Thursday, July 5, 2007

Street Incident

Iraqi father and daughter standing atop their roof overlooking the neighborhood street below.

As we were driving out of the villa yesterday morning we passed a group of road workers standing around waiting to begin their work; shovels, rakes, dusty clothing, nothing out of the ordinary. In less than a second one of the workers raised a camera phone and snapped a picture as we went by. The world changed at that moment.

Our cars stopped in a storm of dust and one of our Iraqi security guys leapt from his car towards the guy with the phone. Heated words in Arabic were exchanged; we were stopped in the middle of the road, exposed, outside of our profile. In a flash escape routes were calculated, hands rested on readied weapons, clients were given orders, it became very tense and uncomfortable.

The Iraqi police rushed from down the street and grabbed the guy with the phone. We sped away in the dust, breathing deeply.

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