Kurdistan – a country where dreams come true (or fail)

Situation in Kurdistan is sometimes compared to Gulf countries like Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Both have an abundance of Oil, both are comparitively small, both have attracted investment companies in numbers.

Both have a big amount of motor traffing permanently clogging the streets and are masters at creating dreams and mostly making them come true.

People wondered at us why we we were WALKING back the half kilometre from the institute to our hotel, but it is on this street that you see more details of what is happening here…

At the moment there is only a deep pit brightly lit by night where the youngest dream of Erbil shall come true: The Nazar tower.

Naza Tower - dream to come true

Still under construction it already boasts a facebook page…

Dreams coming true on paper first

 

Naza tower airial view (design)

 

Apartments and office flats will sell ..

 

But right nextdoor there is a much smaller project that has failed…

Facade finished, but door blocked

 

money failed so the steps could not be finished with marble

 

What could be the lesson here ??

 

Think BIG ??

 

The bigger you think – the more successful you are ??

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A group outing to Anqawah

Workshop group has wonderful lunch at Anqawah grill

Second day the evening found us on an outing to Anqawah in a beautiful mountainous area with lots of trees and green..

Typical Kurdish menu with soups, salad, Kebab and dishes

Our driver did a good job transferring us out and back in the mini-bus

Our friendly driver wearing typical Kurdish mens wear

Our driver together with his guests

Sweets-shops are bound to let your mouth water und drain your wallet ;) )

Sweets - especially form Anqawah - are hard to resist

A long and winding raod finally brought us to the mountain top …

Brzo and Dieter on the edge of the precipice

 

where it was already quickly growing dark.

Together in the cold...

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A visit to old Arbil (Qalat)

Old Arbil boasts an old citadel from Roman times  lying about 20m above the general city level.

View of citadel, mosque and central fountain

 

The citadel is built mainly of Adobe bricks adn about 500 m in diameter..

View citadel from South-West

Around the old fortress we find the old market of Erbil (souq)

Citadel with fountain and central place

 

In front of the Qalat we find a wonderful place right next to the mosque which attracts young and old becuase of the many fountains..

 

in front of the fountains - a good place to be

Facilitator Uwe Graune with workshop participant Ahmed Ajel from Bagdad

Ahmed Ajel and Uwe Graune

 

 

Men in Arbil are very often seen wearing the traditional dress

Relaxing in typical kurdish garb (name ??)

 

 

Up on the fortress hill you have a commanding view of the city stretching to the horizon

Uwe and Dieter enjoying the view from the Citadel

 

 

 

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A country outing to Anqawah

Due to the fact that the tight schedule of the workshop  leaves almost no space for any tourism we were invited for a country outing on Saturday to Shaqlawah by our generous host Dr. Nageb…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quickly the car climbs  the mountain road leading first to Salahuddin and then dropping down into the next valley to Shaqlawah..

 

 

 

 

 

Branching off up a steep unpaved sideroad (now we understand why they all drive Jeeps here..) we quickly gain height of 1800m where one has a fantastic view of the landscape (behind the mountain range is Iran).

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Shaqlawah systematic construction can be seen as a symbol of contniuous growth and wealth..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These hard fruits found on the mountainside will remind some of the movie “Ice Age”, but as it was also getting cold up there we drove down to Anqawah

 

Visiting the church in Shaqlawah

 

Walking and visiting makes hungry..

So we were invited to typical Kurdish lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Erbil neighbourhood

Thanks to an invitation by GI I had the privilege to spend a week in Erbil in the autonomy-region of Kurdistan-Iraq…

(older) GermanKarl May-Readers will know the name from the well know bok “Durchs wilde Kurdistan” and may anticipate a wild country

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which is of course not true, perhaps never was true anyway…

First impression is that of a bustling Middle Eastern town which like so many has quickly grown out of proportion.

Hotels are many and frequently booked because of the oil rigging nearby..

 

There seems to be some water, but of course not sufficient in this neighbourhood..

 

Instead also due to low oil prices of 0,50 EUR/l there is an abundance of traffic and roads are measured in meters not in lanes…

The city has already spread out a network of 100m-roads but is now building a 120m ring-road on the outskirts to cover traffic..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sideroads are populated in the compound-fashion with concrete-inventions where artists can play ad lib with the different front-makeups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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