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Eden Again

Restoration of the Mesopotamian Marshlands
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A Project of
Nature Iraq

In partnership with The Iraq Foundation

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[Photo]: Marshlands in their original condition.


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General Reading

Photo Gallery | Satellite Images & Maps | Reports | Bibliography
Marsh Dwellers | Marshland Information | Media Coverage | General Reading


The following references provide information appropriate for the general reader interested in learning more about the Mesopotamian Marshlands. For more scientific publications, please see our "Bibliography" and the "Satellites and Maps" section. Eden Again Reports are found under "Reports". For popular works please see "Media Coverage."

The Marshes in their Glory

Return to the Marshes by Gavin Young (1977) Collins, London, 224pp with photographs. Absolutely wonderful color photographs by Nik Wheeler.

The Marsh Arabs by Wilfred Thesiger (1964) Butler and Tanner, London, 242pp with photographs. The original British chronicler of the Marsh Arabs.

People of the Reeds by Gavin Maxwell (1957) Harper Brothers, New York, 224pp with photographs (published in England under the title A Reed Shaken by the Wind.

The Near-Destruction of the Marshes

The Mesopotamian Marshlands: Demise of an Ecosystem by Hassan Partow (2001) United Nations Environmental Program. Available online at:

The Iraqi Government Assault on the Marsh Arabs (2003) Human Rights Watch. A report focusing on the plight of the Marsh Arabs during the 1990s. Available online at: http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/mena/marsharabs1.htm

Suitable for Children

Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell. The tale of Mijbil, an otter taken from the Iraqi Marshes to London and Scotland, and her adventures with the author. Also available in a movie version (Anchor Bay Entertainment)

Iraq in the Classroom: Water – Conflict or Prosperity, A Classroom Guide (2003) prepared by Mercy Corps. This document provides a guide to activities for secondary school children to evaluate the role of water and conflict in Iraq, including the drying of the Mesopotamian Marshlands. Available online at: http://www.mercycorps.org/pdfs/1082070281.pdf

If You’d Like to Research Further

Marsh Dwellers of the Euphrates Delta by SM Salim (1962) University of London, 157pp. The best ethnographic description of the Marsh Dwellers.

Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East by Michael Roaf (1990) Equinox, London, 238pp with color photographs and maps. A good general reference placing the marsh dwellers within their ancient historical context.

A Directory of Wetlands in the Middle East: Iraq edited by Mike Evans (1995) Wetlands International, Netherlands. This document provides the best summary of the ecology and geography of the marshlands. Available online at: http://www.wetlands.org/inventory&/MiddleEastDir/IRAQ1.htm

The Shatt al-Arab Delta, Iraq by James Coleman, Harry Roberts, and Oscar Huh, Goddard Earth Science Data Center. This provides an excellent description of the physical processes governing the marshlands environment. Available online at: http://daac.gsfc.nasa.gov/DAAC_DOCS/geomorphology/GEO_5/GEO_PLATE_D-13.HTML

Climate of Iraq (2004) U.S. National Climate Data Center. Provides detailed information on the climate of Iraq. Available online at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/afghan/iraqnarrative.html

Water Resources in Iraq (2003) UNESCO. Provides an overview of water supply and usage within Iraq. Available online at: http://www.unesco.org/water/wwap/news/iraq.shtml

Please see also Eden Again Reports under the heading “Reports” and satellite images and maps under “Satellite Images and Maps” for additional scientific information.


Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine by Nawal Nasrallah (2003) Nawal Nasrallah, 646pp. A charming history of the Sumerian origins of Iraqi cooking plus deliciously healthy recipes.

Guests of the Sheikh by Elizabeth Fernea (1965) Doubleday, New York, 346pp. Not within the marshlands, but a nearby village in southern Iraq, this book provides a unique glimpse into the lives of Iraqi women during the 1960s.

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About Us | Marshland Info Links | Get Involved | Contact Us

Dr. Suzie Alwash
Senior Project Advisor
e-mail: suzie@alwash.net

©Copyright 2003 Eden Again Project, All Rights Reserved

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