IRAK – IRAQ – جمهورية العراق

Bagdadska dobrodoslica-Baghdad welcomes you

Bagdadska dobrodoslica-Baghdad welcomes you

Jedan od najstarijih islamskih univerziteta-Al-Mustansiriya, one of the oldest Islamic Universities

Jedan od najstarijih islamskih univerziteta-Al-Mustansiriya, one of the oldest Islamic Universities

Ocuvana kolonijalna zgrada-Preserved colonial-style building in Baghdad

Ocuvana kolonijalna zgrada-Preserved colonial-style building in Baghdad

Odbrana od terorizma-Protection from terrorism

Odbrana od terorizma-Protection from terrorism

Pescana oluja na aerodromu-Sand storm at the airport

Pescana oluja na aerodromu-Sand storm at the airport

Spomenik slobode na Tahrir skveru-The Freedom Monument in al-Tahrir Square

Spomenik slobode na Tahrir skveru-The Freedom Monument in al-Tahrir Square

Reka Tigar-The Tigris River

Reka Tigar-The Tigris River

Moderna dzamija-A modern mosque

Moderna dzamija-A modern mosque

Aladinov trg ispred Narodnog pozorista u Bagdadu-Aladdin's Square in front of the National Theatre in Baghdad

Aladinov trg ispred Narodnog pozorista u Bagdadu-Aladdin’s Square in front of the National Theatre in Baghdad

Almutanabbi Street in Baghdad

Almutanabbi Street in Baghdad

Bagdadska dobrodoslica-Baghdad welcomes you

Bagdadska dobrodoslica-Baghdad welcomes you

Pre mnogo godina, prilikom boravka u Siriji, po završetku izleta, umoran vozač je na kraju dana rekao da će me besplatno voditi na mesta koja inače ne bih video. Na moj komentar kako su Sirijci fini, on je odgovorio: “Ali da vidiš kako su tek Iračani fini!” Tu iračku finoću, nažalost, nisam uspeo da sagledam u vrtlogu ratnih događaja, koji su zahvatili tu zemlju, u kojoj sam se baš u tim trenucima našao, u trenutku u kome je vladao terorizam, bombaši samoubice, sveopšti strah, pri čemu se, nažalost, gubi svaka finoća. Ipak, oni ljudi koje sam sretao u bezbednosnim zonama kuda sam se kretao, odavali su smirenost, otmenost i manire dostojne milenujumske vavilonske kulture, u porečju Eufrata i Tigrisa, koje ovoga puta, nažalost, neću videti. Kao što neću videti ni ostatke čuvene Vavilonske kule, koja je za mene bila večita opsesija i nedokučiva tajna, kao kad posmatram istoimenu Brojgelovu sliku. Oko oronulih delova te kule, u njenom podnožju, igraju se iračka deca na zarđalim ostacima ringišpila i svojim osmesima i pogledima mole za mir. Ipak, ljudi iz kompanije SkyLink, koji brinu o meni, skeptično kažu da je sada nije pogodna situacija za posetu tom mestu.

I kao kada u bilo kom sukobu nestaje finoća, tako i u ovom iračkom ona se gubi u građanskom sukobu nesagledivih razmera, posebno između šiitskih i sunitskih verskih zajednica, Arapa i Kurda, komšija i prijatelja. I Sadama bi vremenom oduvao vetar nadolazećih arapskih revolucija, jer ako se objektivno sagledaju  kasniji događaji, a posebno žrtve, onda sigurno nije toliko vredelo nasilno obaranje jednog režima. Odvojiće se Kurdistan na severu, iscrpeće se naftne rezerve ove zemlje, a građanskim ratom će, od jedne moćne države i regionalne sile, ona planski postati oslabljena.

Zvuči, nažalost, veoma poznato.

