The last time I visited Iraq, it was really awesome. I had an amazing time. I was there for a journalism working group and I really did not know what to expect.
I was a graduate student at that time and our lead contact insisted that we go to restaurants and bars. In other words, she insisted that our group have a normal nightlife while studying in Iraq.
Now, let me be clear, that idea did not exactly go over well. I would say that that idea went over like a lead balloon.
People were kind of rolling their eyes. Other people had glazed looks of concern on their faces. Other people had that dismissive look that you can most accurately read as “no you didn’t.
But in hindsight, it actually turned out to be one of the best ideas anybody had as far as our group was concerned.
When we spent our nightlife in Iraq, it was really like any other place in the world. There were a lot of people singing, there were a lot of great food, there were all sorts of lights, sounds, smells. In other words, it’s all about local culture.
And I was glad that we really let our hair down despite of the fact that Iraq, let’s get honest here, doesn’t exactly have a solid gold reputation as far as personal safety is concerned. This is the reality on the ground.
But when it comes to certain parts of Baghdad and just a general human will and determination to have a normal life against all odds, Iraq is right up there. Because if there’s any one thing that Iraq taught me, it taught me that Iraqi people are survivors.
I’m not just talking about surviving by keeping body and soul together. I’m not just talking about surviving to get from one day to the next. That’s just living.
I’m talking about surviving and thriving. I’m talking about surviving and letting your soul soar.
And the more I walked around in Baghdad and its surrounding areas, the more I saw that Iraq is a country or survivors. This is a country of people who are looking to build a greater future for themselves and their family.
And nothing really highlighted this to me than when I went to this open square with my friends and we saw street musicians playing the most emotional and soul-striking ukulele music.
What really got to me was when one street musician played an acoustic ukulele version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” That song is so personal to me and it really blew my mind to see it played, and of all places in the world, Iraq.
So it inspired me so much that I decided to play the ukulele. I wish I learned about this place that offers all sorts of incisive and insightful ukulele reviews because if I did, I probably would have not only saved a lot of money, but I probably would have gotten a better sounding ukulele.
Still, the first song that I learned to play off my new basic ukulele is, you guessed it, Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” It really is an amazing song. It communicates on so many levels.
If you want to know how to get the best ukulele, whether you are based in Iraq or you’re just traveling through or you are located elsewhere, get more info here.