Surprise Journey through Basra Marshland
While most people talk about the protest in Hong Kong, which is horrible in its own right no matter which side you’re on, there is a forgotten protest that is still continuing all over Iraq. The violence and casualties of the protest are on a different scale. Last time I checked, there were already over 300 deaths and thousands more injured. Yet you will hardly see this mentioned on the news in mainstream media.
How did it affect me and expat workers here? Not much to be honest. Besides the occasional inconvenience like evacuation drills or small disruptions to business operations, our daily routine remains the same. Everyone is sympathetic to the grievances of local people, but we are also worried that angry protesters might try to break into the oil field and escalate the situation. That happened last year during another protest in the city.
I feel guilty for saying this, but this small inconvenience turned out to be one of the best road trips I’ve had in Basra. As we prepared to leave the camp for my off-shift, the security team told us that the main highway to airport was blocked by the protesters…and that we would have to take a long detour. I wasn’t happy at first, but as we slowly made our way through the rural area, I realized I was treated to a nice surprise. This 3-hour journey took us through a beautiful marsh land called East Hammar. On a rainy morning, this just made the whole journey so enjoyable.
I’ll admit that I’m being a little selfish. I wish I could go back to see the marshland. But it probably wouldn’t happen again unless there is protest, which is never a good thing for anybody here.
For further read about the famed Iraqi marshland, visit: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/07/150709-iraq-marsh-arabs-middle-east-water-environment-world/