Tor Eigeland

Tor Eigeland - Writer and photographer
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IRAQ - Marsh Arabs - Photo Gallery © Tor Eigeland 2004

PARADISE LOST
These photos from the ancient marshlands of Iraq between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are but a fond memory of a stunningly beautiful, watery world populated with hospitable, friendly people. At the end of the Gulf War in 1991, with American encouragement, the Marsh Arabs rebelled against Saddam Hussein. The price they paid was heavy. Since the Americans never followed up on their victory, Saddam Hussein’s forces were free to return with fury. They dammed and drained the precious wetlands of the Marsh Arabs, bombed and burned their villages. Precious little remains of a way of life, a civilization, that goes back some 5000 years. Only 30,000 people remain out of a population of about 500,000.
W5783-Iraq-Idyllic-Marsh © Tor Eigeland W5786-Iraq-Marsh Arab © Tor Eigeland W5906-Iraq-Strongfeature © Tor Eigeland W5908-Iraq-MarshArabs © Tor Eigeland
W5783
Iraq. Marshes in the south.
Typical Marsh Arab 'floating' village. Their way of life has been largely destroyed by Saddam Hussein.
W5783 ©Tor Eigeland
W5786
Iraq. Marshes in the south.
Beautiful Marsh Arab woman. Most were very attractive, friendly and open.
W5786 ©Tor Eigeland
W5906
Iraq. Marshes in the south.
Striking good looks of Marsh Arab. Most were very friendly and open, much like Beduin.
W5906 ©Tor Eigeland
W5908
Iraq. Marshes in the south.
Baking bread in typical Marsh Arab village. People here did not mind being photographed.
W5908 ©Tor Eigeland
W8666-Iraq-MarshArab © Tor Eigeland W8684-Iraq-MarshArab © Tor Eigeland W8685-Iraq-MarshArab © Tor Eigeland W8687-Iraq-MarshArab © Tor Eigeland
W8666
Iraq. Marshes in the south.
Young Marsh Arab girls observing their mother weaving on a very ancient and primitive loom.
W8666 ©Tor Eigeland
W8684
Iraq. Marshes in the south.
Beautiful Marsh Arab woman picking reeds for house construction.
W8684 ©Tor Eigeland
W8685
Iraq. Marshes in the south.
Young Marsh Arab girls observing their mother building a reed hut.
W8685 ©Tor Eigeland
W8687
Iraq. Marshes in the south.
Marsh Arab youngsters fishing. The marshes used to be teaming with fish - a main staple in diet.
W8687 ©Tor Eigeland
W8688-Iraq-Marshes © Tor Eigeland      
W8688
Iraq. Marshes in the south.
Typical Marsh Arab village scene. Water buffaloes essential to them. Here seen swimming home.
W8688 ©Tor Eigeland
Only a small selection of images is shown here, please contact Tor Eigeland for more information on images and related features