When I was a little girl it was my dream to go to ancient city of Baghdad. Located on the Tigris River, I imagined my transportation to this amazing city would be via my 'magic flying carpet'. To me the land of the Persians promised unimaginable excitement and grand adventures that could not be equaled by any other city in the world. Little did I now that in the 8th Century Baghdad was built to be the 'perfect city'. I dreamed of the Arabian Nights, so many times that it seemed to become real to me. On occasion I would sit down on a rug in our home in Fremont, California believing that I could wish the carpet to fly me away to Baghdad.
Baghdad was a Mesopotamian treasure where I imagined beautiful architectural structures reaching out to the sun, the welcoming smell of the spices at the market places, the sounds of the ancient language of Persia ringing through the streets and the soft, warm breeze blowing through my delicate loose linen clothing. At this time I had no idea the history of this region, nor what was to become of it in my lifetime. While studying anthropology and archaeology the Gulf War started, and it broke my heart to find out that many of the ancient cities treasures had been stolen or destroyed. At the time the people of Baghdad could do little to nothing to stop their cultural heritage from being lost forever. When the war ended I breathed a sigh of relief, but then came the Iraq War. The museums again were looted and destroyed. Soon there were many scholars and leaders fighting not with guns, but with the drive and passion to save Iraq's cultural heritage.
It's important to remember our past because it shapes our future and it strengthens our communities. So keep a look out for these ancient artifacts and though I never took that magic carpet ride, I do still intend to visit Baghdad someday when the fighting stops.
Oh ... and Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!