Thursday, March 10, 2016

The day is ending. Warm and quiet. Even the donkeys aren’t complaining and pull the old wood

The day is ending. Warm and quiet. Even the donkeys aren’t complaining and pull the old wood plow with something like patience, no switch at their flanks, nothing but a whistle to drive them as they carve the first furrows of the season. A field-full of spring flowers falls, making way for potatoes, peppers, carrots, tomatoes. You’d never know the war, or the world, was only a couple hours away, until you look up and see, on the ridge top, an Iranian military observation post. Then you know nothing is ever very far away. 
photo by @yuri.kozyrev | words by @neilshea13 — The day is ending. Warm and quiet. Even the donkeys aren’t complaining and pull the old wood plow with something like patience, no switch at their flanks, nothing but a whistle to drive them as they carve the first furrows of the season. A field-full of spring flowers falls, making way for potatoes, peppers, carrots, tomatoes. You’d never know the war, or the world, was only a couple hours away, until you look up and see, on the ridge top, an Iranian military observation post. Then you know nothing is ever very far away. Omer, wearing pressed white shirt and immaculate gray coat, guides the plow while his niece, in a long red dress, guides the beasts. The whole family helps, a whole village prepares. Spring a brief sweetness under the mountain wall. In a graveyard below this field large stones loom out of tall grass. Omer says they’re old, Ottoman Turks, dead so long no one remembers their names. But still the Turks come, from time to time, and bomb the valley, for it is a favorite hiding place of Kurdish rebels who, from time to time, bomb Turkey. Omer and his family, caught between, try simply to live. They won’t leave—this middle ground is too good to abandon, and in the house they now have electricity. Omer kicks at loose clods and says, Perhaps they will not bomb civilians. Inshallah, I reply. His wife brings water on a silver tray while his youngest daughter, Sumaiya, trips through the furrows to her father’s side. Omer plucks her up and heaves her hip-ward and says You are useless, my love. She smiles softly, patiently, as though he is missing the point, and wipes her dirty hands down his coat. — This is the second post in a series from Kurdistan, which follows our feature article in the March 2016 issue of @natgeo magazine. Join us @neilshea13 and @yuri.kozyrev for more from The Other Iraq, where the Kurds battle ISIS and struggle to preserve their young democracy. — #iraq #kurdistan #zagros #mountains #peshmerga #isis #turkey #iran #rebels #pkk #pjak #inshallah #labor #tradition #farmer #everydayiraq #theotheriraq2016 @noorimages
A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on




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