Braving Iraq

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marsh arab boatSaddam Hussein had the Mesopotamian Marshes drained, leaving only desert and remnants of the past, like this abandoned Marsh Arab boat.Saddam Hussein had the Mesopotamian Marshes drained, leaving only desert and remnants of the past, like this abandoned Marsh Arab boat.
dr azzam alwashDr. Azzam Alwash, director of marsh restoration project Nature Iraq, holds a soft-shelled turtle, a sign of returning life.Dr. Azzam Alwash, director of marsh restoration project Nature Iraq, holds a soft-shelled turtle, a sign of returning life.
marsh arabA Marsh Arab woman unloads freshly cut reeds in a healing habitat.A Marsh Arab woman unloads freshly cut reeds in a healing habitat.
fishermenMarsh Arab fishermenMarsh Arab fishermen
housesTraditional Marsh Arab reed housesTraditional Marsh Arab reed houses
aerialAriel view of the Mesopotamian MarshesAriel view of the Mesopotamian Marshes
water buffaloWater buffalo bathing in the wetlandsWater buffalo bathing in the wetlands
reed-warblerThe rare and indigenous Basra reed-warbler nests in the marshlands, a sign of success for the restoration project.The rare and indigenous Basra reed-warbler nests in the marshlands, a sign of success for the restoration project.
dragonflyA dragonfly balances momentarily on a reed.A dragonfly balances momentarily on a reed.
egretsEgrets resting in the wetlandsEgrets resting in the wetlands
flamingosA flock of greater flamingosA flock of greater flamingos
frogA marsh frog peeks above the water's surface.A marsh frog peeks above the water's surface.
kingfisherA kingfisher perches in a reed bed.A kingfisher perches in a reed bed.
heronsSquacco herons have returned to the restored wetlands to nest.Squacco herons have returned to the restored wetlands to nest.

Photos by Stephen Foote and David Johnson / © Stephen Foote, David Johnson, and Aqua Vita Films and WNET.ORG Properties LLC