Iraq these days, which is why I was pleased to hear about something positive. The Iraq football team (“soccer” to us North Americans) has won the AFC Asian Cup, defeating Saudi Arabia 1–0 in the final yesterday. The win provided a rare moment of jubilation for Iraqis, who have endured nearly four and a half years of war and strife in their homeland and — before that — decades of tyrannical rule by Saddam Hussein.

It would be wonderful if this event helps to bring the country closer together. The championship team itself is a model of cooperation in spite of differences; it is comprised of people from all three of the major factions in Iraq: Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds. If the members of the nation’s football team can work together to achieve something great, why not the members of the nation’s parliament? It is a lesson for all Iraqis.

I hope that the people of Iraq experience many more unifying events in the future and that they are inspired by moments like this Asian Cup win to work through their differences and finally come together as one nation.

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