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Iraq

Gadling Story Wins Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award

Congratulations to Sean McLachlan, whose story "Video Games With a Refugee" won the Personal Comment Gold Award in this year's Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards. The awards are given annually by the Society of American Travel Writers. Sean's story was part of his a...

Commonwealth War Graves Being Restored Ahead Of World War I Centennial

Commonwealth War Graves Being Restored Ahead Of World War I Centennial Sean McLachlan The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is busy fixing up the cemeteries it manages ahead of next year's World War I centennial, the BBC reports. It's a daunting task – maintaining 1.7 million graves in 153 countries, including far-flung areas such as...

Scammer Found Selling Fake Bomb Detectors To Airports

Scammer Found Selling Fake Bomb Detectors To Airports A British court has found a man guilty of selling fake bomb detectors to Iraq and Georgia, the BBC reports. James McCormick, 56, of Langport, Somerset, was found guilty of fraud after making a fortune from detectors he knew didn't work. He's estimated to have made some...

Cyrus Cylinder, 'The First Bill Of Rights,' Tours US

Cyrus Cylinder, 'The First Bill Of Rights,' Tours US The famous Cyrus Cylinder, a baked clay tablet from the 6th century B.C. that's often called the "first bill of rights," has made its U.S. debut at the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. The Cyrus Cylinder was deposited in the foundations of a...

ARTSPACE London Showcases Photography Of Iraqi Artist Halim Al Karim

ARTSPACE London Showcases Photography Of Iraqi Artist Halim Al Karim ARTSPACE London is one of London's lesser-known art venues for out-of-town visitors. It opened in May of 2012 and focuses on Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art. The original ARTSPACE is in Dubai, and the owners decided to open a London branch to expose...

My Year In Adventure Travel: A Look Back And A Look Forward

My Year In Adventure Travel: A Look Back And A Look Forward We're approaching the end of 2012, so it's a good time to assess what we've done and where we're headed. There's a whole year of adventures and opportunities awaiting us in 2013, despite what the New Age crystal clutchers say. The world is not ending and that's a good...

Visiting Iraq: The Practicalities

Visiting Iraq: The Practicalities Will Iraq become the next big adventure travel destination? Short answer: Not yet. Long answer: At the moment most of Iraq is closed to solo travel. The Iraqi government has authorized only a few group tour companies such as Hinterland Travel and Babel Tours....

Ten Random Observations About Iraq

Ten Random Observations About Iraq While traveling in Iraq I noticed some interesting things that didn't fit into any of the articles in my series. Some of these observations may be obvious to those more familiar with the country, but odd first impressions are one of the fun things about travel! 1. The...

A Solo Stroll Through Baghdad

A Solo Stroll Through Baghdad I am alone in Baghdad. After a farewell dinner and a visit to an Iraqi amusement park my travel companions have left for the airport. Our guards from the Interior Ministry have gone off to other duties and I'm staying unguarded in my hotel. I don't fly out until tomorrow....

A Family Night Out In Baghdad

A Family Night Out In Baghdad After a long road trip around Iraq, I find myself back in Baghdad. It's our last night together as a group. For our final dinner we decide to eat a famous Baghdadi recipe at a famous landmark –mazgouf fish at Abu Nuwas Park. Abu Nuwas park runs for one-and-a-half...

Visiting The Christian Community In Iraq

Visiting The Christian Community In Iraq Before Iraq was conquered by the Arabs in the seventh century, it was one of the oldest centers of Christianity in the world. Even after the Arab conquest, Christians made up a sizable minority of the population – sometimes tolerated, sometimes persecuted, but always...

Visiting Ur, Ctesiphon, And Babylon In Iraq

Visiting Ur, Ctesiphon, And Babylon In Iraq Iraq is an ancient land. It's seen a lot of civilizations come and go and each one has left behind spectacular monuments and rare treasures. On a recent visit, I had the privilege to experience many of these sites. Last time, I talked about the monuments of the Assyrian...

Visiting The Great Assyrian Sites Of Iraq

Visiting The Great Assyrian Sites Of Iraq This Iraqi policeman is busy texting at one of the great archaeological sites of his country – Assur, the first capital of the Assyrian Empire. Assur was founded at least as early as 2400 B.C., but it wasn't until the reign of the Assyrian king Shamshi-Adad (ruled...

Hostility And Smiles On The Streets Of Nasiriyah, Iraq

Hostility And Smiles On The Streets Of Nasiriyah, Iraq There comes a time in every trip when the honeymoon ends. The initial romance of being in a new place wears off and you begin to notice the pushy vendors and the dirty hotel rooms. The first blush of love fades like a flower in autumn, hit by the cold winter wind of...

Beer Run In Basra

Beer Run In Basra We'd been on the road in Iraq for a week, and after inhaling ten pounds of desert sand each, we really needed a beer. Luckily we were in Basra, and our tour leader Geoff knew a good place to buy liquor under the counter. So after a day of seeing the historic quarter and...

A Sneak Peek At The Soon-To-Reopen National Museum Of Iraq

A Sneak Peek At The Soon-To-Reopen National Museum Of Iraq The National Museum of Iraq is as battered and defiant as the country it represents. Battered because it has suffered looting and neglect, defiant because its staff fought to protect it. Now they're rebuilding and the museum will soon reopen. I got a sneak peak while...

Join Sean McLachlan For A Reddit AMA On His Trip To Iraq

Join Sean McLachlan For A Reddit AMA On His Trip To Iraq When Sean McLachlan approached me early last year with the idea of building some Iraq coverage I thought he was crazy. Iraq was a warzone. The security situation in the country was far from stable and I wasn't about to send a freelancer, husband and father headlong into the...

10 Minutes Of Terror On Vacation In Iraq

10 Minutes Of Terror On Vacation In Iraq I'm in Samarra, in the heart of the Sunni Triangle, the birthplace of the insurgency and a hotspot for sectarian tension in war-torn Iraq. My heart is racing and my mouth is dry. This is the most frightened I've been in months. But I'm not scared of the Sunnis, I'm...

Iraq Street Art: Beautifying The Blast Walls

Iraq Street Art: Beautifying The Blast Walls One of the first things you notice when traveling in Iraq are the blast walls. These giant concrete barriers are everywhere – in front of government buildings, schools, mosques and dividing Shia from Sunni neighborhoods. They remind me of the "peace walls" put up in...

Visiting The Sacred Sites Of Shia Islam

Visiting The Sacred Sites Of Shia Islam "She wants you to take her picture," a man said when the old woman in the black abaya came up to me. We were standing in the mosque of Imam Husayn in Karbala, Iraq. This is one of the holiest shrines for Shia Islam. It was near here that Imam Husayn, son of Imam Ali,...

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