Friday, May 18, 2007

Arabian Gulf Sunrise

An interesting issue in this part of the world is what to call international areas like waterways. What you routinely call the Persian Gulf is called the Arabian Gulf by the Arab nations so that they are not constantly reminded that at one time they were all subjected to the boot heel of Persian domination.

The Shatt al Arab or Waterway of the Arabs is the confluence of the Tigris and Euprhates and is the primary waterborne route into Iraq. In Iran it is called the Sha' Fao as it indicates that the Fao peninsula is the primary geographical influence here.

Just east of me is a gigantic oilfield known as Marjan by the Arabs and Nowrouz by the Iranians. It is the same oilfield and is bisected by an artificial economic zone which makes for some interesting sights and conditions.

In 1986 I was on the deck of a derrick barge and watched Iraqi Super Entendards (French built of course) fly low and just above sea level around the Marjan 1 GOSP (Gas and Oil Separation Platform) as they had vectored on the radar aero racon signal. They kicked in the aferburners, gained altitude and shortly after we felt a concusion and the heard the explosions they bombed the crap out of Kharg Island. Remember those days? The Iraqis were the good guys against the Theocracy of Iran.

I was thinking of all of this the other morning as I stood on my balcony watching the sunrise over the Arabian/Persian Gulf. I saw the most beautiful golden cast upon the water and ran in to get my DSLR. I almost missed the shot and actually did not get the one I really wanted. I'll try again later.

I have so many thoughts and memories like this. I want to one day capture them on paper or digits but I have to slow down for that to happen. As it is I am really pressed to write this or even take care of routine issues like picking up my laundry or getting my hair cut. One day I will visit this part of the world with my son and tell him how his father was raised in America and spent his adult life as a wanderer of the world. I'll be able to show him why daddy is always gone and why daddy is so weird because he likes to drink cider, eat greek food and watch soccer. Daddy loves hot dogs, baseball and southern fried foods too and in this part of the world that is weird.

Oh well, the coffee was good and for a few moments I was lost in my thoughts. Just a few moments away from the Army, the war, the constant push of men and material into the maw of the beast up north. A few minutes to be a regular person, just enjoying a sunrise in an Indian built building drinking Italian coffee made in my German coffee maker shooting photos with my Japanese camera and scratching my American butt. Ain't that weird?

3 Comments:

Anonymous BWJones said...

It's hardly weird, but simply where things have gone over the past couple of decades. I would encourage you to just start writing down scraps of memories and thoughts here and there and keep them in a place where you can easily assemble them later into a more cohesive whole. Of course everyone has a different writing style but I've found that all of my writing (academic) seems to happen this way. Once I have a critical mass of observations, comments or experiments, the writing seems to assemble itself out of all the notes kept over the past little while.

10:48 PM  
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9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Iraq of 07 from the other bone yard for armor, in Diyala at FOB Normandy.

That's an AO to have earned the spurs.

2:02 AM  

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