Into Iraq

This is a new Michael Palin series, being shown on Channel 5 and opening up a place which is unknown to many. It's a country that has been defined by decades of war and conflict. Palin wants to explore a country that is looking to the future instead.

The first episode starts on a tributary of the River Tigris, which he follows for around 1000 miles, starting in Turkey on the shores of Lake Hazar.

Mesopotamia - the land between two rivers is a former name for this area. 6000 years ago it was the birth place of civilisation.

This is a country which has been opened up in recent years, but still retains some danger. The border crossing is also suitably problematic, involving local 'fixers' as always.

There is a book to accompany the series as well.

From the opening interview with his Kurdish guide, he is immediately into ideas of identity and the prohibitions on speaking their language, and explores the area with his usual curiousity and charm. 

Well worth taking a watch on Channel 5 / my5 


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