Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018
Weather: 12°, icy conditions, sunny

I have the photos, I know I was there, but it is hard to believe that a short week ago I was in Baghdad.
Home has been distracting; too much to do, and accomplishing nothing. This is a somewhat familiar feeling/reaction from previous times away, though those were called vacations. Speaking of vacations, when I went through customs at JFK the agent opened my passport and said "Baghdad? Vacation?" with a tilt of his head and an amused expression. It seems no one visits Baghdad.

Walking the streets with Hasanein and Mazin shows that the face of Baghdad is a tangle, with rubble pushed to the side and trash on the streets. People were curious, friendly, respectful, and never did we fear for our safety. Many people have asked. The markets were active.

Onto this last post. I keep returning to the children and mothers. I wasn't able to assure them with certainty that their children would become well, but I was permitted entrance, with my camera, into the lives they were living on the third floor. It was a peculiar bubble of shared experience for them, in a limbo world, very much outside the normal day to day. I was fortunate to be welcomed into it.

Abdul Aziz, upon hearing good news.

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