Having spent most of my National Service at Basra in Iraq back in 1955 and 1956, I am particularly pleased to see that it has now started to overcome some of its recent problems. In today's Daily Telegraph, Thomas Harding states that -
Basra was among the most liberated, secular and artistic cities in the Arab world, and it seems that with (Jaish al Madhdi militia HB.) JAM's strict Islamic stranglehold gone, better times have arrived. Couples can walk the streets holding hands, women have replaced face veils with liberal coatings of make-up and shops openly sell curvaceous evening gowns. On Thursday evening, the start of the Muslim weekend, the streets and restaurants were filled with people keen to enjoy nights now free from bomb blasts and gunfire. Two floating restaurants have even taken station on Basra’s famous cornice, where couples and families happily wander to the fairground.