greetings from Baghdad

My best friend, Kaïss, a citizen of France since 1980, went home to Baghdad to attend his sister’s wedding. From Iraq, where he still is, he sent me a few photos.

brideweddingbagdad housetea chai

Iraqis drink large quantities of strong sweet tea called chai. The little glasses the tea is served in are called istikan.

bagdad one

Nearly a decade ago, one of Kaïss’s brothers was the victim of an Al Queda attack in the center of Baghdad. He survived, but a bullet was lodged in his spinal cord. Since then he is confined to a wheelchair. No Iraqi family is unaffected by the tyranny, terrorism, invasions and unspeakable violence that have occurred on their soil.

date trees

These are date palm trees. Before Saddam, Iraq’s thriving date industry was the largest in the world. No longer.

date trees two

old bagdad


The Bunniyah mosque with a dome like a Faberge egg. Below, pomegranates at Shorja market, Kaïss’s favorite fruit. When he was 5, Kaïss worked in this market.



This is a very good book written by Leilah Nadir, an Iraqi Canadian novelist and writer. I had given it to Kaïss’s brother a decade ago (I’m not quite sure why Kaïss sent me a photo of it.) Naomi Klein describes it “a book about what loss really means – the theft of history and homeland.”

6 thoughts on “greetings from Baghdad

  1. Thank you for these photos, Juliet and Kaïss. My heartfelt wishes to Kaïss, his family and the brave people of Iraq. They have been through so much tragedy. Too too much. I wish your friend safe passage back to France. God bless.

  2. What interesting images providing us with a glimpse into the daily activities and landscape of Baghdad. Like the above commenters, I too wish to extend my best wishes to your friend, his family and the Iraqi people. No-one deserves what they have been through. Tough, tough times. We have Iraqi neighbors here in Joliet (southwest of Chicago). Lovely people. Very family oriented.

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