Iraq’s Floating Villages Are Slowly Disappearing: Private Homes Perched On Their Mud Isles – Home

In the southern part of Iraq, in the marshes of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the habitat of the so-called Marsh Arabs still exists today. Floating villages whose homes were not built on traditional soil, but on islands of reeds and mud.

The place is also called the Garden of Eden or the Phenicia of Mesopotamia. Although the fate of the Marsh Arabs suffered a serious setback at one point, their villages did not disappear completely.

Thatched floating village huts

The Marsh Arabs, who make a living from herding water buffalo and wild boar and hunting waterfowl and fishing, built their houses with curved roofs using a special ancient technology.

Photo: Nick Wheeler/Getty Images Hungary

The same type of houses already existed in the pre-era period, in BC. It also existed in the fourth millennium. Unfortunately, however old and proven the construction method may be, due to the migration that took place in the 1990s, the huts, and thus the village, entered the path of slow destruction.

It so happened that in the 90s Saddam Hussein drained the swampy area. Hussein wanted to punish the Marsh Arabs for siding with the rebels and harboring refugees. After the eavesdropping, many of the villagers left, as the interruption of the rhythm of the water supply was at the expense of nature, so the place became almost unlivable.

After Saddam’s forces were overthrown, drainage was completed, water supplies were restored, and normal tidal and dry periods were restored in the marshes. With this, the ecosystem is also beginning to regenerate. Although some have returned and are still living in the swampy areas of southeastern Iraq, there is still no clean water and poor sanitation in the villages.

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Floating Village Pictures

Below we present some recordings of the floating village in Iraq taken between the 1970s and 1990s.

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(Images: Getty Images Hungary)

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