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Tourism in Iraq: An interview with Mr. Nawar Al-Saadi

nawar al-saadi

BUCHAREST, April 22, 2014: Interview with Mr.Nawar Al-Saadi, PhD Student from Iraq, Baghdad, at the tourism department of the University of Bucharest, Romania. The Editor of Diplomatic Aspects Newspaper, Magdalena C. Butucea, interviews Mr. Al-Saadi  on "The role of international relations in the development of the tourism sector in Iraq."

MC.Butucea: Do you think Iraq will represent a touristic attraction in the future?

Mr. Nawar Al-Saadi: If we close our eyes for a moment, we can see Iraq as a passage between two oceans and a bridge between three continents…we cannot forget Iraq, thousands years ago, was called "Cradle of Civilization", the common term for the area comprising modern Iraq as it was home to the earliest known civilization, the Sumerian civilization, which flourished in the fertile Tigris-Euphrates river valley of Southern Iraq.

It was here in the late 4th millennium BC, the world's first writing system and recorded history  itself were born. The Sumerian civilization flourished for over 3,000 years and was succeeded by the rise of the Akkadian Empire. Over two centuries of Akkadian dominance was followed by a Sumerian Renaissance in the 21st century BC. Later, the Elamite invasion brought the Third Dynasty of Ur to an end. By the 21st century BC, a new Akkadian civilization, Assyria, had risen to dominance in Northern Iraq, and by the 19th century BC a contemporaneous Amorite state, Babylonia, had formed in Southern Iraq.

Iraq has been dominated by the Assyrians and Babylonians for the next 14 centuries, and under the respective Assyrian and Babylonian empire of Shamshi-Adad I and Hammurabi in the 19th and 18th centuries BC, the Middle Assyrian Empire of 1365–1053 BC and the Neo Assyrian Empire of 911–605 BC, and the final Babylonian empire of 620–539 BC, Iraq became a center of world power.

Therefore, Iraq could be a touristic attraction, especially for the people interested in Ancient history. Iraq has important archeological sites, and therefore, could be an important target for historians.

Q: You own a page "Tourism in Iraq" on Facebook and I would like to know which is the purpose of this page?

A: The idea of creating of this page is to show to the foreign people the positive side of Iraq. The current generations, especially the young generation, do not know anything about the beauty of Iraq; they know only about terrorism, killings and destructions of the wars which plagued Iraq in the last 35 years.

Q: Do you think that you will change the mentality by opening this Facebook page?

A: We need now to change the image in the people minds about Iraq. In the last two years we got 15,000 friends on Facebook, and more than 6,000 are foreigners. A lot of them would like to visit Iraq, but the deteriorating security situation in the country stands as a major impediment…

Q: You said that your Thesis talks about the role of international relations in the development of tourism in Iraq. I would like to know how you think that international community could help your country to continue on the road of development and democracy?

A: As a result of the international isolation suffered by Iraq in the past three decades, Iraq now needs to reactivate its international relations, to regain confidence from the international partners, and therefore, the advancement of the economic sector in general and the tourism sector, in particular. So, I think that is very important to recreate relationships with neighboring countries, to secure the borders and prevent the entry of external terrorism, to create good relations with the countries to regional and global levels and also to facilitate the entry of foreign investment companies. I think all these factors can support the tourism sector in my country.

Q: Have you received support from Iraqi Government to implement your ideas?

A: Unfortunately not, but this is not an obstacle for me to achieve my goals.

Q: Which are your goals?

A: At first I want to finish the PhD Project this year. Then, I am thinking to achieve experience working for international companies. So, in future I would like to use my experience to help my country.

Q: How do you see the future of Iraq?

A: I am dreaming to see my country embracing all people in love and peace. Believe me, Iraq has great people: they love life and they respect all people and all religions. I'm sure that the ”black cloud’ will disappear in the coming days and I hope that happiness and peace will return in my country, as it was before. And also, I have big hopes that sector of tourism will play an important role in the economy of Iraq.

Thank you Mr. Al-Saadi. I wish you good luck in your studies.

A: Thank you very much!


Interview conducted by Magdalena C.Butucea/Diplomatic Aspects/Bucharest

Picture: Nawar Al-Saad


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