Live from Baghdad

Things are going pretty well over here, considering this is a combat zone and all. I’ve been on a couple of patrols and have been amazed at how interesting some of the parts of Baghdad are… as well as how utterly and completely dirty and filled with trash parts of Baghdad are. The Iraqis, it seems, have no concept of a dump site (the U.S. is building the first one in the country right now) as the average person will dump their trash onto the street curb where it will eventually be lit afire. If you thought smog in L.A. was bad… it’s nothing compared to Baghdad.

The sound of small arms fire off in the distance, mortars, or a gunship passing over a neighborhood is as common as the five daily calls to prayer. In a city the size of
Baghdad there are hundreds of thousands of seperate calls to prayer. They don’t always go at the same time, and you can hear one start in one neighborhood, while another is ending in an area opposite your location.

This morning while on guard duty, it seemed that the city was asleep (a rare moment of quiet) and I watched the stars above me spin their slow dance. The nearest call to prayer began and the singing was beautiful. It lent a very nice touch to the already calm moment in the cool dark blue of a desert night. After a few minutes another call to prayer started at another mosque, this time the singer was not nearly as talented, and it ruined the melody of the first.


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