Books
Dan Coakley

Mr Dan and the Dams of Kurdistan

For Dan Coakley, Iraq ticked all the boxes. It had a mad dictator, a secret police that left the Gestapo far behind in terms of brutality and sadism and a temperature range that varied from minus fifteen to plus fifty degrees Celsius. Dan was asked to be the Technical Manager of the electricity sector, the largest module of the largest aid programme in UN history, helping to repair the country after the first Gulf War. But when he arrived in Iraq he had no idea that he would be involved in conflict resolution between the warring Kurdish parties, or that some of Saddam's nuclear scientists would be on his Iraqi staff in Baghdad. Dan Coakley gives an honest and an unbiased description of the region and its history from the First World War to the turmoil of today. He discovers the archaeology of prehistory from Ur to Babylon to Nineveh. Working for the UN, he gives us a first-hand insider's view on the dynami of a region in turmoil. The book focuses on the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the lead up to and devastation of the second war and the utter despair he witnesses in Iraq today. Mr Dan and the Dams of Kurdistan is a travelogue of an ancient and haunting Iraq and Kurdistan, illustrated with cameos of its beautiful and long-suffering people. Saint Patrick when talking of the ancient Irish said 'he heard them calling to him in dreams'. Dan Coakley was drawn to Iraq and this excellent book is an honest and compelling read worthy of his experiences.
601 printed pages
Original publication
2013

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