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Sayid Hassan Jarrah ( Sa‘īd Ḥassān Jarrāḥ) is a character from the ABC show Lost.

Character biography

Prior to the crash

The son of an Iraqimarker war hero from the Iran–Iraq War, Sayid served as a communications officer in the Iraqi Republican Guard and is a skilled radio and mechanical engineer. During the Gulf War, Sayid's base was captured by the Americans. Since he is the only Iraqi in his squad to speak English, he is forced to ask his superior officer about a missing U.S. pilot. When Sayid learns of a planned attack on his home village, his head captor, Kelvin Inman forces Sayid to torture his superior officer to gain the information of the missing pilot, who he learns was executed earlier. At the end of the Gulf War, Sayid is released back into the Republican Guard. Inman tells him that he now has a valuable gift of being able to gain information. Sayid swears that he will never torture again, but later becomes a torturer for the Guard. At one point, he learns his victim is his childhood friend Nadia. Sayid falls in love with her, and she provides the impetus for Sayid to begin his road to redemption, and he does not torture her. When Sayid learns that she will soon be executed, he helps her escape, and makes it look as though Nadia was responsible.

Some time after, Sayid leaves the Iraqi Special Republican Guard in order to find Nadia. He eventually travels to Parismarker, where he works as a chef. Some time later, Sayid is taken prisoner and locked in the pantry. A person named Sami recognizes Sayid as the man who tortured his wife with boiling oil, and attempts to beat a confession out of him. When Sami's wife, Amira, confronts Sayid, he finally admits to torturing her, and tearfully apologizes to her. Sayid is forgiven, and Amira tells Sami that Sayid is not the man who tortured her after all; Sayid is released soon after. In England, Sayid is picked up by the ASISmarker and the CIA, They make him a deal: if Sayid can infiltrate a terrorist cell in Sydneymarker, whose members he is familiar with, and uncover stolen C-4, then they will tell him where Nadia is.

Sayid accepts, and is dropped off in Australia, where he meets with his former college roommate, Essam, from Cairo Universitymarker. Sayid convinces Essam to become a suicide bomber in order for the intelligence to take possession of the stolen explosives. At the last moment, however, Sayid admits that he is working with the CIA, and attempts to allow his friend to escape; Essam realizes that Sayid has deceived him over a woman, and kills himself. Sayid is given tickets for Oceanic Flight 815. At the airport the next day, Sayid asks Shannon to watch his bag while he enters a gift shop, but she turns him over to the authorities. Sayid is promptly released, and allowed to board the doomed flight.

After the crash

Season 1

Sayid fixes the transceiver recovered from the cockpit, and leads a group into the jungle in order to send out a distress signal. Instead, he picks up a looping message (recorded by Danielle Rousseau). He tries to locate the message's origin, but is knocked out by Locke. When Shannon suffers from a near-fatal asthma attack, Sayid brutally interrogates Sawyer in an attempt to recover Shannon's medication. Having again broken his promise never to torture again, Sayid leaves the beach to explore the island. In the jungle, he is captured by Rousseau, who tells him she was part of a science team which crashed on the island. She identifies the Others as the carriers of a sickness that her companions caught. Sayid doesn’t believe her, and leaves.

Upon returning, he seeks Shannon's help in translating maps stolen from Danielle. The two bond and eventually form a relationship. After Boone's death, Locke asks for Shannon's forgiveness. Shannon confronts Locke in the jungle, but Sayid tackles her just as she fires a gun. That night, Sayid tells Locke to take him to the hatch. Rousseau arrives on the beach one morning with news that the Others are coming to abduct a child. Later, he learns that Claire's baby, Aaron, has been kidnapped by Rousseau. Sayid surmises that Rousseau intends to attempt an exchange of Claire's baby for her own child, Alex, with the "Others". Sayid and Charlie find Rousseau's hiding place, and Rousseau returns the baby.

Season 2

Shannon tells Sayid that she has seen Walt in the jungle, but he suggests she was dreaming. Shannon tells him she's going to find Walt. After an argument, Sayid tells Shannon that he loves her and will never leave her. Then they see Walt, and Shannon dashes after him. He then witnesses Ana Lucia shooting Shannon, who dies in his arms. Ana Lucia ties him up and interrogates him. She then frees Sayid, drops her weapon, and dares Sayid to take his revenge, but he refuses. Some time later, Danielle takes Sayid to a man she captured, who she suspects is an Other. The man identifies himself as Henry Gale, saying he crashed in a hot-air balloon on the island about four months ago. Sayid frees the man and brings him to the hatch, and tells Locke about him. Sayid tries to find out more by torturing Henry, until he is stopped by Jack.

