The Road Less Travelled...

Backpaq in Iraq?

I happened to come across a blog by Leon, a 24-year-old American, that details his incredible journey backpacking into post-Saddam Iraq, meeting townspeople on the street, eating local food, and engaging in amazing conversations with citizens he met along the way. The depth and details he provides in his account are nothing you'll ever read in a mainstream newspaper, magazine, or a cable news show.


The links provided on the right side of his webpage take you through an interesting diary with ample photographs, including this one of the 'pseudo-McDonalds' (above) found in the Kurdish areas of Iraq.

The Iraqis I met were all delighted to meet a civilian American--most of them have never seen one without a rifle at arm's reach. Just as they wanted to convince me that not all Iraqis are maniacs throwing stones at soldiers, so too did I want to show them that Americans are nice, open-minded people who have no quarrel with Muslims or Arabs. As a tourist, I could walk the streets freely and talk to people as I liked. I didn't have a cumbersome motorcade or armed escort following me around, which I think encouraged people to open up.

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