Kellogg Brown & Root may hire exiled historian to help select UK partners and advise on Islamic issues.
An Iraqi consultant says he has been approached by US construction giant Kellogg Brown & Root to find British firms to oversee the rebuilding of Iraq.

Hani Alsaigh, who has lived in London for 30 years, said the firm was also looking for help to rebuild Baghdad and to replace Islamic heritage destroyed by bombs.

Alsaigh said that he had been contacted because of his contacts across the Middle East and his knowledge of the Iraqi political spectrum, which includes groups opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Alsaigh said: "I am a historian and an archaeologist. I have been approached by Kellogg Brown & Root to recommend appropriate British firms to help with the rebuilding of Iraq and to help to replace some Iraqi heritage in my country that has been destroyed by the allies."

He added that there was a possibility of the US firm providing funding for an Islamic museum in London to exhibit thousands of historic Islamic artefacts.

Alsaigh originally tried to set up the museum in the late 1990s via a charity called the Islamic Museum in London and Cultural Centre Trust.

The trust attempted to acquire a number of sites to open the museum in central London and eventually did find a site at Holborn, but the scheme never got under way because of funding difficulties.

The trust worked in partnership with architectural, surveying and conservation firm The Conservation Practice on constructing the museum before the idea was eventually dropped.

It is now understood that because of the approach from Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, the museum could go ahead.

Alsaigh said that it could be a public relations bid by the Americans to give something back to Islamic world after the historic and cultural devastation that has been caused in Iraq.

Alsaigh emphasised, however, that he was not offering his services to Kellogg Brown & Root solely to make money to open the museum.

He said: "I want to offer my help to rebuild my country, a country I love and that I have been forced to run away from because of the oppressive regime run by Saddam Hussein."

He added that his sister and her six children were still in Baghdad.

He did not know now whether they were dead or alive because of the war.

A spokesperson for Kellogg Brown & Root said that the company was not bidding for prime contract work in Iraq but hoped to win subcontracts.

At the time Building went to press, the Kellogg spokesperson said that he could not yet confirm Alsaigh's links to his company.