Anita David, Artist, in Iraq

Anita David, Artist, in Iraq

Amman's urban sprawl continues into the desert - a rare plot of green here and there - but for the most it's desert and rocks. On the side of the road is a man with a cell phone to his ear and his back to the highway. We stop at a gas station and the gas has a different smell. Driving along again. A man has stopped to pee against a rock out crop. More hills and surprise, surprise, orchards. But where is the water? We hit truck traffic. "Long Vehicle", in English, a sign hangs at the rear of two trucks. Desert and telephone lines. A small village with mosque and satilite dish. A canvass covered pick-up turns off the highway towards nothing. The radio in our car plays a live concert of what could best be described as Arab light rock.

What do you call rocks stacked to convey a message? What do you call desert that's got herds of rocks?

There is surprisingly little litter.

We stop at a grocery store. I go inside and find a small cafe as well. My traveling companions, a woman from Syria who spends considerable time on her cell phone and a young couple with a new born buy snacks. Our driver is elsewhere. Back in the car, as we pull away I see the crescent - it is a mosque with a clock that has stopped.

Again we pass the 2 "Long Vehicles". This time I notice they are each conveying a tank, gun muzzle facing forward. Ahead there is a highway sign. The road divides to Syria and to Iraq.

Another truck with a sign in English "Caution 9' 6". Sheep and lambs and two shepherds. Zoom.

Then a sign: Goodybye from the Municipality of and we're already past it.

At the border, stamp, stamp and The Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan says Goodbye. Welcome to the Syrian Arab Republic, stamp, stamp. Now the every present photos of the kings of Jordan, pere et fils are replaced by the ever present photos of the Presidents of Syria, pere et fils.

Syria is green and has Volvo and Mitsubishi dealers.

I fall asleep.

Love, A