The Doctor of Politics: IBRAHIM AL-JAAFARI

Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the big winner in Iraq's election

Ibrahim al-Jaafari is no strongman. He speaks so softly that he often seems to be whispering to himself. Even when audible, he can be hard to understand: his vocabulary is drawn heavily from classical Arabic, full of flowery phrases and literary allusions. Although al-Jaafari served as a Vice President in Iraq's interim government, his patrician bearing seems more suited to studying philosophy than engaging in the dirty, dangerous business of Iraqi politics. In a world of tough-guy posturing, al-Jaafari doesn't hide his sensitive side: he bonded with former U.S. proconsul Paul Bremer over their mutual passion for gourmet cuisine.

To war-weary...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!