Death in the Marshes

Their bulky silhouettes sashay with a grace that belies their girth, a languid gait, and a regular routine that requires no guidance, the blue light gives way to hazy dawn, where the mist mixes with the smoke from clay ovens, and the boys are heading to the fields to work. Bubalus bubalis the beautiful Latin…

Read More

Thesiger, Me and Mesopotamia

Wilfred Thesiger died the summer of 2003, the same year I moved to Damascus, I remember hearing the news on the BBC World Service while living in one up one down hovel in the Old City. For those familiar with his life and work its probably no great surprise that his was a source of…

Read More

Day Trip to Basra

We had visas and letters of introduction and were quickly ushered towards the diplomatic booth, the guard look at the ink smudged pages of my passport with a bemused smirk and called to his colleague for guidance, the advice was simple, just stamp them in. He did and we were. As frontiers go Basra international…

Read More