Bulgarian nurse Valentina Manolova Siropulo is offered a rose by an unidentified relative outside the French presidential plane after her arrival at the Sofia airport. AFP/Getty Images
And why?? Why is this nurse offered a rose? Because the wife of French President Nicholas Sarkozy managed to go to Libya, and engineer the release of the six foreign medical workers sentenced to death in Libya for the horrible crime with which they were horrified to find themselves charged - that of deliberately infecting children with HIV. Their sentences had gone from death to life in prison, and today, after an eight year ordeal, they are home!
I don't know which part is the bravest. The fact that they went into Libya to do medical aid work, or the fact that although they were tortured into "confessing," and stayed alive and sane, or the fact that after all of that, this would be the quote:
"Now I still can't believe that I am standing on Bulgarian soil. We were told the news at 4 o'clock in the morning and we left the jail at quarter to six to board the plane," she said. "Now I will try to get my previous life back."
Hail, Celilia Sarkozy! What a coup! In a phone conversation with Sarkozy, Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov "expressed appreciation for the active role and the personal engagement of Mrs. Cecilia Sarkozy and the European commissioner in charge of foreign affairs ... for solving the case," his office said. --- Expressed appreciation? I bet they did!