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Basra was founded in 637 AD by Utba bin Ghazwan on orders from the
Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab. Within 40 years it had a population of
Al-Basrah (the Arabic version of the name) has been a great source for
scientists. Great names such as Abu Al-Aswad Al-Du'ali, Hassan Al-Basri,
Ibn Al-Haiythem, Al-Faraheedi, Ibn Serene and Al-Asma'i have been
Basra's gifts to the sciences and arts.
architecture, namely the beautiful shanasheel.
The shanasheel offer a wonderful contrast to both, the
greenery that is so predominant in Basra, and to the many
canals that run through it.
to be found some 74 kilometers to the north of Basra (left).
The merger produces the famous Shatt Al-Arab, a very wide river that runs
amongst fields and palm groves all the way to the Gulf. The second photo
shows just such palm groves lining a canal in in Al-Basra.
Untill recently, the areas in and around Al-Basra boasted the greatest
concentration and variation of palm trees anywhere. Abul Khasib, just to
the south of Al-Basra proper, enjoyed the distinction of having the highest
density of palm trees in the world.
Unfortunatly these wonders of nature have largely been destroyed due to
Saddam Hussien's disastorous policies towards his neighbours and also the
people of Iraq.
Al-Qurna is also reputed to be the site of the Garden of Eden. An old tree
there is still called Adam's Tree (left).