Erbil, Kurdistan Iraq

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Inna Bakker <>
Date: Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Subject: Fwd: # 3-------Erbil--capital of Kurdistan, Iraq

My dear family and friends

thank you for replying to my emails, some of you saw my photos ,some do not unfortunately, every time i use a different computer in a different hotel, put a lot of time and effort  to upload and email photos, this is the most visual  and pleasant part of traveling emails, but not working all the time.,

please let me know about it,

we flew Baku-Istanbul- Erbil,

please look at the map,

i learned a lot about Kurds, there are about 25 millions Kurds  in the world, they live in Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq and fight for independence and to have their country,

in Iraq, Kurdistan is an autonomy, kurds are very ancient people,lived in this region since 247 BC, they were conquered and converted by Arabs to Islam -SUNNI many centuries ago, Kurdish language belongs to Indo European group but they use Arabic alphabet, everywhere extra security, many check point, a lot of soldiers on the street, feels safe,

we toured old city,huge market, the oldest tea house, only for men, they wanted photos with me and gave me a present--framed picture of Erbil with 3 faces of their leaders--Barzani family  who fought for their independence,

Citadel is a very old round structure like a fort of the city, now it is a museum,

inside we visited Museum of Textile, got a photo of a men in a Kurdish outfit and photo of a soldier there, at lunch  we met a group of young ladies in Kurdish dresses celebrating graduation from medical and dental school, studying in English,

we met a Danish lady  from Baghdad working for USAID, she told us that all Westerners live in the compound, do not go out, very dangerous, always a lot of guards around every person,

people on the streets, in the hotel are very friendly, try to help very much, we see a lot of constructions, tour guide told us  that a lot of foreign companies are doing business here, they pump oil in the South of Kurdistan and share with Iraqi central government, economy is good,

Kurdish Jews lived here for generations, had a good relationship with tribal chieftains, many emigrated to Israel, settled around  Safed and Jerusalem, now about 150,000 of them there.

women on the streets dressed half and half in western and traditional Muslim clothes,  some cover faces,, weather was nice, about 20  C or 70 F,

food --a lot of lamb and vegetables, it was a very pleasant experience to be in Erbil,

there are beautiful mountains and ski resort.


my love to all, Inna

sorry, no  check spelling on this computer.

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