In the jungle, Sayid, Charlie, and Ana Lucia discover Henry Gale's grave, along with the balloon. When he learns of Michael's return, and the deaths of Ana Lucia and Libby, Sayid tells Jack that he suspects Michael has been "compromised", and plans to follow him somehow. Fortunately, Desmond unexpectedly returns with his boat, and Sayid plans on using it. He asks Jin to accompany him, but Sun insists on joining them. They arrive at the Others' camp, only to learn that it is merely a decoy.

Season 3

Sayid plans to lure the Others to the pier, in an attempt to kidnap two of them for interrogation. However, their plan backfires when the Others arrive via the sea and hijack the boat. Sayid and the Kwons make their way back to their camp. Upon returning, Sayid joins a group on a trek to the Pearl station. Once there, Sayid gains brief surveillance footage from another station, where they see an eye patched man. When Kate and Sawyer return, Sayid and Locke join her and Rousseau in rescuing Jack.

The four arrive at the Flame station, where they encounter Mikhail, the man they saw in the surveillance feed of the Pearl. After a big struggle, Mikhail is defeated by Sayid and Kate, who tie him up. Sayid enters the basement of the Flame, and takes some maps of the different stations. The five move along following the maps indications, towards the Barracks, until they come across a sonar panel fencing, where Mikhail collapses. The four later arrive at the Others' barracks, where they watch as Jack bonds with the Others. That night, Sayid and Kate infiltrate the barracks, only to be captured by the Others. He is then gassed the next day, released only when Juliet discovers him. He returns to the beach with Jack, Kate and Juliet.

Sayid attempts to interrogate Juliet on the journey, but she says that if she tells him everything, then he will kill her. Sayid is soon informed of Naomi's presence, and after speaking to her begins to question her; he is soon taken aback when she gives him her satellite phone, having expected her to have no way to contact her boat. The next day, Sayid is taken into the jungle, where Jack and Juliet come clean and reveal their secretive plans to destroy the Others. When Karl warns them of their imminent arrival, Sayid remains on the beach to detonate the dynamite, along with Jin and Bernard. That night, Sayid shoots his target accurately, but ultimately winds up captured by the remaining three Others. Hurley runs over Ryan Pryce using the DHARMA Van which kills him and when the other walks in front of Sayid, Sayid trips him up and snaps his neck with his feet, killing him. He, along with Sawyer, Juliet, Hurley, Jin and Bernard wait at the beach for rescue.

Season 4

Jack and Locke have a confrontation, and Sayid elects to remain with Jack. He goes out to hunt for more of the people who crashed on the helicopter. Sayid then makes a trade with Locke for Charlotte, who he brings back to Jack and the helicopter. Charlotte then does not want to go home, so Sayid, Desmond, and a dead Naomi get on the helicopter. During the helicopter ride, Sayid witnesses Desmond's time travel. In the boat, Sayid helps Desmond to communicate with his girlfriend in order to stop the travels.

Later, they wait, on deck, to meet with the captain of the freighter, Gault. Gault tells them his employer is Charles Widmore. Later they find Michael Dawson, who tells Sayid that he is a spy. Sayid and Desmond later witness Keamy's furious return to the boat after his failed attempt to capture Ben. Fearing Keamy's intentions, he persuades Gault to give him and Desmond a Zodiac boat to return to the island, hoping to save as many people as possible by moving them from the island to the boat.

Sayid returns to the beach on the freighter's Zodiac. Sayid and Kate go after Jack and Sawyer, who are following a homing beacon left by Lapidus. They are captured by Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) and the rest of the Others. He and the Others successfully ambush Keamy and his mercenaries by sending Kate out to them, and then getting into a gunfight with them. They then go to the helicopter with Jack, Hurley, Sawyer and Lapidus, but Sawyer leaves them to reduce the weight. They are able to land on the ship, but are quickly informed that the ship is about to explode. They quickly refuel, and pick up Desmond, Sun, and Aaron, before lifting off. On the way back to the island, they see a white light envelop it, before the entire island appears to sink beneath the waves. They drift for several hours, but are eventually rescued by another boat owned by Penelope Widmore. Jack also informs all of them that they will have to lie about their entire experience on the island in order to protect the people still there from Charles Widmore.

