"Balam on the River Euphrates," near Chubayish, Iraq, Wilfred Thesiger, 1954. Carrying a load of reed mats downriver to Basra, this sailing bellam runs ahead of the prevailing northwesterly shamal wind. Mature reed was cut when dry in winter, split, woven into mats, then sailed downriver to market in time for the late summer date harvest. #cmarsh
Location: West Columbia, South Carolina, United States
I am an anthropologist, archaeologist, and geographer, engaged in re-building university programs in Iraq. I tend to think about life as lived over the past several thousand years, as well as over the past several hundred hours. I was not embedded in "hot" zones. I was just going about a very odd little bit of ordinary life, in extraordinary circumstances.