Photographer's Note

We only spent a couple of days in Baghdad after our arrival in Iraq in July 1970. It wasn't a very interesting city and the oppressive heat made normal sightseeing rather difficult. We walked until we virtually collapsed and treated ourselves to several taxi rides.

When I took this sunset photo from one of the bridges crossing the Tigris the temperature may have fallen to just about 42 °C.

Our visit coincided with the second anniversary of the coup that brought the Baath Party to power (lasting until 2003). We learned that Iraq the same day had been declared a "People's Republic". For the time being a relatively anonymous Saddam Hussein served as Vice President. I had never heard of him.

I noted in my diary that remarkably many soldiers were seen in the streets. Trucks were cruising through the city carrying loads of young men waving flags, clenching their fists and shouting slogans in praise of the "revolution". In the evening, while we were having dinner in the rooftop restaurant of our (quite modest) hotel near the river, we saw fireworks outside the President's palace and illuminated boats where twinkling lamps formed figures of workers, soldiers and heavy machinery such as excavators.

By now the temperature was only about 38 °C.

This is a scan from an Agfacolor CT18 slide and it probably won't look any better in a new tab. The lens flare doesn't really bother me.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12527 W: 572 N: 24020] (102604)
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