After the island
At a press conference held by Oceanic Airlines Sayid is finally reunited with Nadia, and some time later the two get married. However, his and Nadia's happiness is abruptly cut short when she is killed, and Sayid decides to hold her funeral in their home country. In the first part of The Incident, it is revealed that Nadia was actually killed by a car, and more significantly a car that would have also killed Sayid had it not been for the intervention of Jacob, who posing as a tourist asks Sayid for directions, preventing him from crossing the road at that point. At the funeral, Sayid spots Ben spying on him, who tells Sayid about Nadia's killer, Bakir, to which Sayid carries out his revenge by shooting him repeatedly. Following this event, Sayid eventually begins working for Ben as an assassin, after being informed that Nadia's death was part of a larger plan orchestrated by Charles Widmore.

On one such mission, Sayid travels to Berlinmarker, Germanymarker, where he meets a woman named Elsa. The two bond quickly, but the relationship is cut short when Elsa, who works for one of Sayid's targets, learns about his true intentions, and injures him. Sayid shoots her before. Sayid is later visited by John Locke who asks him to return with him to the Island, but he refuses. In Los Angeles, Sayid kills a man who was staked out in front of the Santa Rosa Mental Hospital, and breaks Hurley out of the mental institution.

Season 5

Sayid is wounded in a fight at his motel, and Hurley takes him home and has his father get Jack to treat Sayid. Upon awakening Sayid refuses to cooperate with Jack and Ben's plan to return everyone to the island; however; he appears the next day in law enforcement custody on board the plane.

Sayid's first appearance on the island takes place in 1977, when he vanished along with Jack, Kate, and Hurley enroute from Los Angeles to Guam on Daijiri Flight 316. After making his way to where the Dharma Initiative Station The Flame was located, he is captured by Jin. As a prisoner at the barracks, Sayid meets a young Benjamin Linus. Despite attempts by Sawyer to try to expedite his escape, he refuses to cooperate, leading him to be chemically interrogated by a shaman-like Dharma Initiative member. Later, Ben stages a fire to give him the cover and helps free Sayid in hopes he would take him to the Others. However; during the escape, Sayid shoots Ben, leaving him for dead before escaping into the jungle.

Sayid reappears in "Follow the Leader" as Jack, Kate, Richard, Eloise Hawking, a younger Charles Widmore, and an unnamed Other are walking through the jungle towards the atomic bomb "jughead" . He fires his weapon and kills one of the Others after the man threatens to shoot Kate on the way to the ruins. Shortly before "The Incident" is about to occur, Sayid and Jack pose as Dharma employees and attempt to smuggle a core piece of the hydrogen bomb to the Swan Station. However; they are discovered by Roger Linus, and Sayid is shot in the ensuing chaos. Sayid is last seen in the Dharma van with Hurley and Miles, who state that Sayid will probably die from his wounds.

Development

Sayid was not in the original draft of the pilot episode, but the producers knew early on that they wanted an international cast. Executive consultant Jeff Pinkner had worked with Naveen Andrews on a short-lived ABC series called “The Beast”, and was keen to have him on Lost. The name Sayid was chosen because of its obvious Iraqi derivation, but also the English actor playing the character was a fan of Syd Little the English Comedian, and so Syd became Sayid. The producers were surprised that Andrews was interested in the role. When they cast him, all Andrews was told, was that Sayid was from Iraq and had been in the army.

Reception

Chris Carabott of IGN stated that in the episode "The Economist", "Sayid Jarrah is a badass who could give Jack Bauer, James Bond, and Jason Bourne all a run for their money".Faisal Abbas, Media Editor of the London based international Arab daily - Asharq Al-Awsat, considered that Jarrah, along with other 'heroic' Muslim characters (such as Sleeper Cell's Darwyn al-Sayeed) who emerged in American media after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, are proof that Arabs and Muslims have been undertaking more prominent roles within the media since those events. Entertainment Weekly describes "tortured Sayid" as a "captivating minor character".

References

  1. "Before They Were Lost". Lost: The Complete First Season, Buena Vista Home Entertainment. September 6, 2005. Featurette, disc 7.
  2. Asharq-e.com
  3. Aubry D'Arminio, "TV on DVD," Entertainment Weekly 1026 (December 19, 2008): 58.



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