Three Cigarettes

Oil on canvas

190 cm x 190 cm


From three cups of tea,

To three cigarettes.

Another day over,

Dawn seeking reset.

For country, for service, for all in between,

We Honor our ANZACS,

Their sacrifice gleams.

So join for a story,

Of melancholic regret,

From three cups of tea,

To three cigarettes.


At the end of a typical day for Major Richard Dabboussy, he retired to his bunker for a well-earned break. His temporary home in Taji, Baghdad was a subtle mimesis of his life back in Sydney, with elements of his Arab heritage seeping into the new every day. Today, just like any day, he drank three cups of tea. As in the Afghani tradition, the first was to greet a stranger, the second, a friend, and the third, family. Sitting idly on a metal chair, he took a snapshot of the moment before he was joined by a friend, and continued his own tradition, by smoking three cigarette