Iraq Things to Do

  • Teatime!
    Teatime!
    by hunterV
  • "Broken Hearts" memorial of Iran-Iraq...
    by hunterV
  • An aerial view of  Ziggurat in Ur, Iraq
    An aerial view of Ziggurat in Ur, Iraq
    by hunterV

Iraq Things to Do

  • Lalish

    The Yezidi holy site of Lalish was where I had hoped to be taken on my day trip from Dohuk, but my taxi driver mistakenly took me to Al Qosh first. We then backtracked and got very lost trying to find Lalish, hidden away in a valley just behind Dohuk, arriving not long before sunset. Visitors are expected to remove their shoes and socks at the...

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  • Al Qosh

    On the Nineveh Plains, between Erbil and Dohuk, close to the hotspot of Mosul, are several Christian villages where Aramaic is still spoken alongside Arabic. Al Qosh is probably the most accessible, and an easy half day trip from Dohuk by taxi, assuming your taxi driver knows where he is going! Mine was hired to take me to Lalish, but we ended up...

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  • Hatra

    I had to confess that I did not know anything about Hatra before travelling to Iraq.I travelled there together with four more Spaniards, since moving around that country individually was forbidden (it was the year 2001).In the two weeks program we had many exciting visits along the country, from Mosul to Karbala. With always came a driver and a...

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  • St. Matthew's Monastery

    St. Matthew's Monastery or the Monastery of Mar Matta was one of my favourite individual sites I visited in Iraq. It is of Syrian Orthodox faith. Located about 30 km north of Mosul, it's in an area out of Iraqi Kurdistan but still quasi controlled by the Kurds. The entrance had a cop from the Republic of Iraq. The monastery was founded in the 4th...

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  • Halabja

    From my experience, there is only one reason to visit this city that's around 9 miles from the Iranian border. On March 16th, 1988, Halabja was the site of one of the darker moments of humanity in recent history. Part of the Al Anfal Campaign or the Kurdish Genocide, bombs were dropped on Halabja that released a sweet apple smell. Now the reason...

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  • The Red Security Muesuem

    The Amna Suraka or the Red Security Museum is located in Sulaymaniyah. It's original use was the northern headquarters of the Iraqi Intelligence Service from 1979-1991. Here they imprisoned, tortured and killed thousands of Kurds. It was said you could here the screams of the tortured for kilometres away. They would keep 60 people in tiny little...

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  • Duhok

    Duhok also spelled as Dahuk and Dohuk is a city in northern Iraq and also the capital of the Duhok Governorate. This will probably be your first main city you'll visit if you are traveling overland from Turkey. It's a city of over a quarter of a million people. It is a pleasant city although I didn't spend much time here. It has a large bazaar...

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  • Ahmed Awa Waterfall

    There are actually a few waterfalls in Iraq. Ahmed Awa is very close to the Iranian border not far from Halabja. The road up to is quite rough along a valley. They were improving it when I went which is good for tourists but bad for the local economy. A few of the locals would make their money driving people up to the falls. As you walk towards the...

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  • Sulaymaniyah Museum of Antiquites

    The Sulaymaniyah Museum of Antiquities is considered to be the second best museum in Iraq after the National Museum of Iraq. The building itself and how they put they display the artifacts is ho hum at best, but considering you're in Iraq, it's not bad. Also the fact that many of the locals are not really interested in their rich history doesn't...

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  • Lalish

    Lalish is basically what the Vatican City is to Christianity or what Mecca is to Islam for the Yazidi religion. Yazidi is a faith among Kurds with most of the followers living in Nineveh province in Iraq. They believe God is the creator of the world, then under him are seven angels with the Peacock Angel being his favourite. There has been a long...

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  • Erbil Citadel

    This citadel is probably one of the first things people become familiar with when they research Iraqi Kurdistan. It has been continuously inhabited for the last 7,000 years. This may make it the oldest continuously site in the world. Though only one family currently lives there during the restoration in order to maintain the continuously inhabited...

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  • Sulaymaniyah

    Sulaymaniyah is the second city of Iraqi Kurdistan and it's most beautiful. It is surrounded by several mountain ranges. Sulaymaniyah also has an international airport that has flights to Germany, Jordan, Turkey and the UAE. This city has a population of around 1.5 million and is the capital of Sulaymaniyah Province. It's a university city with...

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  • Hamilton Road

    The Hamilton Road, built by Archibald Hamilton between 1928-1932 is a road that goes through Iraqi Kurdistan to the Iranian border. Back in the day it was considered an engineering marvel. Even today, you can appreciate it. I liked how sections of the valley weren't tunneled through but carved out. Much of the road has been widened or even built...

