Road Through Kurdistan: The Narrative of an Engineer in Iraq

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Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 1937 - Biography & Autobiography - 229 pages
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In 1928, Archibald Hamilton traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan, having been commissioned to build a road that would stretch from Northern Iraq, through the mountains and gorges of Kurdistan and on to the Iranian border. Now called the Hamilton Road, this was, even by today's standards, a considerable feat of engineering and remains one of the most strategically important roads in the region. In this colorful and engaging account, Hamilton describes the four years he spent overcoming immense obstacles--disease, ferocious brigands, warring tribes and bureaucratic officials--to carve a path through some of the most beautiful but inhospitable landscape in the world. Road Through Kurdistan is a classic of travel writing and an invaluable portrayal of the Iraqi Kurds themselves, and of the Kurdish regions of Northern Iraq.
 

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Contents

Introduction by David McDowall page
13
Land of Eternal Conflict
19
Diwaniyah
30
Northward to the Mountains
41
The Road
50
Camp on Spilik
59
The Brigand Hamada Chin
67
Gali Ali Beg
74
A Christmas Eve in Kurdistan
128
The Snows Melt
141
XTV The Cave of Kospyspee
150
The TreasureVault of the Ancient Kings
157
Ibex Hunting
165
The Conquest of Gali Ali Beg
174
XVm The BloodFeud of Rowanduz
187
The Fate of a Kurdish Chieftain
199

Forts on the Frontier
84
Men of the Middle East
95
The Depths of the Canyon
105
All in the Days Work
116
The Assyrians
211
XX3 The Goal Attained
221
Index
226
Copyright

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About the author (1937)

Archibald Milne Hamilton was born in 1898 in New Zealand. An early interest in all things scientific would endure throughout his life. After having graduated from university with a Bachelor of Engineering, Hamilton worked on several projects in New Zealand and in 1926 joined the British Admiralty team involved in designing the new Singapore Naval Base. In 1927 he became engineer in charge of Diwaniyeh in Iraq and later transferred to Kurdistan, where he would spend the next four years of his life. He died, aged 74, in 1972.

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