We mutely wonder what is wrong and unavoidably get to feel slightly irritated. The face of the armed men turns perceivably grimmer.
In a moment the silence is struck by a most unexpected question: ‘Real Madrid or Barcelona? Directly confronted by the authorities, it seems pointless to lie in such important matters. The question certainly felt much more benign than ‘Sunni or Shia?
The end of the Nowrooz holidays has dispatched our international travelling team and we continue on our own, regretting that their work-break was not longer, while we try to use our half learnt Kurdish words in between confused looks and attacks of laughter.The date of the elections is approaching and different political parties parade mobilising their supporters.The lively music and the crowd following the car dressed in costumes matching their party colours resemble more a festival than a political campaign.“Well, you see, the parties here are based on an ethnic principle and in their competition for domination often shoot at ech other’s offices.In Iraq there are three main Kurdish groups that speak different languages – Kurmanj who live in the north, Sorani here in Suleymaniah and Hawrami in the south.