Baghdad, a colony to come (2002)

A gentlemen who resides in the block apartment where I live,

and is an MA student of engineering at UCL,

spent the first 12 years of his life in his native Iraq

before his family had moved to Northern England

during the outbreak the Iran-Iraq war.

He speaks of the deep and interesting antiquity

of the Tigris Euphrates region near present day Baghdad,

while giving clues to the cultural practices of the present day occupants.

He has proven himself to be quite knowledgeable

concerning the history of the Ottoman Empire

as well, and is not short on the important points

of the contemporary social and political configurations of the region.

I can only feel of a strong desire to be amongst the people

of this unfortunately politically volatile region

and taste the food and experience such the different climate.

Another intrigue is to witness the devastation

that the UK and American alliance has brought to the people of Iraq,

and further to see the authoritarianism of the Iraqi government and the oppression

caused by the omnipotent authority of its ruler.

I feel that it would be best to visit now before it becomes a colony

of the US,

and designated for ‘Disney in the Desert’.

I have been consulting atlases and books

but I know not where I shall go and perhaps I shall simply return to New York,

where I can find much discontentment and unease.

adapted from a letter to the US,

from London written

and sent August 19, 2002