After Dier Ez-Zur Anobel and I caught a bus to Hasakah, a town in north eastern Syria 50kms or so from the Iraq border.
Why? To spend a few days exploring the Assyrian villages around Hasaka and experience all that is the Assyrian new year.
As our minibus got closer to Hasaka we were stopped a few times for ID/Passport checks. I hadn’t had a mid journey ID check in Syria so I guess it ust have had something to do with being close to Iraq.
This time we stopped at a checkpoint and our passports were given to a beedy-eyed fellow with a mounted machine gun in the back of his ute.
We got our passports back and the bus continued on its way only this time were were being followed, by the Machine Gun Man!
We arrived in Hasaka a little while later and were picked up by George, an assyrian mate of Anobel’s. A minute after getting into George’s car we were stopped by Machine Gun Man and poor George copped an interrogation. Why were these foreigners here, what were they doing, how do you know them, where are they from??? etc….
Anyway, for the rest of our time in Hasaka Mr MGM followed us around like a bad smell.
The trips out to the villages were interesting and the people were super friendly. Everyone had an interesting story of how they came to be there, many came after the massacre of Simele and farmed land outside Hasaka.