Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kurdistann visit

Another travelogue. The post speaks for itself. Engaging piece of reporting.

Jonathan Dworkin, formerly of the blog Aspasia, is a medical student in his final year at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. For the past year he has organized a collaboration between Kurdish and American doctors with the twin goals of better defining the long-term consequences of Baathist chemical attacks on the Kurdish civilian population of Halabja and advocating for increased access to resources for the survivors. Jonathan is travelling in Iraqi Kurdistan from January to March of 2006 and will be sending occasional dispatches about his travels to the Washington Monthly. Here's his first one.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS....What’s the Kurdish word for chutzpah? I want to know after arriving at my window seat on Air Kurdistan and finding an old woman resting comfortably in my chair. I point to my ticket and act confused, but she just smiles serenely. “It’s ok,” she says, indicating the middle chair. The game repeats itself throughout the airplane, with arguments breaking out in a few places. Midway through the flight, when the woman starts vomiting, she refuses to surrender her window seat. Instead she climbs over her neighbors and carries plastic bags to and from the bathroom. It’s rudeness taken to an almost spiritual level.

More at the link. Nothing deep and turgid here. Just snapshots. But I'm looking forward to what comes next. Some polite encouragements in the comments, including a couple from Kurds.

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