Iraq: Farris Hassan and the Kurds

Even if you read the paper every day, as I tend to do, it can be quite hard to follow and comprehend the many angles
and nuances of various current events. The War in Iraq seems to be going crummy one day and OK the next, when there is
a vote and/or when you catch one of the infrequent stories that show life getting back to normal.

I bring up
the Iraq war specifically because a) you need to read this great story about the 16 year old kid who went there and came
back. And b) because of this great
interactive on the Kurds
that I recently saw over at National Geographic. The first story I bring up just because I
thought it was great.

So first things first, there was the story recently of the
American teenager Farris Hassan who was apparently Inspired by a high school journalism class, and then took off to
Iraq by himself to experience it for himself. Good for you Hassan! Just try to be careful next time. Well, in a
roundabout way, he made it to Iraq and made it back. Several soldiers who encountered him were quite astonished at his
courage…and/or naiveté. Anyway, great story.

Next we have the interactive on the Kurds, a ethic
group in Iraq who has sort of been left out of the story. The Kurds would very much like to have a slice of land to
call their own, and they were horribly treated by Saddam. Their story and some amazing photos can be seen over at
National Geographic. I realize its still vacation time, and you might not be in the mood for a history lesson, but
check it out anyway.