I walk aimlessly in our part of the world, trying to grasp a breath of air. I try to understand how we were thrown into the darkness, how the Arabian medieval ages just started. As I wander and ponder a thought, a benign ambitious thought penetrates my skull and invades my mind. The rigorous thought of “what if?” A question I ask myself every time I open the news, or when I listen to the continuous mourning of the people of Arabia. Every media outlet in the West has made us the stereotype to madness. Maybe it is time to change that. Maybe it is time to create a benevolent image that disguises our sectarian hate, wars, and anguish. I will not knock the door on politics, as there is no point of doing so. I will, on the other hand, push my dream in the minds of those who dare to be creative. As you continue to read, try and imagine the stability scene, the economic prosperity, the glory. I went there, the land of Arabia and I saw heaven in its most magnificent form. Landing there I felt I was back to where I belong. I started my journey in Baghdad. I left my hotel to take a stroll by the Tigris River. Baghdad is that city where the eyes are fulfilled with the scenery of old, yet valuable buildings and the nose is tingled with diverse smells depending where you are walking in the city. While walking by river, the scent of masgoof fish infiltrated my nostrils, opening my appetite in the strangest of ways. As I left the main river route to the alleys between buildings, the smell of Sammoon bread made me an adventurer in need of a bakery. As days passed my stay in Iraq, became more and more interesting. The dissimilar natural scenery is unseen anywhere in the world. In the North and in Arbil, the cool breeze of air, the greenery and the streams passing between my feet gave my body the exact relaxed feeling I needed. I went to the south between the marshes and the marsh houses that have been there for thousands of years. The people who built these houses have learned the techniques from generation to generation. I swam in what the Iraqis called “Shat Al Arab”. I finalized my journey with all the ambivalence in the world, not knowing what part to deem my favorite, by visiting Babylon and admiring the aggressive lion of Babylon who does not have his head missing because the British in my recount never colonized Iraq or blew up the lion. The green and blue traditional colors of Babylon reflected in my eyes, in a way that makes me appreciate the traditions of the cradle of civilization. The Fertile Crescent produced the first poem by Gilgamesh and seeing this landscape and generosity of its people from all those different sects, I understand why.
*Disclaimer: I unfortunately have never visited Iraq. Most of the recounts are those I was fed from books as a child.