I remember when the guards at the Iraqi airport paced nervously back and forth, eyes alert. Then, a few months later, next time I went through, they were casually walking about and laughing. Now, they look bored.
Again, at first, the Iraqi airport was a defunct, silent edifice upon my first arrival, shaken often by explosions. Last few times through I saw one or two advertisements popping up. Now there are several more ads, including one announcing a new business expo in “Kurdistan,” to talk about business advantages in the new Iraq.
And now our airline rides in take longer approaches instead of spiraling madly in until right at the end and are manned by Arabs instead of Russians. Which is a shame because the Russian crews fed us a whole meal instead of a snack. Nonetheless, signs of change. With Ramadan and an election approaching in two weeks things may spark back up, but clearly things are better overall.
Interestingly, I hear rumors about a huge oil reserve in Western Iraq, yet untapped, as well as a gigantic natural gas reserve! If you haven’t invested in Iraq, your window of opportunity may not last much longer! If we can just get a government here, Iraq may be unrecognizable in a few years for its new prosperity.