Monday, June 2

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Salam's story
Screens cover the windows to keep the midday sun away from his three computers, each of which has been opened up into a sprawling tangle of wires and circuit boards. A poster from the film The Matrix hangs on the wall, looking down on a jumble of computer books and CDs strewn over the floor. Pages of website addresses and computer commands are tacked to the wall above his screen. It was here that Salam would sit and talk endlessly about the impending war with Raed, who returned to Baghdad before the war, and the friend he describes only as G - Ghaith, another young, intelligent, eloquent architectural graduate who spent much of his adult life dodging military service. They talked eagerly about the demise of Saddam, but they were scared too. Scared of being called up for military service because all young men were reservists, and scared of being obliterated by an American bomb.


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