Details about The House of Wisdom
The House of Wisdom by Jim Al-Khalili ePub PDF free download – An hour’s drive south of Baghdad lies the town of Hindīyya. This was where I spent my last few happy teenage years in Iraq before leaving for good in 1979. The town takes its name from the Hindīyya Barrage, which was built across the Euphrates in 1913 by the soon to be departing Ottomans. I have an abiding and powerful memory of this bridge. On cool autumn days I would skip afternoon school with my three best friends, Adel, Khalid and Zahr il-Dīn, and walk across the Barrage to the riverside tourist resort on the opposite bank. We would buy a six-pack of Farīda beer and sit down by the water discussing football, philosophy, movies and girls. Those happy days contrast dramatically with a second powerful image that is seared into my memory and which took place during the first Gulf War of 1991. I remember watching a CNN news report showing footage of a gun battle in Hindīyya in which a lone and terrified woman was trapped in crossfire while walking across the Barrage. For most viewers this would have been just another scene depicting the horrors of war in a far-off land. But for me, instantly recognizing the setting, it suddenly brought home the reality of the plight of the country I had left behind twelve years earlier. I had walked past the spot where this helpless woman now stood frozen in terror dozens of times.