Isis-defiant fighter saved many lives with his 5-Series.
The name Ako Abdulrehman may simply sound like the name of a man from a foreign country, but to at least seventy people in that country it's a name they will never forget. Ako is a Kurdish man living in the war-torn area of Kirkuk in the Kurdistan Region. He managed to get his hands on an E34 5-Series BMW, but not the normal one, the Protection model that features bulletproof windows and bodywork, quite a sought-after mode of transport in the region. Instead of using it to for himself, he put it to even better use.
Ako was asked if he could help out on the Kirkuk frontline by Abdullah Bor, a Peshmerga Commander and he didn't hesitate. Together with a friend, he used his bulletproof BMW to transport wounded fighters and civilians to hospital, driving through some seriously bad areas. In any other car they probably would have died on the first run, but the pair managed to get over 70 people to the hospital. Even though he did an amazing job, Ako is still upset that he reached some of the wounded too late to help. Running through the dodgiest spots, the BMW racked up around 60 hits from gunfire before it was eventually too damaged to be used anymore. Many bullets struck the front and the windscreen.
“The ISIS bullets were coming in my direction. I saw death with my own eyes. Yet, I did not stop what I was doing. I could not leave the wounded in limbo. The only thing I cared about was getting the wounded into my car and driving them to the hospital,” said Ako. A Baghdad dealership, BMW Cihan, contacted him with an offer to fix the car and some Kurdish figures have pledged to award him for his efforts. It's also been reported that BMW head office also contacted him with an offer to exchange the car for a new one so they could display it at their corporate campus, but Ako refused. Instead the bullet-ridden BMW will go to Sulaymaniyah, a local Kurdish museum.