Ibtesam Tahir (Sam)
London is like an old friend that never changes, sometimes we go our separate ways, but when reunited, we pick up where we left off. I don’t ever feel lost in London. The streets feel reassuringly familiar.
My daughter bought us tickets to visit Baghdad for my birthday, for her it was the first time to visit her motherland.
But Baghdad is not the same, every time I go there I feel like a stranger , I have to pretend that I haven’t left, yet I have to ask, what the name of this street? And try hard to not look out of place.
The wars, the sanctions, the lack of love for the city and the irresponsible leaders , destroyed my Baghdad many times, but she is very strong city. She continues to rises up like a Phoenix reborn from the ashes.
Baghdad Is one of the oldest cities, once the capital of the Islamic empire of the Abassi era. Abu Jaafar Al-Mansoor the first Khalifa (Emperor) chose Baghdad to be the Capital, for its location and the weather. They said he put a piece of raw meat outside his tent, the next day he found it still fresh. so he decided to build Baghdad.
Baghdad was the heart of education and had the first universities and built vast libraries, and was the Paris for the fashion of that era. Very rich in every aspect, history, architecture, trade and science.
Now, Baghdad is unbarably hot, in July and August, you cannot stay outside for more than a few minutes, or inside without air-condition or at least a fan to bear the heat! there is no rain for the most of the year! In winter, it will rain few hours for one or two days only. The environment has changed dramatically. The wars and the sanctions destroyed the environment, the green belt has now disappeared, the date palm trees have been cut down during the war with Iran, and the sanctions forced the people to cut the trees for fuel.
But, you have to admire the strength of the soil, and the determination of the people, despite the shortage of water from Didgla (Tigers) the only river that runs through Baghdad, dividing Baghdad into two sides (Karchk and Risafa). There are many gardens and many trees planted. Didgla now struggles with the Turkish control of the source of the river, and constant building of dams that prevented the water to flow into the Iraq. Yet no one says anything to stop them. Not even the environment-al bodies.
People try very hard to give Baghdad what she deserves, despite the daily struggle to survive.
The Freedom Monument, is the most famous monuments in Baghdad, still sublime in front of the (Umma Park) the People Garden, which have been founded in 1959.
That monument tells the story of the Iraqi people, the history, there fight for freedom, their revolution and the victory. It has been created by the most famous sculpture Jawad Salim, who studied art and lived in Paris, made it like a banner carried by the people tell their history.
Ibtesam Tahir (Sam)