We left Iraq yesterday after having the chance to visit a local Yazidi village called Sharia where children were going NUTS enjoying a year-old playground donated to the city by generous Christians from the U.S. The city of 6000-9000 is a "collective" — a city of people that was created when Saddam forced people from their homes, destroyed their villages, & relocated them into one central location (better to control, I guess).
You can see pictures of their old playground above (click to enlarge):
Here are shots of the kids, the new playground, & their caretaker.
P.S. Have I got a border crossing story to tell. It's coming to the blog, but I don't have time to tell everyone now. Here a teaser: it involves me getting separated from our group & going back the wrong direction (by myself) with a very small-time smuggler. :-) No danger at any time. Just a raised BP. 🙂