First time I’ve seen it done up with flags! They even had cake afterwards.

It looks nice from the outside… but inside it was more of a hassle getting through security than even Baghdad. Our luggage made it out before we did.

Iraqi Airways picked up some old UA 737s, which made for a comfy flight to Basrah. Landed safely and talked my way through a supposedly expired visa — since I’m not leaving the country, they let me slide, but apparently the new rule is we need to get blood tests when we do finally depart. […]

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