So, still in the thick of it, three weeks and a hundred people, at least, and women's groups, independent radio station pioneers, new landscapes--river and grand foothills, plains and the mountains (behind those mountains, he told me, is Iran. I walked there once, with smugglers) , the thump and boom of industry, grit in the air and music--there is always music playing, somewhere, whether it's in sombre Erbil or the busier, more vibrant backlanes and market streets of Suleimanya, and everywhere people talking and gesticulating.
Those are the images, but nothing of the complexity, the politics . . . A country within in a country: but I never went to Iraq. The government in Baghdad and certainly the U.S. would like to think of 'northern Iraq' but northern Iraq doesn't exist; the place is called Kurdistan. And what I'm wrestling with is how to get some of it, what of it, into an essay . . .