Iraq is a country with a rich culture. Ancient sites such as Babylon and Ur, the stunning architecture of the country's mosques, the natural beauty and wildlife of the Marshes and beautiful Iraqi handicrafts create a myriad of attractions to inspire even the most seasoned traveler. This brand-new edition of the Bradt Travel Guide: Iraq gives up-to-date travel information and also informs the armchair traveler about the history and exciting archaeological prospects of this ancient land.
The authors, Geoff Hann and Karen Dabrowska, bring their considerable knowledge and understanding of Iraq to provide all the practical and background information needed to explore this country and to get the most out of your trip: advice on cultural awareness and religious sensitivity in the context of Iraqi history, along with in-depth coverage of what to see and where to go make this an invaluable guide.
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background
Historical sketch (the ancient kingdoms, Umayyads, Abassids and Ottomans, the emergency of modern Iraq, Saddam's Iraq, life under sanctions, post-Saddam Iraq), Geography 5, Climate 6, Flora and fauna , Population , Government , Iraq Governorates , Major towns , Economy , Ethnic groups and languages , Religion: the Sunni-Shia divide, archaeological sites.
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit and how, Highlights/suggested Itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Getting there and away, Heath. Safety, What to take, money (budgeting),
Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Photography, Media and Communications, Business, Buying property, Embassies, Cultural dos and don'ts, Interacting with local people, Giving something back.
PART TWO GUIDE TO IRAQ
Chapter 3 Baghdad and the Sunni Triangle
Introduction: Background, the founder of Baghdad, growth and prosperity, decline of Baghdad, rebirth and conflict, Mongol rule, the Ottoman Era, the 20th century, the 2003 war, After the war, sectarian cleansing, bloodshed and the Green Zone, Baghdad Today: life goes on despite the bombs.
Baghdad sites: getting there and away, embassies, where to stay, what to eat, entertainment, what to see: archaeological sites, museums, art galleries, historical buildings, mosques and shrines, churches, parks, monuments, shopping, Baghdad tour.
Beyond Baghdad: Kut, Fallujah, Ramadi, Ruthba, Habbiniyah Tourist Village.
Chapter 4 The South
Introduction: The Shia heartland - how it all began, history, the 20th century, the 2003 war.
Najaf and Kerbala, Kufa, Kifal,Ein Al Tamr.
The cities of the south: Amarah, Nasiriyah, Ubaid, Al Azair, Basrah, Abul Khasib, Um Kasr, Safwan.
Chapter 5 The north
Mosul and Kirkuk
PART THREE GUIDE TO IRAQI KURDISTAN
Chapter 6 Background information, practical information.
Chapter 7 Postscript
Appendix 1 Further Information
Veteran overland and adventure tour operator, Geoff Hann proprietor Hinterland Travel, has led two trips to Iraqi Kurdistan in 2007 and the first and only trip for foreigners to Iraq after the toppling of Saddam's regime. He also leads trips to Afghanistan, Kashmir and other challenging destinations.
Karen Dabrowska, author of Iraq: The Bradt Travel Guide, completed an MA in International Journalism at City University, London. She is a correspondent of Jana News Agency and Assistant Editor of Islamic Tourism Magazine.