Iraqi historical sites are many, but the security situation is still risky
Middle East Eco Tourism has been written about a lot on Green Prophet, including upscale Five Star Eco-Tourism in locations like Abu Dhabi and Jordan, hiking holiday tours in Lebanon, and even how to travel through parts of the Middle East by bike. But if you are looking for really unusual travel destinations in today’s politically changing Middle East, consider places like Iraq or Libya, where archeological sites intermingle with unfinished ecological projects started by the country’s former strong man, Muamar Gadaffi.
Ancient Babylonia is now modern day Iraq
Fadhil Al-Saaegh, of Al-Rafidian Travel, says that his country has much to offer, including numerous historical sites, waterfalls (in northern Iraq) and great Islamic architecture (what hasn’t been destroyed by the 2003 invasion and almost constant warfare afterwards).
True, some of the world’s greatest civilizations had their origins in Iraq, including the Babylonians and Chaldeans, as well as the Assyrians.
Iraq’s southern city of Basra is also the location of the Ancient Sumarian city of Ur, where the Hebrew Patriarch Abraham, the father of both the Jewish and Muslim religions, embraced monotheism over belief in a number of deities. Babylon’s hanging gardens was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
But despite the country’s rich archeological heritage, and various natural beauty spots, it might to wise to heed government travel advisories, until conditions begin to stabilize there – if and when this finally happens.
Libyan historical sites face uncertain future
As for Libya, the overthrow and elimination of Muamar Gaddafi’s 42 year reign there has left the country in a state of gross uncertainty.
True, it wasn’t an easy place to visit even during Gaddafi’s rule; but at least there was a measure of stability. It was possible to visit Roman, Greece and Phoenician archeological sites in places like Sabratha, Leptus Macna (both near Tripoli) and Appolonia, east of Benghazi. It was also possible to journey into Libya’s vast desert heartland to see ancient “rock art” paintings, some dating back to prehistoric times. Now these sites, as well as Libya’s environmental projects such as the Great Man Made River and desert pivot irrigation circular farms, face a very uncertain future.
With all these factors in mind, it might be better to look for more serene places to visit if one has plans to have a holiday in this part of the world.
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Images via Iraqimages.com