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I am sitting here behind the desk of the Harbur Hotel in Silopi, Turkey. A man is asking in English if the telephone can receive an international call. I answer for the manager that does not understand English,

"Yes, you can receive a call in your room. I did the other day. I am not sure if you can call out from the room."

He says,

"Thank you, good. I can talk to someone."

I ask him,

"Where are you from?"

He says,


I am a litle credulous. Hmm, why does he not know Kurdish I am thinking?

But the Kurdish and the Arabic are not big friends.

I reach out and shake hands,

He ask me where I am from and I say America.

He says,

"We are friends."

He is very happy to be able to leave the country. With Saddam he was not able to leave the country. He has a PHD from England, and wanted to return to visit. Very educated.

He showed me his Iraq passpor, and we discussed the future.

He said,

"I hope they give me an American passport by the end of the year."

I tried to get clarification, but he means something about travel papers authorized by the USA. He does not like that his passport has a picture of Saddam on it.

He said,

"They will capture Saddam in the next week."

He was checking in to his room, and left. I will talk with my friend later.