Small Wins

As in many facets of life, small wins are critical in recovery too. Here is a litany of firsts I accomplished in the last three weeks, in my ongoing recovery from knee surgery: ▶ Standing with weight evenly distributed on both legs, without a crutch or having to brace myself on something. ▶ Lifting my…More

Small Steps Forward

Walking is a step by step process. Swing leg forward, straighten, tighten quad muscles, connect to the ground with heel. Keep the quads tensed, shift weight fully onto leg and through the foot, and bring the whole leg back like that as you shift forwards. The crutch is there just in case; don’t lean on…More

Iraq on my Mind

It was fun writing the recent set of vignettes, reliving the warm gold of Kurdish summer in 2019. But it begs the question: it’s 2021, why am I stuck in 2019?More

Heavenly Sunset

☀️ Somewhere outside Sulaymaniyah city. Kurdistan, Iraq, 2019. This spot was one of those heaven-on-earth encounters. At sunset, the farmers would herd cows and geese across the lower slope of the mountains, towards the village. From the top of the ridge, where @ihsanibraheem and I were waiting with cameras at the ready, you could hear the odd…More

Chai Seller

☀️ Sulaymaniyah city. Kurdistan, Iraq, 2019. At the top of the mountain, after Ihsan and I were done chasing frames of paragliders in the sunset, it was time to have tea. Of course, there was a tea merchant on the mountain top (along with vendors selling food), with his samovar and glasses and sugar vats gleaming in…More