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8 Μαΐου 2010

From the Charles, rowing with Iraq

Community Rowing, Inc., the ambitious rowing organization based in the gorgeous wood-sheathed Harry Parker Boathouse on the Charles River in Brighton, is reaching far beyond the Bay State's shores.

Bruce Harold Smith, the executive director, just returned from a rowing trip in northern Iraq, where he helped train Olympic rowing coaches and rowers. Smith worked with young Iraqi rowers on Lake Dokan in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq. The rowers came from throughout the country, and included Sunnis and Shi'ites as well as Kurds. Erbil has remained an oasis of relative calm in the seven years since US forces invaded the country in 2003.

Iraq Day 4 030.JPGSmith traveled with a rowing comrade, Bill Engeman of Ohio, another long-time rowing booster, for the five-day visit to Erbil. Engeman came up with the idea after seeing "Invictus," the movie about the South African rugby team's unlikely victory in the 1995 World Cup, shortly after the fall of white-minority rule.

My former Globe colleague Tom Palmer, who works with Community Rowing on communication, has written a detailed and compelling account of this initiative. Click on the "full entry" link below for Tom's full version:
Here's the full account of the Iraq initiative, written by Tom Palmer, who helps Community Rowing, Inc., with communication.

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