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Yael Lempert

YAEL LEMPERT: My name is Yael Lempert. I work with the US State Department and I had the privilege to work with Ambassador Bremer in Baghdad in May, June and July on governance issues. I met with hundreds of Iraqis, I sat in the homes of dozens of Iraqis, professionals and tribal sheiks, and the thing that really struck me after all my discussions with Iraqis is the sense of hope that Iraqis have, the hope that they have after decades of not being able to have such hope, having hope stamped out of them. For me this was epitomized the night that the news hit Baghdad that Uday and Qusay Hussein had been killed. I was looking out of my room, looking out the window at Baghdad, and the sky was lit up with celebratory gunfire, it beat any Fourth of July fireworks exhibition that I'd ever seen, and that really summed up the sense of liberation and hope that the Iraqis have, and it was a tremendous opportunity for me to serve the United States and the Iraqi people, during my time in Baghdad.