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

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  • Nancy Wonacott

    Excellent photos! Thank you very much :)

    You might check the ID on the kingfisher. You have it labeled as a “pied kingfisher”. However, I believe it is a Common Kingfisher.

    Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis):

    Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis):

  • Sharon McMasters

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos. My geography is terrible and some how I never thought of Iraq as having marshlands. I’m glad to have my knowledge base expeanded so beautifully. The birds especially are extraordinary!

    Sharon Mc

  • jennie kil

    These are a great photos!!!

  • patrick on the river

    amazing photos, thank you for all the work you all do tho make things like this possible. watching the sow now….as i do each snday, such a wonderful blessing

  • david bogaisky

    mr. foote and mr. johnson -
    I much enjoyed your aquatic handiwork – and will be pleased to forward to you some of my small fotos taken last year over there – with a small escort – below nasariyah in a brief visit in the world of the marsh araabs – al-arab al surrur as called -
    david bogaisky

  • Curt K.

    Truly amazing photos, thank you for sharing them.

  • Linda K

    Thank you for a wonderful program about a most worthy project. I just watched the show this morning & not two hours later was asked to do a presentation on some aspect of nature to high schoolers. Since I am a docent at an Audubon Center featuring wetlands reclaimed from a sewage treatment plant, I can now combine the two reclamation efforts & give students a very broad view of why marshes are so important to our planet.

    It was also heartwarming to see the Iraqis so happy to return to their way of life. I hope negotiations with Syria & Turkey over water release to provide spring “floods” to flush the marshes are successful so that they may continue their way of life. Here in Texas, we see the same requirement to provide adequatehealthy breeding grounds for blue crabs that feed our wintering whooping cranes along the Gulf coast.

    That common need for understanding & cooperation among various political groups for preservation of the environment will also be a topic of my presentation.

  • broadway al

    If it wasn’t for George Bush this wouldn’t be happening. I would have invaded Iraq just for what they did to the animals in the Kuwait zoo.

  • Catherine H

    I am watching the replay tonight at home–caught it at 6pm–thank goodness I have this opportunity to view all this amazing story again. “Braving” Iraq is an understatement!! I am so thankful that this project was important enough and Azzam Alwash was dedicated and determined enough to make it happen–and for PBS for bringing these beautiful images in to my home. I am so hopeful just watching the birds!! and seeing the frogs… Another truly amazing and inspiring episode of Nature. Looks like Mother Nature (with some help) won this round–thank goodness~!!Time to have another look at the wildlife photos.

  • Jenoye Roland Cole

    Dear Barbara Aday, I share many of your sentiments, even though I have been
    painfully aware of some of this history ever since my representative and Leader, the first President George Bush, called upon the Iraqi’s “to rise up and overthrow Saddam Hussein” and promised them “support.” The Marsh Arabs were among those who did exactly that, only to discover that no supplies or weapons-munitions or anything was forthcoming from the U. S. A.
    at that time. The support turned out to be have been only “moral support,” which, in my opinion was, in fact, neither “moral” nor “support.” I have had horrible guilt feelings ever since.

    The destruction of the Iraqi Marshes (greater in area than all of America’s important wetlands) paralleled the destruction of the people who lived there, both of which were tragic and a horrible travesty. I, like many in my country, have little or no extra money, and our leadership is looking like it will not lead us to making adequate plans to create new jobs and keep America prosperous and thriving as we once were. In fact, our government still subsidizes the export of our factories and good jobs. But, I feel we average Americans are in great part responsible for what happened there, through what our President did and said. I hope in the future we can somehow make a significant, though admittedly a woefully small and partial, restitution.

    I will forward these sentiments on to our new Secretary of State, John Kerry, and hope, in the future, we can at least somehow constructively help out in the restoration of the birds and wild life and the Marshes of Iraq. Even better, if we could somehow help with the “human comeback.”

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