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November 17th, 2011


Postcards from Iraq

Hardland. It used to be stone desert and rugged mountain country, and so are its towns. This is a sea of concrete, towns of narrow alleys and flat roofs injected with modernity and money. Jungle of steel walls , cable, tiles, plastic frame windows from China. Desert devoid of significant cultural life, women in public, dancehalls , bars, drugs, irony, counterculture. With waterpoints of fruits shakes, dominoe bars and most of all internet cafes, windows to the outside world. They are full of young men on You Tube who will later in the evening go out in Arbil’s biggest park and dance alone in front of giant wall screen to Lebanese videos showing a little bit of female flesh.

The money from oil, if peace allows, will very soon make Iraqi Kurdistan another Dubai. In the meantime it is , as cliche has it, a country in transition, from rebels to riches, from stone village to a middle class suburb and mall country. Boring as hell, to be honest.


This is Irbil, capital of Kurdish region.



And below some snapshots from rest of the concrete country – town on the Turkish border called Zakho, Duhok, and Baadre.


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