Sunday, September 13, 2009

A lovely postcard from Iraq!!!

I am beaming with joy! Today, I received a new country to my collection, my 80th country, Iraq! Courtesy of a private swap from Milad E. Zia! Thannnk you!! The stamp franked on this lovely postcard belongs to "The rejection of violence and the national reconciliation" series, issued on 27th October 2008. Although it's still a long and tough way for war-torn Iraq, the release of these postage stamps was a great step of conveying its commitment towards national reconciliation. This postcard depicts the great Tigris river overlooking Abu Nawas Street in Baghdad. For decades Abu Nawas Street, named after a 9th-century Persian poet, was one of Baghdad’s most famous landmarks. During its heyday, the wide street was lined with fish restaurants, nightclubs and a park with grass so lush and soft it felt like a carpet of flower petals. In the summertime when the air cooled and the day waned, families gathered for picnics along the riverbanks, and young lovers strolled along the banks of the Tigris River and found anonymity under the magnificent old eucalyptus trees.

But it became a no-go zone shortly after U.S. occupation in 2003. It was only reopened in November 2007 after a $5 million facelift. Hopefully, the reopening of Abu Nawas will lift public spirits, as people may start believing there's a chance that the worst times are now behind them.
The postcard was postmarked on 23 August 2009 in Baghdad and took 20 days to travel an estimated distance of 7,118kms to reach me. It is indeed a special addition to my postcards collection!

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