21-Apr-2012 -- I set off with my driver Muḥammad at 7 a.m. from Baghdād on what was promising to be an uneventful trip, aiming to do two confluence points; 32N 46E and 32N 45E, both located in areas known to be safe. We set off on the road Baghdād to Kūt, driving southeast to Kūt, then south towards al-Ḥayy on the Wāsiṭ - al-`Amāra highway. Luckily the sand storm of the previous two days had subsided and visibility was very good.
My aim was to reach the village of Qal`at Ḥusayn al-Zira which appeared on Google Earth as the best way to access the confluence point, just 1.7 km off the highway, with an obvious track that leads straight to it, or at least for part of the way. The end of the track was invisible on my maps. Indeed, once spot on the 32N having driven 230 km by then, we crossed over and drove the track on the edge of a village, which we later learnt was called `Uruba, all the way to the confluence point which turned out to be on a dry and cracked patch of earth in the middle of a barley field.
We were saluted by a few farmers, with their women and children, harvesting their crop. One of them, Lafta Qattaf, complained that their crop was getting smaller every year due to the lack of irrigation water. Pictures were taken and soon we were off back to the main road heading south then west towards Dīwāniyya on al-Fajr road, to the 32N 45E.