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Occupational Hazards

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Godwin’s production, however, has a hurtling energy and makes good use of the auditorium to confirm Stewart’s point that politics in Iraq is often a form of theatre. Henry Lloyd-Hughes admirably captures Stewart’s youthful mix – he was only 30 at the time – of outward confidence and inner uncertainty. There is strong support from Silas Carson as the lordly Karim and Johndeep More as his clerical antagonist, and from Vincent Ebrahim as a harassed professor and Aiysha Hart as his progressive daughter seeking to improve the lot of Iraqi women. The play heightens our awareness of the hazards of foreign occupation, but drama ultimately depends on the conflict of ideas as much as the recreation of actual events.

Occupational Hazards by Rory Stewart | Waterstones

Lloyd-Hughes as Stewart and Silas Carson as Karim Mahood in Occupational Hazards. Photograph: Marc Brenner verifyErrors }}{{ message }}{{ /verifyErrors }}{{ In May 2019 he was appointed Secretary of State for International Development, having previously been the Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, Minister of State for Africa in both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DFID) (June 2017-January 2018), and the Minister of State in DFID (June 2016-June 2017) and, prior to that, Minister for the Environment and Rural Affairs at DEFRA (May 2015-June 2016). After the devastating floods of December 2015 – January 2016 Rory was appointed by the Prime Minister as Flood Envoy for Cumbria and Lancashire, overseeing recovery efforts, and was Chair of the Cumbria Floods Partnership. Before becoming a Minister in 2015, he served for four years on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and in 2014 was elected Chair of the Defence Select Committee by all parties in parliament as the youngest ever Select Committee chair.Occupational Hazards is Rory Stewart's inside account of the attempt to rebuild a nation, the errors made, the misunderstandings and insurmountable difficulties encountered. It reveals an Iraq hidden from most foreign journalists and soldiers. Stewart is an award-winning writer, gifted with extraordinary insight into the comedy, occasional heroism and moral risks of foreign occupation. By September 2003, six months after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the anarchy had begun. Rory Stewart, a young Biritish diplomat, was appointed as the Coalition Provisional Authority's deputy governor of a province of 850,000 people in the southern marshland region. There, he and his colleagues confronted gangsters, Iranian-linked politicians, tribal vendettas and a full Islamist insurgency.

Occupational Hazards - Rory Stewart - Google Books Occupational Hazards - Rory Stewart - Google Books

In 2008 he was appointed as the Ryan Family Professor of the Practice of Human Rights and Director of the Carr Centre of Human Rights at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Such is the helter-skelter rush of events, however, that there is no time to air the big issues. Can democracy be created by outside agencies? Do occupying forces inflame an already tense situation? What moral authority does the west have for nation-building? I appreciate that Stewart, in the heat of the moment, had little opportunity for abstract speculation. But, while Brown’s play effectively recreates the nightmarish conflicts Stewart faced, it would make better drama if it viewed his story in a wider historical perspective. It tells us what happened. It doesn’t explore its larger political significance. From 2005 to 2008 he was the Chair and Chief Executive of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation based in Kabul, which he built from one to three hundred employees, working to restore a section of the old city, establish a clinic, primary school, and Arts Institute, and bring Afghan crafts to international markets.


Stewart – currently seeking re-election as a Tory MP – is the pivotal figure of the story. Having been a diplomat and foot-slogging explorer of the Middle East, he volunteers his services to the newly created Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad in 2003.He is deputed by its chief, Paul Bremer, to go to the south to Maysan and help create a modern, secular Iraq. The play charts his attempts to impose a democratic structure on the province’s hostile factions.

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