Pretty hard a task it is, you will admit, to recommend Iraq in terms of tourist attractiveness at the moment. Hitting the headlines since the dawn of the 20th century for far less than splendiferous reasons, it has earned itself a reputation for impetuousness, intolerance, the least desired place to find oneself in, and the dark side of humanity.
Yet when one day the country manages to break off the shackles of war, steer clear of extremism, silence the explosions and shake off the dust of stupendous wreckage, it will once again manifest the glory of Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires that flourished between the mighty Euphrates and Tigris meandering across the once fertile alluvial plains. The Kadhimimain Mosque, the Abbasid Palace, and the Arch of Ctesiphon- fine examples of an early engineering feat and impressive architectural thought- will be beautifully restored. Baghdad will perhaps regain its status as the focal point of learning and its museums will fill with tremendous artifacts afresh. 3000-plus peaks will kindly invite trekkers and the smell of roasted masgouf lure foodies.
When all this happens, Iraq will again astound the world like the wondrous Hanging Gardens rumored to have been built near present-day Al Hillah once did. If all this happens.