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Memory Lane

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I still remember my mother’s smile of pride when she took me, aged six, to the dentist in Iraq – in 1934 – and he told her what good teeth I had.  At the time, we were living in the Iraqi desert in ‘K3’ – a settlement guarding the oil pipeline, which ran from the Iraq Petroleum Company’s well at Kirkuk, through Transjordan, to Palestine and the Refinery at Haifa Port. My father was an accountant, and we lived in one of the bungalows inside the surrounding fence which protected K3 from invasion by Iraqi bandits. My father told me we needed the fort and the fence for two reasons.  Firstly, some Iraqis were feeling (he thought justifiably) exploited by the small price we paid for their oil; and, secondly, there were bands of Arabs around, out to destroy the pipeline and drive foreigners away.  We could see a van...


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