Monday, June 07, 2004

Al-Yawar's sudden rise was a surprise to many Iraqis. Few had heard of the exiled sheik from Saudi Arabia with his trademark flowing white robe and neatly trimmed mustache. But every Iraqi is familiar with the Shammars, and al-Yawar's pedigree as a scion of one of the nation's oldest and largest tribes immediately conferred respectability.

"He comes from good people," was a typical comment, underscoring the powerful constituency al-Yawar brings to his seven-month tenure.

The new president's appointment is a source of pride for members of his tribe, which includes both Sunnis and Shias.

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