"Layers of Truth and Life in Iraq" - Borzou Daragahi - Los Angeles Times

"Layers of Truth and Life in Iraq" - Borzou Daragahi - Los Angeles Times

Out of the War Zone After 4 1/2 Years, a Times Reporter Looks Back on the Disguises of Reality It Took to Get the Story and Survive

by: Borzou Daragahi | publication date: April 10, 2007 | Publication: Los Angeles Times |

". . .We were in a mostly Shiite Muslim part of the country, so I stuck to my cover story: I was an Iranian headed to Najaf, one of the thousands of Shiite pilgrims who make their way there each month to pay their respects at the shrine of Imam Ali.
He demanded to see my passport. To my surprise and terror, he thumbed through it. Then he calmly looked up and asked, "Where's your entry stamp?"
I had no answer. I had entered Iraq with my U.S. passport, which I wouldn't dare bring with me on the road. I froze.
Since first arriving in Iraq 4 1/2 years ago, first as a freelance reporter and then as the Los Angeles Times bureau chief, I had kept up the pretense that I was playing it safe. . ."

Times reporter Borzou Daragahi went undercover in Iraq to get the perfect story.

Copyrighted, used with permission.