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  • Erbil

    Erbil, also known as Arbil and Hawler in Kurdish is the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. This is where I entered the country from. The modern airport here receives flights from Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Vienna, Amman and several other European and Middle Eastern cities. Erbil with a population of around 1.9 million in 2012 is city with lots of history....

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  • Saddam's Palaces

    Saddam Hussein had over 40 palaces across Iraq and was said to not have visited all of them. He had staff at all of them and they were required to make breakfast, lunch and dinner at all of them. He didn't announce his travel plans out of fear. So if he randomly showed up at one them, food had to be ready in case him and his companions were hungry....

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  • Shanidar Cave

    Shanidar Cave is located in the Barzan area and about 125 km north of Erbil. When looking at it, Shanidar Cave is nothing exciting. It's what they found here which makes it interesting. It's one of 3 places in the world where they found Neanderthal remains. The excavations began in 1951 and led by Professor Solecki. There is a nice parking area...

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  • Lake Dokan

    Lake Dokan is the largest lake (270 km2) in Iraqi Kurdistan close to the city of Ranya. It's a reservoir lake on the Little Zab river. I saw some houses around it and a small "developed" area for tourists. When I took a dip in the lake for a while, there was little fish that kept on biting me.

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  • Amedi

    Amedi (also known as Amadiya) is a town in Iraqi Kurdistan in the Governate of Dahuk (also known as Duhok) that lies about 17 km from the Turkish border. When you see pictures of Amedi from the sky, it's very beautiful as the entire town is on a plateau. Once inside it, it's pretty much an average town. The Bahdinan Gate on the west side of the...

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  • Halabja

    Halabja would be an insignificant little place if Saddam had left it alone...but no, in March 1988, he dropped bombs on the town. Not just any bombs, these didn't explode causing mass destruction, but instead let off an odour of apples. Minutes later, up to 5000 people lay dead or dying in one of the worst chemical attacks on mankind. Today,...

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  • Slemani

    Slemani (Suleymaniyah in Arabic) is the third of the three big cities in Iraqi Kurdistan. The bazaar here is huge, but although a fascinating area to explore, it isn't the main attraction...Amna Suraka in the newer part of the town holds that title. Meaning "red security", Amna Suraka is the former security prison under Saddam's rule, now just a...

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  • Hewler / Erbil

    If you're Kurdish, you call it Hewler, if you're not, you'll know it as Erbil...either way, it is one of the oldest cities on earth. Erbil's citadel has been inhabited for millennia, and up until 2006 it was crammed full of refugees from more volatile regions...now it is like a mini ghost city as UNESCO set about restoring it to its former glory....

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  • Akre

    The highlight of my trip was the town of Akre. Arrival wasn't great...the hotel was miles from anywhere and very weird, and on my first outing into town, I was spotted by security police and taken in for questioning. It was all very civil and involved drinking tea mainly, but proves that not too many camera-toting foreigners set foot in this area....

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  • Amedi

    Amadiyya in Arabic, this fortress-like village is a pleasant and easy day trip from Dohuk. A couple of hours along mountain roads through some stunning scenery brings you to the mountain resort of Sulav, not especially exciting in itself but boasting fantastic views of Amedi towering above it on a hilltop. Amedi looks better from afar, as once...

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  • Dohuk

    Dohuk in springtime is colourful. Multicoloured houses are strewn about on the green slopes of mountains, the green, white and red Kurdish flag fluttering almost everywhere you look. A thriving bazaar lies at the heart of the city, while a long "Corniche" curves its way from downtown up to the impressive Dohul dam, now a favourite picnic spot....

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  • Zaxo

    Sometimes spelt Zakho, this is the first town across the border from Turkey. First impressions aren't great...a queue of lorries heading to Turkey stretches for miles, and it is hard to tell where the lorries end and Zaxo begins, as the outer suburbs look like lorries that have given up waiting, taken off their wheels and laid down to rest. The...

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  • Throw A Barbecue

    One of my Soldiers and I both had a birthday within a few days of one another, so we threw a BBQ to celebrate. We bought a dozen steaks and some burgers from the PX, lit up the grill and started cooking. Since, by military law we aren't allowed alcohol in Iraq (per General Order No. 1) we purchased some near-beer instead (and not the first time;)....

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  • Hanging Out With My Chaps

    These are actually pictures of my Soldiers in a variety of places, from Kuwait to Al Asad to Tikrit, Balad, Baghdad, a bunch of other places.

