Friday, December 14, 2012

Beauty in the Most Unexpected Places

A view like this from a lanai on the west coast of Maui is definitely not unexpected. In fact, it is one of the reasons we keep returning to this beautiful island.

However, on my most recent trip, I brought along a copy of Michael J. Totten's Where the West Ends. Michael is a journalist who, in his spare time, travels to some fairly unusual places that are off the beaten path for most tourists --- like Iraq.

He and a friend traveled to Northern Iraq during the recent Iraqi war. To understand why and learn more about his experiences, you will have to get his book. All I will say is that the first story in the book is about his 24 hour trip to Iraq and it was intriguing enough to hold me attention through a bit of turbulence on a recent trip to the Isle of Maui. :)

Michael and friend visited the city of Duhok which is in Kurdish Iraq. In recounting his adventures, he describes Duhok as follows:

Duhok is unlike even the other Kurdish cities in Iraq, not to mention the Arab cities, in that it's colorful. Even from a distance the city has a pleasing aesthetic character thanks to the reds, blues, green, yellows, and oranges of the buildings and houses. ...........If you squint hard enough at it from a hilltop, it looks a little like Italy.
So, Michael had me hooked. All my images of Iraq related to the battle torn southern areas which have been ravaged by violence in recent years. Pleasing aesthetic? Italy? I was fascinated and wanted a photo or two. I googled 'Duhok images' and there was the proof. You definitely could see the color that Michael referred to.
 But what surprised me even more were some of the other images of the general area that I found:

Amazingly beautiful, aren't they? A good lesson for me in remembering not to quickly judge any area of this globe!

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