Daily Life of the Marsh Arabs

The Iraqi Marshland used to be one of the UNESCO’s Heritage of Humanity. Until the Iran-Iraq-war in the 1980’s around 500,000 people inhabited the marshlands in a symbiosis with nature, still in the same way as their ancestors, the Sumerians, did. For political and military reasons the swamps were almost completely drained over the past decades and most inhabitants were driven from their homes or forcibly relocated.

After the Iraq war of 2003, damns were opened to renaturate the dried areas. Following the water, plants and animals started to repopulate the marshes and the Marsh Arabs returned to their homeland to regain their former way of life, living on reed houses and subsisting on their environment.

  • LocationMarshlands, Southern Iraq
  • Year2003-2011