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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:08 AM   #1
Eternal Flame
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# IRAQ: Basra and surrounds

The famous city of Sinbad the sailor has undoubtedly seen brighter days, its importance as a commercial centre once rivalled that of Baghdad, and it was the place to find Iraq's best nightlife. But decades of war and negligence have taken their toll on this city, perhaps more so than any other region in the country.

This however is starting to change, and almost everywhere you look around there are more glimpses of Basra's grand past, and signs that it is finally starting to spring back to life.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:09 AM   #2
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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:10 AM   #3
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One hundred statues, of Iraqi soldiers killed during the war with Iran, line a 1 km stretch along the Shatt al Arab coastline in Basra, all pointing an accusing finger at Tehran.




Yes, we know the Iranians live there, no need to point.




Basra's corniche, still an evolving project.






Statue of Badr Shakir al Sayyab, one of the best known contemporary poets in Iraq.

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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #4
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Basra Airport




Basra Port. Basra is Iraq's only sea outlet to the world



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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #5
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Basra's old houses, known as the shanasheel, many of those date back to the 19th century.






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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #6
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Along the river in the Ashar district in Basra.









Last edited by Eternal Flame; December 13th, 2009 at 08:36 PM.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:15 AM   #7
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Scenes of Basra life from the 1960's





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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:16 AM   #8
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The great Ziggurat of Ur. In it's day this was the largest man-made structure in the world. Some believe ziggurats might even have provided the inspiration for the Egyptian pyramids, but this remains only a theory.




Birthplace of prophet Abraham, in Ur of the Chaldees




The golden harp of Ur, a 4,750 year old musical instrument




Sumerian statues




The Sumerians are credited for developing farming, and the earliest writing system in the world

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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #9
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The village of Qurna lies about 74 km northwest of Basra, it marks the location where Mesopotamia's two great rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, converge to form a single waterway known as Shatt al Arab. Note the colour of the water changing as the two river mingle into each other.






Qurna is the reputed site of the garden of Eden. An old legend claims that Abraham planted this tree in the spot where Adam descended to Earth. No, it is not an apple tree.






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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #10
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Surrounding Qurna is a unique region in the Middle East, known as the Mesopotamian marshes, they have been inhabited for over 6000 years, and not too long ago formed the largest wetland ecosystem in western Eurasia, equivalent to the size of Qatar or Lebanon. But much of it was destroyed when the former regime diverted water away from the area for political reasons. Now that the water has been allowed to flow back, the marshes are recovering again, and many of it's former inhabitants are starting to return to rebuild their lives again.













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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #11
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Scenes from the Shatt al Arab waterway.










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Old December 10th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #12
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Thanks for the great thread Eternal Flame !

I hope Basra will recover it's legendary beauty.. there is a long way to go.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 07:16 PM   #13
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There's something magical about these old photos of Basra. The palm forests, the beautiful old houses, the river...so much potential.

Basra and Kuwait have a long history together.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #14
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Masha2allah look at those palm forests !!
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Old December 11th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KWT View Post
There's something magical about these old photos of Basra. The palm forests, the beautiful old houses, the river...so much potential.

Basra and Kuwait have a long history together.
That's true, when I visited Kuwait earlier this year, I talked to a number of Kuwaitis that have roots in Basrah, especially the older generation.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #16
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Wow, too bad we don't see much of this in the media!
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Old December 11th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #17
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beautifull !!!
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Old December 12th, 2009, 05:18 AM   #18
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very interesting,Eternal you re iraqian?
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Old December 12th, 2009, 07:27 AM   #19
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iraqian? you mean Iraqi?
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Old December 12th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #20
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Yep, what BigDreamer said.

I'm not from Basra though, but it's importance to Iraq cannot be overstated. Iraq's short-to-medium term economic outlook hinges to a great extent on Basra's stability. Not just because Basra sits on the country's richest oil fields, but also because it's seaport in Um Qasir, which is linked by rail to Baghdad, provides a favourable alternative to some of the other more risky land routes.

Corruption and nepotism are the biggest obstacles here, if serious efforts are made to deal with this then it is possible to transform the city into a major economic hub, along with Iraqi Kurdistan they can serve to attract further investments to the rest of Iraq. This is not possible thus far in major cities like Baghdad and Mosul, which are plagued by violence and other complex issues which will take many years to overcome.
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