Blogs from Arbil, North, Iraq, Middle East


Middle East » Iraq » North » Arbil March 22nd 2019

Karl May once wrote adventure novel called Durchs Wilde Kurdistaneven though he had never been there before. We went to the center of that area in nowadays Iraq, straight to the mountains. Is Iraqi Kurdistan really wild? Let´s see. I like seeing places where there is almost impossible to meet tourists. Because of that you are able to get to know locals better - too see who they truly are. Also, you will have a unique travelling experience. Nowadays, everybody can travel everywhere. Massive tourism is killing "spirit "of countries that is often hard to see. Luckily, there are still places that you can discover or re-discover. Mountain range Zagros can be considered to be one of these places. These mountains take big part of today's Iraq and Iran. And we stood right ... read more
Before the start
View to Halgurd
Iran mountains

Middle East » Iraq » North » Arbil July 22nd 2018

My day started at 4am not much point in going back to sleep when I needed to be at the airport in an hour, so I packed a few more things, took out the garbage and headed down to the cab rank. Twenty-five minutes later I had cleared immigration got my US$ and settled in till departure. The flight departing before mine was going to Bagram in Afghanistan and was full of American servicemen, I was sitting there amongst Africans wondering why they were going to Iraq when it dawned on me they were catching the flight after mine. A little after 7pm I headed through the gate and out to the bus, I positioned myself right near the front door as I had seat 2C and figured I could be seated before the rabble realised ... read more
Mat Mattia monastery
Mat Mattia monastery
Mat Mattia monastery

Middle East » Iraq » North » Arbil February 16th 2013

In the Middle East, the visitor is seen as a gift from God. But like any gift, the reaction to its receipt is related to its frequency; the more regular the gift, the less enthusiastic the response. The Middle East bestows the most hospitable of welcomes on visitors, and since I never met or saw any other foreign tourist during my ten days in the Kurdish region of Iraq, it meant that all latent hospitality was poured upon me. As is usual with my first day in any location, I approach it through the eyes of someone observing, rather than immersing. Despite this cautious approach, the response was remarkable. On the second day, I removed that last veneer of caution and strode forth; the reaction was extraordinary. Returning to the Qaysari Bazaar I searched for Erbil’s ... read more
Fishing in the mountain range - Kurdish Region, Iraq
Shoe seller in the Qaysari Bazaar - Erbil, Kurdish Region, Iraq
Very cute girl attends a wedding - Sami Abdulrahman Park, Erbil, Kurdish Region, Iraq

Middle East » Iraq » North » Arbil February 13th 2013

Images of charred remains, bloodied bodies and wailing survivors filled my television screen. BBC World was reporting yet another bombing in Kirkuk. I looked down at my computer screen where the payment page for my flight to Erbil in the Kurdish Region of Iraq was displayed. Erbil is a mere 100 kilometres from Kirkuk. I glanced again at the violent images on the screen, “Damn it,” were the only words to issue from my mouth. The mouse hovered above the payment button and with a slight movement of my finger, the button was clicked. I was going to Iraq. Travelling to Iraq was the intention, but upon arriving at Dubai airport a few days later, I met with an unexpected and frustrating opponent – airline bureaucracy. “Do you have a letter from the Iraq Ministry of ... read more
Woodsmith and his wares - The Qaysari Bazaar, Erbil, Kurdish Region, Iraq
Old man in the Qaysari Bazaar - Erbil, Kurdish Region, Iraq
Young man in the Qaysari Bazaar - Erbil, Kurdish Region, Iraq

Middle East » Iraq » North » Arbil October 13th 2010

Woke up early to leave for the next city, Erbil, about 180 kms away is the capital of Kurdish Iraq. I have to wake up reception, still sleeping at 9am, paid my bills and he wrote me a place I can stay in Erbil. Walked to the share taxi stand next to the bazaar, I paid 15,000 dinar and waited half an hour to get more people before we set off. 3 hours more or less we drove into dry desolate landscape, brown and arid at this time though there is already a chill in the air as it is now autumn, I noticed a number of checkpoints and we got checked 3 times, most soldiers can't read Roman letters and they thumb through my passport meticulously and asks where I am from as if my ... read more

Middle East » Iraq » North » Arbil October 23rd 2009

For more of my photos, or to buy my book, please visit Before you read ahead, forget everything you know about Iraq. The ancient Mesopotamian ruins of Ur and Nineveh, where civilization began and writing and law codes were invented, the site of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the purported location of the Garden of Eden, and capital city Baghdad are all scratched off my Iraq travel itinerary. I am going to the ‘New Iraq’, a relatively safe and stable, visually stunning, and quickly developing semi-autonomous state in northern Iraq, occupied by some of the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world. My exposure to Iraqi people and culture actually began before I even entered the country. On a recent bus ride from Turkey to Syria, I shared a seat with Jabbar Hassan, ... read more
Kurdish Man
Welcome to Iraq!
Dohuk, the first major city as you enter Iraq from the north

Tot: 2.486s; Tpl: 0.034s; cc: 9; qc: 53; dbt: 0.0431s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb