Iraq Travel Stories, Page 7


I almost never get to stay in a hotel with CNN.

I really should not watch it, but I am in a hotel for 13 dollars and

it has free breakfast, CNN and no toilet paper.

But I am going to stop watching CNN for my own personal mental health.

I listened to them and get very angry. They just misconstrue the world until

you believe the lie they present in the name of making money.

Frustrations in Iraq.

1. Racist views and the support of Terrorist in Palestine.

NOTE: They do not suport this in their own country.

2. Women are treated inferior.

3. CNN and BBC are lieing.

4. The USA just eat this crap.

5. An obious apathy on the part of 90 percent of my reader of newsletter.

The blog is little different. But the newsletter readers sort of only like the good photos

and the fun story.


Aagh. The world change very fast in Iraq for me and Peter.

We was planning on leaving on the bus today.

But it got delay for a reason I do not think I should explain.

Nothing bad, but real stupid.

I bought 100 dollars worth of Saddam Dinars yesterday.

This like having a pile of 4 books. Very big.


I get kinda I gonna have a lot of problems when I roam around the mid east like your doing??? I am a girl....woman, I wish I was a guy(for travel purpose only) but Im not. Will I be able to go to Iran, Iraq,Petra, or will I get in trouble cuz Im female???

Much Love & Light

Deborah From Cow Country


This is a difficult question? Will YOU get in trouble?

It depends on how you talk with people and the level that can be diplomatic.

Here is question I pose:

Can you lie all the time?

If you can, then no problem for you.

For me this is always the problem.

If I am totally honest it become dangerous.

People all the time say,

"Say you are from Canada."

That would not do any good here.

I need to say I agree with the Palenstine side to be safe.

I cannot say my opionion. Sadly most of the world can lie on a moments notice.

It is not may way.


The nice thing about men is they think with their D@#$.

So you can more or less wrap them around your finger.

The question is about clothing. If you will cover yourself and not be western

then you probably can be OK. But do you want to be Islamic? Do you want and

is it OK to you that they consider you lesser, or maybe inferior?

It is self esteem questions and how you feel about being treated.

Most people that come here in one way or the other hate the USA.

This make life easy. Just go along. If you love the USA or agree with most of the policy.

Then it is dangerous. MOST is a big point. I do agree with most, not all, but from my

life experience I am positive that the world would be in worst shape without the USA.

That simple.

I think Iraq is much much better to travel in then IRAN. I do not know Petra or where it is?

Turkey in many ways is more Islamic then Iraq. Saddam made this place more secular.

But in the end he jumped on the Islamic wagon.



I am not sure what to say about the Scholars. Bashar brought up the USA visit. In many way all the boys in Mosul want to do is to have freedom to go to the USA. That does not mean they want to be good people. I told them of sister city after they wanted to do exchange. I know they will never get out the country as just normal people. But to me the emphasis was on reciprocity. I do not know my American friend. I am not happy with the way they look at the world. It is sort of like asking a guy from the Klu Klux Klan over to your house for dinner. Would you do this? Welcome them and try to make the feel safe and warm. I am not sure. The inherent desire to keep women and Jewish people in the name of God is against my abilty to accept.

I would not invite or welcome in any world the Klu Klux Clan and this poses the same dilemna.


There is a second question besides the "What do you think of Kurdish Women?"

The 2nd question is,

"What do you think of Americas Middle East Policy?"

Now this question could mean about 100 different policies or stance. But lets face it.

It means,

"What do you think of the USA supporting Israel?"

I had fun with the English student..

I said,

"That killing women and children with a suicide bomb is Taboo."

He did not understand Taboo.

I said,

"It is like me having sex with a Kurdish girl you may kill me."

The same. It violates my culture of acceptable behaviour.

I then added.

"Do it too many time and eventually there may be a country missing."

I actually said that statement in a way that my family and friends

and the politically correct would not like.

But he got a little fear look in his eye.

I did not think he believe a person could think that was possilbe,

and I suppose Hiroshima did not think that could happen, as the

USA did not think September 11th could happen, as the UN did not

think that the bombing could happen. What is unthinkable can happen.


Now are friend does not want to drive to Baghdad.

I think we will take full size bus to Baghdad.


I pretty much ignore spam. But this virus is really obnoxious.

Hope I cannot get it on my computer by downloading pages. does a sort of cleaning.


The Palestine and Sheraton Hotels are the HQ for all the journalists;

they're right across the street from each other and awesomely defended

(with tanks). The Palestine is $60/night.

But right across from and behind the Palestine is the Al-Fanar on

Abu-Nawas street, which is your best bet. $20/night, breakfast and dinner

included. Rooms available, don't worry about it. Ask the cab driver for the


He should know right off where it is. If he doesn't, ask for the

Palestine or Sheraton, get inside the security cordon there (you don't

have to be a guest of the hotel), and ask for directions (it's less than a

block, and within sight of the security perimeter, so you should be ok.) On

the totally remote chance the Al-Fanar is full, they're very helpful and

can help you find other places. I know there are a couple hotels next


Is it safe to walk around? Well, sort of. Most business shuts down

around 4 or 5pm since that's when the "ali babas" come out, and it's not safe

after that time. Mornings and early afternoons are the safest time of the


Try to arrive then, but the streets bordering the Palestine/Sheraton

compound aren't too bad any time of day (except for aggressive begging

kids). I've walked through a couple areas that, I would find out later,


"no-go" areas. I think they were shocked to see a Westerner walking

alone without an escort or convoy--I made sure not to go back that way

though, on the off chance someone got the courage to try something.

Traffic here is complete disarray--try to get some pictures of it on

your way in. People going the wrong way up freeway onramps, every

intersection is jammed, etc.

Thanks from JJ.

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