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  • Go To A Foreign Weapons Range

    I helped train some US SF guy's on M915 driving, so they helped me out by letting me have some fun out at the range. I took a squad of my Soldier's out, and we shot 12 gauge shotguns, automatic 9mm MP5's, captured Iraqi AK-47's, captured Iraqi 9mm's, and then we played with some C4. All in all, a pretty entertaining day.

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  • this was our program:...

    this was our program: ctesiphon. babylone(we slept in al-hillah):very disapointing because they rebuilt a remake of the ancient city,so you visit a 'new' old city. ur(where abraham is supposed to be born)the temperature was 45°C,and we saw soldiers running and training for war under the sun.We ate in a little restaurant in samawa,if I remember...

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  • Visit an ancient ruin

    If you happen to be assigned to FOB Marez or Diamondback in Mosul, call the chaplain's office on Marez. They can set you up with a guided tour of the Dair Mar Elia (also known as St. Elijah's Monastery). It is a ruined monastery from 595AD. It is well worth the effort and gives you something different to do besides go to work, go to the DFAC or go...

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  • Ziggarat

    Yep the old Ziggy. Located just outside the Tallil AB, home of Abe, husband of Ruth, father of Isiaac.The coolest thing about the Zig is there are sea shells all over the place.

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  • Babylon

    Go visit the (restored) ancient city of Babylon. This is probably the best thing Saddam Hussien did for Iraq. He had people try and resotre a bunch of the buildings and landscape of Babylon. His name and this restoration act by him are scribed in alot of the bricks used during restoration.....guess to make sure that people would know it was him who...

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  • Day excursion from Baghdad

    A place that you should not miss while in Baghdad is the amazing mosque of Samarra (see picture), like a zigurat

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  • Spiral Tower of Samarra

    Samarra is believed to be a short for(surra man raa)an Arabic phrase which means (pleasent to look at).The tower is called (Al Manarah Al Malwiyah).from the 9th century.The spiral ramp seems to be inspired from the Tower of Babylon . The 17th-century mosque with its golden dome is sacred to Shia Muslims.

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  • Iraqi People

    Folks think I am a warmonger, a killer, and that I hate Iraqis. It could not be further from the truth. They are very nice people and are very family oriented. I like them. There are some bad men out there doing great harm in the name of the Iraqi people but they sure as hell don't represent this man and his little boy. They just want a safe place...

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  • Destroyed Iraqi Armor

    The USAF and the Army whalloped Saddam's vaunted Republican Guard. There is detoryed armor still littering the countryside. This photo was taken at 75 MPH on Highway 1 North of Baghdad back in May 2004.

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  • Shock and Awe!

    The USAF kicked butt early on. They took out a lot of strategic spots in a lightning, surgical campaign that was designed to destroy the will to resist.There has been a lot of second guessing about the strategy since May of '04 but there is still no doubt that the bombing campaign did exactly what it was designed to do.

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  • The Iraqi National Guard

    The fledgling new Iraqi army, called the National Guard, is having a tough go of it these days. The spirit is willing, however, and sooner than later the lads will make their mark.

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  • The Halabja Monument

    The monument is only a few years old but is already showing signs of age, likely due to the bright sun beating down on it all the time. Inside is a collection of art and photos around the perimeter and the real 'memorial' part at the centre with a giant Kurdish flag rising to the top.

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  • Going to Iraq....You are...

    Going to Iraq....You are discovering 7000 years of history, the magic of the east, the glories of the ancient history…Babylon, Akad, Ashoor, Baghdad, Najaf, Mousel, Basrah and a lot of great places you have to visit…Babylon city, it is the earliest civilization in the world, it is the mystery of 7000 years.Baghdad, the nice warm city, the hot city...

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  • see all the archeological...

    see all the archeological places,there are plenty in iraq,such as babylone,ur,hatra,ninive,assur,ctesiphon;go also to the shiite cities,kerbala,an-nadjaf,with a strange atmosphere,you will feel that you are in iran;in the north,mossoul and the area is plenty of churches and christian communities

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  • You must see the museums in...

    You must see the museums in Baghdad, the amusement parks and make sure you dont miss the shopping areas. They are everywhere.They have very interesting facts about the early Babylonian civilization and the parks are just too beautiful to miss.

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  • Baghdad: The historic...

    Baghdad: The historic buildings have been mostly restored or completed. This is a very problematic way of archeology. I was told - and I even absolutely agree - that a restoration that completes of may modifies an existing building should allways done so that a visitor can still see what is original and what is new on the first look! The two...

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Iraq Things to Do

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