The coat-of-arms represents Saladdin’s Eagle with a shield containing the colors of the Arab unity.
The inscription between the green stars runs, Allahu Akbar! (Allah Is Great!).
The inscription on the plaque that the eagle holds contains the name of the country.
Tasting some dates that are abundant in Iraq.
The palm tree is considered to be one of the oldest trees in the world. It is often called "the tree of the first life".
They say Iraq is the first home of that immortal tree. The country produces hundreds of thousands of tons of dates every year - 40% of the world dates production.
The curious Iraqis have even calculated that there existed 33 million palm trees in their country at present.
They say there are 531 kinds of date palms, each having its specific name:
and many others.
The dates are the national pride of Iraq and are universal means for many people.
Fondest memory: shopping at the Iraqi "souq" (market).
I am not sure about how it is now, but at that time it was like this.
In accordance with Decision No. 851, dated June 3, 1981 and adopted by the Revolution Command Council, the original music of the anthem called in Arabic Ardul-Furatain (Land of the Two Rivers) became as of July 17, 1981 the National Anthem of the Iraqi Republic.
Text: Shafiq Abduljabar Al-Kamali (* 1930).
Melody: Walid Georges Galmiya (* 1938)
The text in Arabic:
„Watanun Medde Alal-ufqi Yanaha /
Warteda Majdal-hadarati Wishaha /
Burikat Ardul-furataini Watan /
Abqariyy-al-majd Azmen Wa Samaha. . .“
„The Motherland that covered the horizon with its wings,
That was granted the glory of the civilization,
Be blessed this Land of Two Rivers
The Motherland of glorious resoluteness and tolerance!“
If you allow some time to drive 90 km southward to Babylon that is located not far from Baghdad-Hilla highway, 10 km north of Hilla, you will be greatly impressed by centuries-old walls and area.
Fondest memory: the picture shows the Street of Processions in Babylon. There are lots of other fabulous sites worth visiting in that area.
Do not miss the opportunity of visiting a souq (market) and ancient arcaded bazaars, especially the Coppersmith Market in Rusafa, the eastern half of the city.
The Coppersmith Market draws the visitors by its noise and site.
Hand-made copperware for household or decorative use manufactured right here, in the market, will suit all tastes.
You can even observe copperware being manufactured in the old traditional way in your presence.
Less spectacular, but no less interesting is the Folklore Center in Saadoun Street near Karrada Junction where a great variety of popular handicrafts from all parts of the country is on sale.
Try to have a map of Baghdad about you for you may easily get lost in the great number of roads and streets.
Personally I always had this map in the city and could approach a local with the map asking the way or show it to the taxi driver to take me wherever I needed to.
Try to learn and to speak at least a few Arabic words and phrases so that the locals would be glad to please you.
As a language teacher, I managed to learn how to pronounce a couple of phrases, especially at the market.
I did not forget to greet the shop owner as "Mister" and also asked him,"How much is it?" in pidgin Arabic... It was a success!
I even tried reading some phrases in the magazines.
Fondest memory: talking to the locals
The national flag reminds you of the United Arab Republic consisting of Egypt, Syria and Iraq and dates back to 1963.
On January 14, 1991 an inscription between the green stars was added.
The inscription runs, Allahu Akbar! (Allah Is Great!).
Favorite thing: see the suqs: the traditional organization of these oriental markets exists only for some branches which are separated from street to street. The street with the books is may be the most interesting for non locals: often you can find old English books in the small shops. I found a second edition of Henry Austin Layard's book about Ninive - but unfortunately we couldn't find a price to satisfy both sides.
Visit the Iraq Museum in Museum Square in Karkh.
That museum contains lots of archeological exhibits about the culture of Mesopotamia and other civilizations.
You will enrich your impressions of the capital if you see the Tigris and walk along its busy embankments.
On this picture you can see the boat terminal on the Tigris in Baghdad.
bathing and angling in Sawa Lake
located 33 km to the west of Samawa
the town where we worked.
near the city of al-hilla,100kms south of baghdad;we slept at the babylone hotel in al-hilla
Favorite thing: Mustansiriyya: this was the old university of Baghdad, built 1226-1232 under the reign of Caliph al-Mustansir. The brick building has a total area of more than 5000 sqm.
Favorite thing: Rashid Street - lot's of small shops. You can stil see some of the older houses of Baghdad, unfortunately not in their best shape. To the right and the left are the suqs, the traditional markets.