glyph 491: book . Afghanistan (Herat to Kabul, a one thousand mile walk), Iraq (southern marshes) . tribal politics . human nature, leadership, governance, war, peace ..... dog, fighting mastiff ..... Turquoise Mountain Foundation, Kabul


Afghanistan and Iraq — Books by Rory Stewart

insights into the complexities of tribal politics

The Places in Between
The Prince of the Marshes and Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq

A crazy Scotsman walks from Herat to Kabul in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Taliban in 2002. Sleeping on villagers' floors, relying on the generosity of those who have little to feed him, living by his wits when confronted with hostile and suspicious local people, and adopting a retired fighting mastiff as his traveling companion, the experiences he describes are funny, tragic, surprising and profoundly informative. In The Places in Between, Rory Stewart recounts trials and adventures in places and with people that we will never otherwise meet.

The Prince of the Marshes and Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq tells the story of Stewart's stint as deputy governor of Amara and then Nasiriyah, provinces in the remote marsh regions in the southern part of Iraq. As an appointee of the British Foreign Office, he tries to comprehend the complex political, economic and cultural lay of the land in order to deliver infrastructure, systems of representative governance and security. In the small province of Amara, fifty-four new political parties emerged following the fall of Saddam. Sheikhs, bandits, gangsters, armed resistance fighters, tribal leaders at war with each other for centuries, and educated, secular factions all jockeyed for power, influence and access to the inconceivable amount of money poured into Iraq by the coalition. His account of the futility of those efforts resulting in the region's decline into violence and strong-arm rule, is searingly honest, pragmatic and heartfelt. For the student of human nature, leadership and governance, Stewart's story beckons us to explore the assumptions behind the mostly positive intentions from which we preach.

Rory Stewart is currently (2009) living in Kabul directing the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, an NGO training artists and craftspeople in pottery, calligraphy, woodworking, jewelry-making and architectural restoration to revitalize Murad Khane, a section of Kabul rich in architectural beauty and history which had fallen into decay.

—Lara Ewing Himber

Turquoise Mountain Foundation:
The Prince of Wales interest in the Turquoise Mountain Foundation [here]
Wikipedia article on the Turquoise Mountain Foundation [here]
Lara Ewing Himber:

Possibly related: VortexOpenworld: — especially see Spencer MacCallum's article on Clan Owned Freeports.
December 18, 2009; edited/updated September 10, 2019

a list of all glyphs