Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Perspective: An Iraqi re-visits Baghdad

The airport at Irbil

This past December, I had a chance to visit Iraq for about two weeks. Previous to my travel, I was warned that landing at Baghdad’s airport is too dangerous and too risky, so I took a plane from Amman to Irbil, which is in the northern region. The majority of Irbil residents are Kurds. I found the city to be very peaceful, and the people there live “normal” lives. However, the living expenses for an outsider are very high due to the large influx of immigrants coming from Baghdad and a few other cities to the east and south of Baghdad where the violence is predominant. People who had lived in these areas either left their houses by choice or were forced to leave by the insurgents.

I stayed in Irbil for few days before heading to Baghdad. As I traveled across the land with some companions, we were stopped along the way at many checkpoints — some guarded by Americans and some by Iraqi soldiers.

Read the rest at the Daily Herald