I finally made it out of Baghdad this morning after much waiting in lines and dealing with a mixture of impatient or uncaring people. Nevertheless, the airplane took off and landed safely in Dubai two hours and ten minutes later.
I woke up this morning and was astounded by the change in weather. The biblical sandstorm had left, leaving behind blue skies and a slight breeze. The world remained covered with a fine, brown powder, something that reminded me of a light snow storm. The dust was everywhere, both inside and out. It's amazing how it permeates everything; there is no defense, and no hiding from it. I can't imagine what chronic exposure does to people's respiratory systems.
Tonight, onward to Atlanta.