Avgust 2009.
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Many years ago, while visiting Syria, at the end of a day trip, my tired driver said that he would drive me for free to the places I would not otherwise see. To my comment that Syrians are such nice people, he replied: ‘You should see how nice Iraqis are!’ Unfortunately I was unable to see that niceness in the maelstrom of the war events that had broken out in the country just as I was visiting, with current state of affairs in which terrorism, suicide bombers and widespread fear reign, unfortunately making any niceness disappear. Yet the people I ran into in the safe zones where I was based displayed calm, refinement and manners worthy of millenniums of the Babylonian culture that thrived in the valleys of the Euphrates and the Tigris, which sadly, this time, I could not see. Also I will not see the remains of the famous Babylon Tower, which was a perpetual obsession of mine as well as an unfathomable mystery, much like Breughel’s painting bearing the same name. At the foot of the remnants of the dilapidated tower cute Iraqi children play with broken and rusty parts of a merry-go-round, their eyes and smiles pleading for peace. Yet, people from the Skylink Company that look after me are also sceptical about the situation saying it has only got worse and far from perfect for visiting this place.

Like in any other conflict all kindness disappears, and in this Iraqi conflict it is lost in a civil war of endless proportions, especially between Shi’a and Sunni religious groups, between Arabs and Kurds, between neighbours and friends. Sooner or later Sadam would be blown away too by the wind of the upcoming Arabic revolutions, and if the events that occurred later as well as the number of victims were looked at in an objective way, the conclusion would be that forceful toppling of the regime was not worth it. Kurdistan in the North will eventually break away, all available oil resources will be exhausted and also the entire power of the country through civil war, and thus, as by a design, this strong country and regional power will be quite weakened.

Unfortunately this sounds all too familiar.

August 2009

 

Irački Kurdistan – Iraqi Kurdistan – ههرێمی کوردستان

Centralni trg u Erbilu sa pogledom na citadelu-Central square in Arbil with a view of Citadel

Centralni trg u Erbilu sa pogledom na citadelu-Central square in Arbil with a view of Citadel

Kurdska deca na travnjaku u gradskom parku-Kurdish children on a lawn in the city park

Kurdska deca na travnjaku u gradskom parku-Kurdish children on a lawn in the city park

Nacionalni heroj i oslobodilac predsednik Barzani-National hero and the liberator President Barzani

Nacionalni heroj i oslobodilac predsednik Barzani-National hero and the liberator President Barzani

Spomenik gradskom vladaru iz XII veka-A monument to the minister of Arbil from the 12th century

Spomenik gradskom vladaru iz XII veka-A monument to the minister of Arbil from the 12th century

Ulicna pijaca-A street market

Ulicna pijaca-A street market

Ostareli umorni Kurd-An old tired Kurd

Ostareli umorni Kurd-An old tired Kurd

Dzamija u dolini-A mosque in the valley

Dzamija u dolini-A mosque in the valley

Cajdzinica u Erbilu-Tea house in Arbil

Cajdzinica u Erbilu-Tea house in Arbil

Kurdistan je prostrana teritorija koja se nalazi u četiri zemlje: Iraku, Iranu, Turskoj i Siriji, a Kurdi veoma poseban narod, koji, izgleda, svima smeta. Vekovno sistematsko proterivanje i uništavanje, ipak, nije uspelo da ih ukloni iz ovih predela u kojima su njihovi koreni, kao i njihova stalna težnja za nezavisnošću i slobodom.

Nekoliko, rekao bih, prelaznih religija izmedju hrišćanstva i muhamedanstva, pa delom i dalekoistočnih religija, našlo je svoj suživot na ovom kurdskom prostoru: sufi, zaratustra, jezidizam, jarsanizam, potekli su iz jedne stare i univerzalne religije, koja se nazivala Kult anđela. Šiiti i Suniti, hrišćani i Jevreji, svi zajedno su prisutni na ovim prostorima u okviru svojih verskih zajednica, koje tu postoje stotinama godina, i čine jedinstven religiozni spoj.

