My driver pulled up like a race car driver, I had a good chuckle about that. My driver told me he is from Iraq and was a National Guardsmen. He came here in 2010 and is now a citizen. The rest of his family is scattered around Europe. His daughter and ex-wife are still in Iraq, his ex didn’t want to move to the U.S.. He now has a girlfriend whom he plans to travel with this spring/summer. They will go to Turkey together, but then she will come back to the U.S. and he will continue on to Iraq so he can see his daughter and extended family. When I talked to him about his daughter, he seemed to have that special affection that some fathers have for their daughters, but he also got a lot quieter. I told him I was sorry if I brought up topics that were difficult. He said no, and that he was very proud of his daughter and that she was very smart. He also video chats with her nearly every day.

I found out in conversation that the girlfriend is American-born and nervous about traveling through Iraq. He thinks she would be safe with him. I didn’t say anything, but there are a lot of places in the world where women aren’t safe to travel, no matter what men say, and it’s BECAUSE of men. Thank goodness for pictures in books. But I imagine that he felt that because he was previously in the military, and because he drives like a maniac, he can handle anything that comes up. But not everyone wants to star in an action film.

Print of Kurdish Boys

Iraq Watercolor Map

Mini Ruins