Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Baghdad dawn chorus

There's probably only a couple of days left to download the first episode of the World Service's Eyewitness Iraq (BBC things have a tendency to disappear after seven days, and it's taken me several days to find this one on the website). The programme is a boiling-down of Hugh Sykes's reports from the early days of the conflict, part of the four-year-anniversary ruminations occurring everywhere. What makes it particularly worth listening to, however, is a ten-second edit of 40 minutes of early morning in Baghdad, not long after the Saddam statue came down, with the birdsong and the bangs both intensified to dreamlike levels. It gives an extraordinarily powerful sense of how it might feel to have violence become a constant part of your life's background; one of the most effective pieces of wordless radio I've heard.

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