Occasional dispatches from Iraq

Long story short, I have a friend in Iraq named Delshad. He is a Kurd and he lives in northern Iraq, in the northern no-fly zone. Last fall he was trying to get out of the country, but only got as far as Syria and then returned.
With the war on, I thought I’d post some excerpts from some of his messages to me, just to add his voice to the cacophony online as well as to give people a glimpse of life on the ground in Iraq.
Here’s part of what he sent me in January when he had to give up on his attempt to get out of the country:

Hello Dear Xian,
Here I am writing again from Iraq and sorry it is late! Yes I got back to Iraq after waiting more than 3 months in Damascus-Syria and eventually the leave plan I made with people in Iraq failed to work and I decided to return back to take the money back and think of another way to make a new life and future – it was a real hard time of worry and anxiety that I live in Syria but in another way it was very useful that it opened my eyes and brain to a life that exists out of iraq – something that I never knew how does it look like, just yesterday I sat with the planners of the failed plan to claim my money and gladly I could manage to get most of the money back without fights or troubles that was greatly expected to happen fiercely!! They will give the money but missing 25% which lot money but I have to be thankful that they didn’t deny the money issue or took more than that!
I am sorry I kept you worried for sometime but the internet in Damascus was not cheap neither quick so I wasn?t able to send pretty much emails! I was there going to Internet café and it wasn’t much convenient – in Damascus I was in a fine flat in a fine neighborhood and that was fine but still we had hard time in its late period there as all things where collapsing around me! It was great that I had one great Syrian friend I met through the Internet few months before moving to Syria and there I made few good friends as well? their existence in my life there was keeping me sane. I was there everyday doing nothing since the early morning till late night than just waiting for the news about leaving as we were always promised to leave next week and such promises extended our residence in Syria for more than 3 months and nothing happened at all.
I have now made a primary decision to go back to Syria by myself in March and start to apply to leave to anywhere – I just hope that no war to happen
till then or even after that cause the expected war will be catastrophic and will ruin the life here for long time!! I’m terrified to think about the future of this country and hear the American administration’s arrogant language of speech!

Now I’ll post some of the more recent messages.