Thank you for visiting! I started this blog in response to friends who requested more of an insight into recent events in Iraq and Syria. I have worked in and studied the Middle and Near East for much of the last 14 years, more recently focussing on Iraq and the Levant. My aim is to share some of what I’ve learnt on subjects also often misrepresented or glossed over in the 24hr news cycle, and to guide readers to the most insightful and informed sources of further reading.

Faces of Iraq

When travelling in Uganda recently I met the founder-photographer of Humans of New York. I hadn’t previously read his blog but quickly became hooked. When a phenomenon gets as large as his, people will always start to question and speculate on motives and methods. All I can say is that Brandon came across as a humble, genuine guy who was trying to show us all how beautiful and remarkable our fellow human beings are. This is what I would like to do with my writing, so I’ve decided to publish some mini-interviews while I’m in Iraq. It’s a kind of homage to Humans of New York, but with longer stories.

I have a straight photo blog, with no background stories, on Tumblr.


I’ve had several occupations and interests in my life, most of them drawing me to Africa and the Middle East through academic study, NGO and government work. Thanks to a chance encounter on a remote island in 2013 I now also have a kind, handsome francophone influence who draws me towards the West Indies. I’m currently exploring the merits of writing as a full time occupation and am working on both a fiction and a non-fiction book.