'To Kill a Mockingbird' a Hit in Iraq


Tucker said he doesn't knock using "To Kill a Mockingbird" as a teaching tool -- but it's probably unnecessary because Iraqi judges, prosecutors and lawyers have been demonstrating Atticus Finch's courage for years. "We don't need to lecture them," said Tucker.

To be sure, there are issues of corruption, and Iraq remains a country where the rights of women are not guaranteed. Honor killings still occur in Iraq, said Tucker. Although in his work he has tried to communicate the concept that "if you kill your wife you should be punished, you can't use passion as a mitigating factor."

What the Iraqis really need, according to Tucker, is help with infrastructure and support. "They have been cut off for 20 years from the outside world…they need help reconnecting."

Upon his return to the United States, Matt Rooney received an e-mail from one of the lawyers in his program which read, in part, "I have been doing this work for a while and have been getting a little discouraged…but now I realize great change takes great effort and I'm not going to quit."

So Attticus Finch, the American legal hero, may have had an impact in Sulaymaniyah after all.

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