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Population and Geography of the Middle East

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36 hours in Baghdad

My coworker and I will be traveling to Baghdad on 7/17/2018. The weather is expected to be sunny throughout the day therefore good weather for wearing jeans, t-shirts, caps, and sandals. Baghdad is a very dangerous city to travel to due to the prevailing terrorist attacks as well as kidnaps occurring in the city and many governments warn against traveling there. Nevertheless, the Baghdad International Airport is a safe and secure place as it is guarded throughout.

Tigris River in Baghdad

Baghdad city is the capital city and the largest city in Iraq. It was founded in the 8th century and it is located along the Tigris River. Its decline began in 1258 during the Mongolian invasion and this made it completely destroyed. It has never risen to past glory ever since even after being rebuilt and flourishing under the rule of Ilkhanid. Baghdad has an estimated population of seven million people. In spite of the various changes visited on Baghdad in its history, it has maintained a mystique as well as appeal equaled by few of the cities in the world. Most Muslims respect it as the seat of the last caliphate that was legitimate and other people as the Arabs as well as the Islamic world’s cosmopolitan center when they were at their magnificence height. The Baghdad people are known to have an affinity for gardens as well as family recreation. The vast majority of the population in the city is Muslim and Arab. Traditionally, individuals of similar division, racial or tribal group, or craft have coexisted in distinct quarters or neighborhoods. Even though oil wealth, as well as massive rural-urban migration, has resulted in distribution founded on socioeconomic stratification, old patterns have remained to a large extent, although in somewhat different form (Marozzi, 2015). The main means of public transportation in the city are buses and the public taxis. We flew into Baghdad International Airport and we will be staying Baghdad International Airport Hotel because of its location and the guaranteed security within the airport zone. We are going to get around using public taxis as well as buses.

Map of Baghdad city

Day 1: Morning

On arrival at 8.00 am, we will pause for a taste of Baghdad coffee and muffins at the Baghdad International Airport Hotel for $10. After breakfast, we immediately head out to Umm Al-Qura Mosque to visit the beautiful mosque.

Umm Al-Qura Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques in Iraq and the largest place for worship for Sunni Muslims in the city. It has a very magnificent architecture and houses very many refugees. It only took us 38 minutes to get there from the hotel by taxi.

At 11 am, we drop by at the Iraqi museum briefly whose doors have always remained closed due to the looting of items during wars. Most of the artifacts in the missing are still missing today even though there are others present in the museum that show the development of most things such as hunting, religion industry mathematics and humankind’s best and worst impulses ( Ramovš, & Tekavčič, 2010).

Day 1: Afternoon

At 1.00 pm we head down to the Al-Shaheed Monument (Marty’s Memorial monument) to view this monument that consists of 132-foot tall arabesque dome and is the structure stands at the center of an artificial lake. It will take us 21 minutes to get there. The monument has very serene curves and was built at a time that Iraq had lots of conflict and genocide (Night, 2012). The monument is a sight to behold and is a major attraction site in Baghdad. Underneath this platform, we find a cafeteria; therefore, we will pop in for snacks as we admire the place for $5.

Al-Shaheed Monument in Baghdad

During lunch hour we drive to Manuela Restaurant and Café a very short distance of about 4 kilometers from Al-Shaheed Monument. At Manuela Restaurant and Café we will have rice and chicken stew while enjoying the afternoon view of the Al-Shaheed Monument. The food will cost us about $ 50. We will also enjoy mini boat trips at the restaurant at $10 after our meals. This restaurant is very beautiful you wouldn’t even believe that you are in Baghdad.

Manuela restaurant view

We later visit Al-Jawadain Holy Shrine at 3.00 pm a shrine believed that when you go there with a problem or a wish when you pray here and ask for Imam Musa ibn Jafar’s help, you will be relieved and your prayers will be answered. It is said that He was a very generous Imam who would never turn a beggar away empty-handed. This golden shrine is a very spiritual place, breathtaking and it gives a person a very peaceful feeling.

Al-Jawadain Holy Shrine

Day 1: Evening

We go for dinner at Babylon Warwick Hotel as we hold the business meeting. Dinner at the hotel (buffet service) cost $150. This beautiful hotel overlooks the Dejlah River while beautifully blending modern sophistication with significant Babylonian civilization. The person we will be meeting with is an Engineer at a power company in Iraq. Our meeting will be to request him to travel back to the States and oversee a construction that is taking place in one of the company’s branches.

DAY 2: Morning

Babylon Mall

It is at this mall that we take our breakfast in a restaurant on the fifth floor known to have very tasty food for $40. Then in the same mall, we visit the dinosaur park on the fourth floor. We also do some shopping at the gift stores in the mall to take home with us.

Later after our shopping spree at Babylon Mall, we go to a nearby mall known as Maximall for some watches and other cosmetic souvenirs.

DAY 2: Afternoon

Lunch will be taken at the Babylon hotel ($20) as it has a pool. We will also enjoy the pool for an afternoon swim at the hotel before visiting Zawraa Park which is 6km away. Zawraa Park is a very green park with beautiful artistically arranged flowers. We get to see the great landscapes, fish tank gallery and the big zoo in the park. The environment in the zoo is very clean and it is a very good place to unwind.

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