it is 2024, another year had gone by, which was not an easy sail at all. I am sure you are all following up on what is happening in Gaza, so disturbing and the nightmares are non stop.  I realised that we had forgotten about Palestine amidst our busyness and running after our own affairs, but now I have decided to dedicate at least two hours a day either to post about the events, to read Palestinian books or to think of what to do to help, like fund raising or just a general support.

Normally I write about my trips in this blog. well, here it goes.

2023 was a great year,  one cannot say that one had done any exotic trips, I stuck to my usual routine,  went to Turkey three times, Dubai few times, Oman and Iraq. In the last two years most of my trips concentrated on few places, mostly Dubai and Turkey though.  Antalya was my favourite, followed by Bodrum and of course Istanbul. We went to Trabzon on the 29th and we spent the new year there, the children loved the snow, so here it goes.

My new grandson, born in June 2022, is a year and a half now, still not speaking of course but really lively and breaks everything in his way. He is the joy of my life.

As I write this post I am in Iraq, I haven’t been for such a long time, it did change but to the worse.  Or maybe I am comparing it to the time I was studying here in the 70’s, which is a life time ago. The country is very dirty and it’s just sad to see how much poverty they have.  I am speechless really.  I visited Najaf city first and now I am in Karbala, we went to Babel and I guess all the old things had been ruined by the Americans who left the place barren after stealing every old piece of history.  The dirt is everywhere, and the people are just so poor.  You feel like being in India with kids following you wanting money or food.  I shouldn’t say this but that’s the truth. I also visited my university, which didn’t change a bit, except the gate moved from one wall to the other. I took a photo in front of the gate, remembering 50 years separation  from my university. I had spent 4 years there in the early seventies (yes I am older a bit now).  My subject of study was economics, please do not ask me to elaborate, as the only few things a remember from it is supply and demand and the wealth of the nations.

I tried to find the roads we had walked in, and the restaurants we had dines in, unfortunately most had disappeared, but Baghdad is seeing glorious days now with so many changes and and new monuments being built. I am sure there will be more visits to that place and I hope that it will be a magnificent place soon.

The year was overall great, i did receive an award for reading again, as I had received one for 2022. i am hoping to receive one for for 2024, as I am hoping to read more than the years gone.

One hope for the year to come that I clear all my pending issues and live happily ever after.