Crossroads Of Antiquity Can’t Decide On New Path

October 18, 2010

Author: Steven Lee Myers

Source: The New York Times

This small town, shaded by date palms on a bend of the Euphrates River, has been revered as a holy place for centuries — by Jews, by Muslims and, for periods of peace, at least, by both. “The old democracy,” as the local police chief put it.



Kifl, in what was once Babylonia, has survived millenniums of war and natural disasters, exile and expulsion, the fall of empires and the ravages of a troubled modernity. It embodies Iraq’s rich, layered past and might yet represent its future — if the country’s leaders could stop quarreling over it and its religious provenance.