Thinking About Iraqui Kurdistan

by M. Joshua

News about current events in Iraq strike┬áme in a way I don’t know how to articulate. I know it’s there. Just don’t know what to do about it. So here I am with a ton of pictures I never shared from 2010 that tell a story of life in post-Saddam Kurdistan.

Unflattering shot of me with two of our Peshmerga escorts. Dude on the left, Mohammed, was super nice.

Two of our Peshmerga escorts.

"Typical Iraq"

“Typical Iraq”

As a bit of a pacifist, it was rather strange seeing large droves of these Kurdish soldiers who wanted to show us how rad their country is.

These Kurdish soldiers wanted to show us how rad their country is.

Me and Hamza in the pharmacy. We worked in during our mornings there.

Me and Hamza in the pharmacy we worked in during our mornings there.

Tea time is promtly at 11am. No shaking it.

Tea time is promtly at 11am. No shaking it.

Typical Kurdish-Iraqui restaurant.

Typical Kurdish-Iraqui restaurant.

Not the Iraq you see in the news.

Iraqui vacation town

That's a city in the background (for scale)

That’s a city in the background (for scale)

Inside of Duhok's Dam Park

Inside of Duhok’s Dam Park

Duhok at night.

Duhok at night.

Junior Peshmerga just before the martial arts demo they put on for us

Peshmerga soldiers just before the martial arts demo they put on for us

Chaldean church garden that overlooks the Tigris

Chaldean church garden that overlooks the Tigris

DSC00395

Below the modern Chaldean church, we got to explore the original church meeting place that was founded back in the 400s.

Tigris and Syria. Coulda thrown a rock into Syria. But I got the impression that this isn't typical Middle Eastern behavior.

Tigris and Syria. Coulda thrown a rock into Syria. But I got the impression that this isn’t typical Middle Eastern behavior.

Turkish border over the Khabur river. Ezekiel had his famous wheel-within-a-wheel vision right around here.

Turkish border over the Khabur river. Ezekiel had his famous wheel-within-a-wheel vision right around here.

Ruins of one of Saddam's palaces. You can't quite see the waterfall that ran through it.

Ruins of one of Saddam’s palaces. You can’t quite see the waterfall that ran through it.

This was probably the coolest cafe I had ever been to. No joke.

This was probably the coolest cafe I had ever been to. No joke.

Best Coffee Ever.

Best Coffee Ever.

He smiled way more than this picture suggests.

He smiled way more than this picture suggests.

Loved Duhok.

Loved Duhok.

At one point, we set-up our pharmacy in a makeshift bathroom.

At one point, we set-up our pharmacy in a makeshift bathroom.

Rabban Hormizd Monastery

Rabban Hormizd Monastery

From the top of the monastery

From the top of the monastery

Overlooking Mosul.

Overlooking Mosul.

One of my few pics from when we visited the Yazidi village.

One of my few pics from when we visited the Yazidi village.

Inside Erbil's citadel. This architecture predates Jesus.

Inside Erbil’s citadel. This architecture predates Jesus.

DSC00619