On 8th February 2015, British Ambassador HMA Frank Baker OBE paid a visit to the holy city of Najaf, Iraq.
The Ambassador, who was hosted by British company Copperchase, was on a business tour in the city where he met a variety of prominent figures including the Governor of Najaf, Adnan Al-Zurfi. Together they discussed the current political state in Iraq and some improvements that could be made with regards to security.
“This was my first visit to Najaf. I was struck by the warm welcome and fantastic hospitality I received whilst I was there.”
The city is well-known for its extensive golden mosque which hallows the grave of Imam Ali, the successor after the Prophet Muhammad. “I was privileged to visit the shrine of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad and honoured to be invited for lunch with the Secretary General of the shrine,” said Baker.
“We talked about how to improve global links with the religious establishment in Najaf. I had the pleasure of meeting young Western clerics – including some from the UK – studying Islam in Najaf. All of whom spoke about how they wanted to promote the peaceful nature of their faith when they returned home.”
He proudly informed the press about how he took the opportunity to tour the golden monuments of the country, find out more about its history and speak with its ‘diverse and peace-loving people’. In Baker’s very own words, this was the ‘greatest privilege’ he experienced there.