BOMB-DODGING is still a big part of travel here. So is the tangible fear that blankets the country. Foreigners, moving on the highways that join southern Arab Iraq with the northern autonomous Kurdish region chance roadside bombs and, more likely, incarceration and a beating by Iraqi authorities on the lookout for al-Queda, for the threat, for anything suspicious.
That said, it’s all worth seeing. Even the war-torn Baghdad Zoo. Find the right fixer. Skirt the roads. Fly between cities. Make a friend at one of the non-governmental organizations on the ground or get credentialed and embed with a military unit for a while if journalism is something…you can certify…you do.
When you get to the zoo, don’t forget to bribe one of the attendants to walk you into the monkey pen. The monkeys speak a little Arabic. Say “Salam Sadeeki” (hello friend) and one might shake your hand.
All photos by Daniel C. Britt.