Monday, January 11, 2010

Beautiful Mosul

After spending Christmas in Munich, we took to the skies to head back home to Doha. The flight was good. The service was fair. The food was edible.

As the sun began to set, we crossed the border of southern Turkey into Iraqi airspace. I was rather shocked to see that this was the route we were taking. On our way to Germany, we skirted right around Iraq. I thought there was probably a valid reason for that. But, heading home, we flew straight down the middle of the country. From the air, I looked down and was able to see cities that I had heard about in the news. Mosul was one that we passed over. The lights were bright and easy to see. The sky was clear. There were cars and trucks driving on the highways leading in and out of town. The way the city is set up, it looked like a spiderweb, with well lit main roads circling towards the center. From where I sat, there was no way to tell that below laid a main city in a war torn nation. When I got home, I checked the news on the internet to find out what was going on in Mosul; to get a sense of what was happening there. All I could find were tales of kidnappings, bombs, arrests, fire fights and death...all within the week prior to us flying over. I would check the news again periodically only to see that the situation seemed to worsen as the days went on. Yet, from the sky, it looked like such a peaceful place...a city like any other, with people living as normally as anyone else. The view from above betrayed the horrors and mayhem of life in Mosul. What looked like a decent place from the sky is really rather scary. What looked pretty from a distance is really quite ugly close up. There must be a lesson or two to be learned here, no?

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