ITP 2011 diary: Falah Aljubbawi

On the second of July 2011, it was my first day in London after a long time in Amman waiting for a visa. It was nice weather, and seemed a good opportunity for the people of London to picnic together with their families, adding warming feelings to the warm weather, enjoying the greenish landscape and life in general. 

I was coming to London to participate in the International Training Programme in the British Museum, which is a dream for all the archaeologists in the world, so that was some kind of compensation for the delay in Amman. When I came to Schafer House I met a gentleman Mr Abdullah Hakimzada from Afghanistan, which is a country in a similar situation as Iraq. He is very helpful, polite and ready to share everything with others. In the morning he took Dikko Ddris and Victor Michael Obdom from Nigeria and myself to the bazaar to buy something for ourselves and our families. After coming back from the bazaar I quickly had something  for lunch in preparation for the first tour. In front of the reception room in Schafer House I met, for the first time, the great co-ordinating team Claire Messenger and Shezza Edris, and said hello to all the other participants. Everyone is nice and humble and because of this it seemed that I already knew them intimately.

We went to visit Kenwood House by bus and there Frances Carey gave us a summary of its history and the noble families who inhabited it. We saw many paintings mostly from the 17th century, which revealed how the noble families lived. After that we walked across Hampstead Heath to Frances Carey’s flat for tea, it was a quiet and marvelous place, in this kind of environment  human beings realise the great value of life and enjoy it. Frances Carey prepared many delicious and appetizing cakes and cold drinks. I thanked her in a traditional Iraqi way – ashat alayadi – meaning long life for your hands. After that great afternoon we returned back to Schafer House by public transportation.

Falah Aljubbawi, Director, Babylon Site Museum