Sunday, March 16, 2008

Gold Fringes

One week ago, the item at the top of my wish list was a spangly, sparkly Kurdish dress (complete with sparkly pointy-toed heels and gold-fake will do- jewelry) to wear over Nawruz and all the subsequent picnics and weddings. However, yesterday this wish was displaced.

Upon a brief stop in the parking lot of the apartments to pick up Mu, Dr Z and I saw J's "couch surfies" coming towards us lugging heavy backpacks! (Yes, there are people couch surfing even in Northern Iraq). They couldn't get visas for Iran and were headed to the airport to catch a flight to Jordan. Dr. Z magnanimously offered to drop them at the new airport terminal... or at least at the parking lot outside the high-security gates where they could catch a mini-bus to the terminal. WOW! The road to the airport was lined, not with palm trees - my No.1 favorite road-liner, but with the new (although temporary) Iraqi flag. Since my arrival here, only Kurdish flags could be seen in Hawler... but these flags (see above) were not only flags, but flags trimmed with gold fringes. At the gate to the airport, other flags were in evidence; the Kurdish flag followed by what must have been (no time to examine closely) the flags of the 19 nations currently represented at the Arab Parliamentary Union Conference taking place here at the Martyr Saad Conference Center. What do you think would happen to me if I tried to snag myself one of these flag commemorate of the Arab League's presence? (I already have a Kurdish one... the kind you can buy to decorate your vehicle's antennae).

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