Tigris River Flotilla Puts Iraq Back in the News

Iraqi boat buildingOn Sunday, September 15, a fleet of traditional and modern Mesopotamian boats will sail down the Tigris River on an historic voyage of celebration and learning.

They’ll cruise along a 1200 kilometer stretch of legendary waterway , traveling from southeastern Turkey to southern Iraq on a journey that will span weeks. It’s the Tigris River Flotilla.

The event celebrates the cultural heritage of Mesopotamia and aims to bring environmental awareness to riverside communities. Throughout the journey, launched in partnership with Waterkeepers Iraq, participants from many nations will collect data on local ecology for later analysis in Iraq and Turkey.

Mesopotamian-traditional-boatThe traditional boats were all hand-built by local Iraqi and Turkish communities and include a tarada (war canoe), a guffa (built from pomegranate wood) and a kalak (a raft held afloat by inflatable goatskins), and will be used by Nature Iraq and its partners in a series of presentations on vulnerable ecosystems.

Environmental clean-up events and community-based art projects are scheduled in Hasankeyf, Turkey, and Feys Khabor and Baghdad, Iraq, to raise awareness about looming threats to the river.  Water conservation issues will be directly linked to the daily lives of local communities. Learn more in this short video:

Hop aboard the historic voyage via the Tigris River Flotilla blog and the Tigris River Flotilla Facebook page, which allow us all to join the action for a greener Tigris.

All images from the Tigris River Flotilla blog

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