Middle East

Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?

NORTH IRAQ Though polite, my host is guarded and visibly nervous. I wait with my translator in a room decorated with photos of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan. We have just arrived in a refugee camp in Northern Iraq, unexpected. In another room, phone calls to Syria are being made, to confirm the name of…

Into Iraq – A Traveler’s Journal – Part 2

Another day in Kirkuk. I go out in the morning to speak to people about their reactions to Saddam’s first television appearance since his dental exam. While watching the broadcast, there was no sense of celebration, but a silence that was hard to interpret. Saddam-era television was rife with controlled propaganda, using his image repeated…

Into Iraq – A Traveler’s Journal

June 27th 2004 I arrive at Attaturk International Airport in Istanbul. This is the fourth time I’ve flown into Attaturk from New York, but I’ve never seen such a high level of security, which is due to the NATO Summit being held here. TV monitors show mass demonstrations on the streets of Istanbul, protesting President…

Nomads Of Ararat

Hanim is fifty-one years old, but she looks at least thirty years older, and for good reason: She’s the leader of the Hasasori, a small family of semi-nomadic Jelali Kurds who eke out a simple existence farming sheep on the southern slopes of Mount Ararat in East Turkey, and life is far from easy. The…