Basra: “the Iraqi Venice”, opposing war and destruction

In the extreme South of Iraq, on the West Bank of the Shatt al-Arab lies “Venice of the East” — Basrah, the economic capital of Iraq, whose population is estimated to 2014 approximately 1.5 million people.

Through the past and present “jewel of Iraq” remains a unique tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. That is why the people of Basra are now seeking to restore its past attractive to tourists in the city.

The island of Sinbad, gardens, Abu al-khasib, al FAW Peninsula, an amusement Park in al-Makili — all tourist places “Iraqi Venice” for recreation and entertainment, where there is also a lot of archaeological and historical sites.

According to one version Basrah gets its name from the area where the city was built and is dominated by friable white stone — “Basra”. According to another version, favored by some historians, Basra was so named because the city was located on a hill and the one who was there could see everything that is around (the root that has the word “Basra” in Arabic language means “to see, watch, notice” — approx. TRANS.).


Basrah — the heiress of many civilizations. Since ancient times, she in turn was under the power first of the Sumerian civilization (4250 BC — 1960 BC), which has replaced the ancient Babylonian civilization (1960. BC — 1600 BC), then Assyria (1600 BC — 1200 BC), after the Assyrian – Babylonian (1200 BC — 700 BC), after which came the neo-Babylon period (700 BC-538г. BC).

The Iraqis never took the position of observers in relation to ancient civilizations that existed on the territory of Iraq, always seeking to preserve and respect for the eternal that should remain in the memory of future generations.

Basra has its own Eiffel tower. It is a reduced copy of the famous tower, built in the French capital — Paris in the year 1889 by Gustave Eiffel and his aides on the occasion held the international exhibition,

Bariska the Eiffel tower is inside the new amusement Park, whose area is about 27 thousand square meters and the total construction cost amounted to 4 million 237 thousand dollars. There is a platform for launching fireworks, rides, theatre, zoo, indoor pool and restaurant for tourists.

In the face of death

What is explained above — the bright face of Basrah, the city of dreams. But there is a dark side, represented by those who are doing their best to destroy her charming nature, given by God. That armed groups and gangs that have seized power in the city and deliberately destroy it. This writer Nazir al-Kunduri said in his article “Basra and the tip of the iceberg”.

The problem is that it sheds light, this division of the berths in the ports between parties and groups. Each party or grouping puts berths to Iraqi ports your firms belonging only to her. From the government as there was no intervention, is the looting of Iraqi oil, and through the piers is smuggling to neighbouring countries or selling it to those who are trading in the regional waters, not to mention the use of piers as a destination for the export of narcotics in large quantities from Iran.

If we look at the map of oil fields of Iraq, we find that the biggest oil reserves and production located in the province of Basra in southern Iraq.

Despite the fact that over the last four decades of Basra suffered a lot from wars, destruction, governmental lawlessness and neglect, she still bears the status of a rich land, hiding in its bosom the richest reserves of minerals, perhaps, one of the biggest in the world.



Basra has the largest deposits of oil and, according to official statistics, produces about 80% of Iraqi oil exported abroad. All this makes it one of the richest provinces of Iraq. Basra can become a place to attract foreign and domestic investment, as well as to implement a huge number of tourism projects, if it manages to overcome the destruction and devastation.

Architect Fadel Mahmoud in an interview with the London newspaper Al-Arab said the following: “the Restoration of the tourist attraction of Basra lies in the comprehensive city planning that includes the expansion of the city with a population of not less than two million, as indicated in the report to the government made in 2015 by Iraqi Ministry of planning”.

Basra will to live, despite the difficult conditions it faced. Its special attraction as a tourist destination will not be able to destroy any group. For them to plunder its wealth and to destroy its special spirit that is felt by all who breathes its air and walks on her land.