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Anorak | Making JAM On Holiday In Basra

Making JAM On Holiday In Basra

by | 2nd, August 2008

THE Mirror’s grinning Kate Jackson is in Basra. She wonders: “Could the new Iraq be a hot travel destination?”

Why not?

ITV has commissioned a new series of Holidays From Hell, and who would not want to see Anthea Turner’s reportage from the “St Tropez of the Middle East”?

Writes Jackson in her postcard from the edge:

The air is filled with life and happiness, the road jam-packed with cars and the temperature slowly cooling to a bearable level.

Sounds terrific. How do we get there? Last one to the recruiting office is caravanning in Wales:

It could be a tourist hotspot in Morocco – except I’m surrounded by 10 soldiers, some in the sandcoloured uniform of the British and others in dark green Iraqi gear. And I’m wearing body armour.

The Aviation Royale Chérifienne tourism division is in its infancy, and Jackson might have point well made.

But ten men to every visitor sounds expensive, something for the Abercrombie & Kent brochure. But what of the rest of us? Funny you ask, because Anorak Tours offers a budget trip in which the holidaymaker is placed in a steel cage and lowered from a crane to as little as 10ft above street level.

Back to Jackson, who remains jam-packed, but not packed in JAM:

A woman who was spotted in anything other than the full black burka and face covering during the JAM-controlled era would have been brutally punished.

Has Basra it’s own branch of the Women’s Institute, and is it safe to enter? Jackson says JAM “is the militant Shiite group Jaysh al Mahdi”, who are only loosely affiliated to the WI on account of their liberal beliefs:

“These young men wearing Western clothes would have been beaten up by some JAM thugs and the mother threatened for allowing such immorality.”

But the revolution is underway:


As you might say in Basra…



Posted: 2nd, August 2008 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink