Retro Heaven

Baghdad in the 1950s

Life in Iraq in the fifties…

baghIn view of the recent terrible atrocities associated with Muslim extremism in Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Europe and much of Africa I thought I would share this piece of film by British Pathé which was broadcast as a travelogue for Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.

Whilst we must not forget the suffering of Iraqi Jews at that time, particularly in the first two years of the 1950s when there were numerous bomb, gun and knife attacks against them it was, on the whole a much more peaceful country than we see today. Of course the film is what it is, you are not going to see the warts and all of life in Iraq but what you do get from the film is a real sense of a country and its people going about their daily lives in a peace which escapes their children and grandchildren today.

It is interesting to see white European travellers arriving in the city, I often wonder what it must have been like to travel in an era where there was not the scope of information we see today. The sense of wonderment must have been quite staggering.

This is not the film nor the place to lambast either American foreign policy in Iraq or the spread of ISIS in the region but rather a reminder of how a country and its people could be if they were simply left alone to live their lives in the way it was meant. Like Syria, we should remember what a beautiful and sacred land it was. It deserved much better than we gave it.

Categories: Retro Heaven

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