For Freya Stark her experiences in Iraq must count amongst her most romantic. She first arrived by car in the late 1920s, driving across the open desert in the company of pilgrims bound for Mecca. On a return visit in 1930 the desert was in full bloom with tulips, anemones and marigolds and, as the guest of a Bedouin sheikh, she stayed in a tent filled with white mattresses and purple cushions. Introduced to a visiting Yezidi sheikh, she visited Yezidi villages and captured some unique photographs of their often-misunderstood 'devil-worshipping' ceremonies. In 1932 she took her first and only steady job, as a sub-editor on the Baghdad Times, and published her first book, "Baghdad Sketches." Baghdad thronged with different cultures and nationalities, and Freya provoked scandal by choosing to live in the 'native quarters' where she could observe the bustle of the city at first hand. She also made excursions to Mosul, Nineveh and Takrit and, protected by a veil, visited the holy shrines of Najaf and Kadhimain. In the 1940s she travelled to the marshes north of Basra, and made a ten-day tour of Kurdistan. Her visit ended in high drama when she was caught in the siege of the British Embassy. On her various expeditions to Kuwait she again visited the marsh Arabs and also witnessed the bustle of the fishing fleets and pearl divers' boats. She enjoyed the bazaars of Kuwait City, and leaves us with a photographic record from before the oil boom which replaced much of the old city's architecture and way of life.