Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 77, Baghdad, Iraq(1)

Long ago in the fertile valleys between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the great civilisations of the age were born. Modern Iraq was ancient Mesopotamia, from the Greek meaning 'between two rivers', and it was here that human beings first began to cultivate their land, where writing was invented and where the Assyrians, Sumerians and Babylonians all made Iraq the centre of the ancient world.

With the arrival of Islam, Iraq again took centre stage. Islam's most enduring schism - between Sunnis and Shiites - was first played out on Iraqi soil. Baghdad also became one of Islam's greatest capitals, home to the Abbasid caliphs whose reign has become a byword for Islam's golden age of learning and sophistication.

Yes, I know that there is widespread violence and kidnappings, and the threat to foreigners remains high....but guys don't you want to see some of the magnificent buildings in Iraq before it gets damaged or worse??

C'mon, where is your sense of adventure?

Yes, Iraq is now one of the most dangerous countries on earth, but few countries can boast such a rich luckily for us we have our very own tour guide who is going to take us to his favourite spots in Iraq.....

Of course we believe that Iraq is one of the great travel destinations of the Middle off we go ... to Baghdad to meet Milad...

Milad greets us with "Ahlan Wa Sahlan"
Ahlan is to say “you’re like my family”;
Sahlan is to say “take it easy”
Conclusion: “you’re like my family and so take it easy”

It is in essence opening up the door of becoming part of ones family, and as this door opens, it becomes the responsibility of the individuals to make sure that the rights of one another are fulfilled, and equally it becomes important not to abuse one another or forsake one another such that the ties become shaken.
3 words that have such a deep meaning!

Shukran Milad....without your kind gesture we would not have been able to visit where are you taking us to first?

The al-Shaheed Monument.

Also known as the Martyr's Memorial, this is a monument in the Iraqi capital Baghdad dedicated to the Iraqi soldiers who died in the Iran-Iraq war. The Monument was opened in 1983, and was designed by Ismail Fattah al-Turki.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Saddam Hussein's government spent part of its oil revenue on new monuments and the beautification of Baghdad, which included the al-Shaheed Monument

The monument consists of a circular platform 190 meters in diameter in the center of an artificial lake.
On the platform sits an enormous 40 meter tall split turquoise dome, which resembles the domes of the Abbasid era.
The two halves of the split dome are offset, with an eternal flame in the middle.
The shells are constructed of a galvanized steel frame with glazed turquoise ceramic tile cladding which was pre-cast in carbon fiber reinforced concrete.
The rest of the site consists of parks, a playground, parking lots, walkways, bridges, and the lake.
A museum, library, cafeteria, lecture hall and exhibition gallery are located in two levels underneath the domes.

The monument is located on the East side of the Tigris river, near the Army Canal which separates Sadr city from the rest of Baghdad. The current fate of the monument is unknown due to the violence and uncertainty caused by the ongoing instability in Iraq, but there are no plans to demolish it like the Hands of Victory arch

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