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Iraq's Southern Gateway!

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Western Iraq

      The second largest city in Iraq, Basra has a long and distinguished history.
      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
      about 300,000.

      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.

      Pictures from Basra

    The older houses of Basra have a very distinct exterior
    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.


    This glorious place where the two great rivers, Euphrates and Tigris, meet is
    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).