Cities in Iraq: The Marshes

Cities in Iraq: The Marshes Last updated on Tuesday 20th April 2010

The marshes cover a large area between the Tigris and the Euphrates, stretching from Kut in the north to Basra in the south. This vast expanse of marshland dotted with shallow lagoons occupies a total area of about 10,00 sq. km. and is the home of many species of water birds.

The Marsh Arabs who inhabit the area build houses known as sarifa's, which are constructed of reeds with elaborate latticework entrances. The main mode of transport through the reedy waterways is a long, slim canoe, known as a mashuf. It is thought that this way of life has continued unchanged for about 6,000 years.

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