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Sacred Ground: The Past and Present in Baghdad

Source: The New Internationalist

I am standing on sacred ground. Baghdad is a sharif city, with the graves of many Sufi saints buried in its much-contested soil. Near them are the graves of the Jewish prophets Ezekiel and Joshua. South of here, in Ur, the home of Abraham shares a barren plane with the site of the now reconstructed Sumerian ziggurat. And St Thomas sojourned in Basra, en route between Jerusalem and India.

But my friend Mohammed – a young Iraqi journalist who came of age during the invasion and the worst years of sectarian fighting – tells me, ‘We don’t visit the shrines so much these days. We are too busy visiting the graves of our loved ones.’ read more