Posle dugih borbi sa svim režimima, Kurdi su dobili široku autonomiju u Iraku i sada je njihov razvoj veoma brz. Zbog toga deluju kao srećan i otvoren narod.

Erbil je glavni grad Iračkog Kurdistana i, sa svojom osam hiljada godina starom istorijom, ubraja se u najstarija naseljena mesta na svetu. Velika kružna tvrđava visokih zidina u centru grada, koja se jedino iz vazduha vidi u celini, odiše misterijom davnih vremena i čeka trenutak kada će biti obnovljena. Ogromna zastava Iračkog Kurdistana vijori se sa nje, dok se na glavnoj kapiji nalazi veliki spomenik upravniku ovog grada, istoričaru i piscu iz XII veka, koji se zvao Ibn Almustawfi.

Pored zidina tvrđave odvija se gradski život, u velikom Qaysari bazaru, trgovima i parkovima. Svuda se prodaje američka vojna odeća i obuća za uslove ratovanja u pustinji; kad ih već nisam kupio godinu dana ranije u Iraku, lagane čizme boje peska ovde su me sačekale.

Ratovanje je ovom narodu oduvek bilo sastavni deo zivota, samo u novijoj istoriji od Septembarske revolucije šezdesetih godina XX veka, do borbe protiv Sadamovog režima, koji je želeo da ih uništi. Predsednik Barzani i njegov otac, kao već legendarni borci, izneli su borbu za slobodu i autonomiju koju su vodili njihovi preci i ratnici koji su se zvali peshmerga, u prevodu, “onaj koji gleda smrti u oči”. U novom Iraku kurdsko pitanje je naizgled rešeno, međutim, i dalje ostaju problemi sa Kurdima u ostalim zemljama, u kojima oni nisu omiljena nacionalna manjina.

Zajednička država svih Kurda, koja bi, možda, rešila njihove probleme, za sada je, ipak, samo san.

Mart 2011.
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Kurdistan is a massive region encompassing parts of four countries: Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, and Kurds are a people apart that seem to bother everyone. Systematic persecution and genocide over the centuries still did not manage to extinguish them in these regions, nor did it quench their eternal drive for independence and freedom. Several, I would say transitional religions between Christianity and Islam have found their place here, Sufism, Zoroastrianism, Yazidism, Yarsanism – they have all originated from an ancient universal religion that was called The Cult of Angels. Shi’a and Sunni, Christians and Jews all co-exist here with their religious groups that are centuries old and like nowhere else in the world, they make a unique religious admixture.

After a long fight with all different regimes, the Kurds have gained a vast autonomy in Iraq and their development is consequently very fast. Because of that they seem to be a happy and open-minded people.                                                                                       Erbil is the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan and with its eight thousand years long history it is one of the most ancient inhabited places in the world. A vast rotund fortress with tall ramparts in the city centre, visible in its totality only from the air, exudes a mystical spirit of the ancient times and patiently awaits its restoration. At its top a huge flag of the Iraqi Kurdistan is billowing, while at the  main gates there is a big monument to the Mayor, a historian and writer from the 12th century, Ibn Almustawfi.

Next to the fortress walls everyday life goes on, in the vast Qaysari Bazaar, squares and parks. American army uniforms and footwear for desert combat is sold on every corner; and if I did not buy a pair of light sandy coloured boots a year earlier in Iraq, now I could not avoid them.

Warfare has always been an integral part of these people’s life, only in the recent history starting from the September revolution in the 1960s through to the fight against Saddam’s regime, which wanted to destroy them. President Barzani and his father, the legendary fighters, carried through the fight for freedom and autonomy that was started by their predecessors and warriors called peshmerga which means ‘those who look death in the eye’. In the new Iraqi state the Kurdish question seems to have been resolved, but in other countries where they are not ‘a favourite’ minority, problems remain.

A common state for all the Kurds, that would resolve all the problems, still remains only a dream.

March 2011

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