Iraqi city hosts first foreign circus in decades
November 05, 2010
BASRA, Nov 5 — The Iraqi audience roared with laughter as the clowns, one fat and one thin, pretended to walk along a tightrope stretched on the ground.
They burst into delighted applause and whistles when a female animal trainer from Ukraine performed a short belly dance before presenting an eclectic mix of chimpanzees, dogs, snakes and a porcupine.
The first foreign circus to unfurl its tent flaps in southern Iraq in possibly decades has taken the oil city of Basra by storm, bringing laughter to a public grown weary of bloodshed and tears.
The travelling Monte Carlo circus and its retinue of foreign acrobats, jugglers and clowns is a sign of improved security in Basra, once ruled by gangs and militias when sectarian violence flared after the 2003 US-led invasion.
“This is new and we’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time. We enjoyed it so much and I hope they come back often,” said Muhanad Abdul-Wahab, a 50-year-old government engineer, who brought his daughter and son to the show.
THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY TWIN BROTHER, BILL DYKES (1943-1995). WE WERE NOT ONLY BROTHERS BUT PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND BEST FRIENDS! AND TO ALL THE "BUTCHERS" THAT HAVE PASSED ON TO THE BIG LOT IN THE SKY!