In Kurdistan

In Kurdistan

In 2012 I read an article on an Iraqi news site about a small, historic town in Iraqi Kurdistan that was battling to save its architectural and cultural heritage from unregulated development amid economic hardship. The town was called al-Amadiya, or Amedi, and the accompanying picture of it was amazing, showing buildings crammed together on…

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Top Gear, sour grapes

Top Gear, sour grapes

It was last January – Jan 2010, that is – when I first heard that a BBC researcher from Top Gear was interested in having a chat with me about a Christmas special they were planning, where the three presenters – Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – would drive across the Middle East….

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And the winner is…

And the winner is…

When Kathryn Bigelow stood up to accept the Best Director Oscar yesterday – for The Hurt Locker, a movie about a US army bomb-disposal unit in Iraq – she dedicated the award to the people of Jordan, where the film was shot. For a modest, often-overlooked country in a region of big headlines, such a…

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