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Return To The Marshes: Life With The Marsh Arabs Of Iraq

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30 review for Return To The Marshes: Life With The Marsh Arabs Of Iraq

  1. 4 out of 5

    Abrar Hani

    الكتاب لطيف رغم سطحيته في بعض المواضيع . لكنني لم احبه ، مللت كثيراً خلال قراءته ، ربما هو ليس لي او ربما لم يكن وقت قراءته مناسباً .

  2. 4 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    This is a lovely book, packed with photos, some in colour. They show the Marsh Arabs living quietly and making homes from timbers and woven reeds, boats, clothes, everything they needed from their surroundings. It must have been a hard life but they seem cheerful as they go about fishing. One photo shows "Gavin Maxwell's otter Mijbil, a species unknown to science before 1956." I read this book from the Royal Dublin Society library.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Daren

    A great book, which is best read after Thesiger's The Marsh Arabs, and Gavin Maxwell's A Reed Shaken by the Wind: Travels among the Marsh Arabs of Iraq. This book covers three aspects. It initially goes back into the history of the Mesopotamian Marshes and covers its changes over time. Sumerian's, the introduction of Islam, first contact with Europeans, the coming of the British (World War I). It then delves into Gavin Young's own time in the marshes, starting in 1952. Starting out with Thesiger, A great book, which is best read after Thesiger's The Marsh Arabs, and Gavin Maxwell's A Reed Shaken by the Wind: Travels among the Marsh Arabs of Iraq. This book covers three aspects. It initially goes back into the history of the Mesopotamian Marshes and covers its changes over time. Sumerian's, the introduction of Islam, first contact with Europeans, the coming of the British (World War I). It then delves into Gavin Young's own time in the marshes, starting in 1952. Starting out with Thesiger, then spending time by himself with the Madan, with his own boat and his own crew of paddlers. Young leaves the marshes in 1956. The third section charts Young's subsequent visit in 1973, when he tracked down a lot of his former friends, revisiting places familiar to him. This visit and a few returns in the following 4-5 years gave the author a lot of hope for the future. There was a lot that was the same. A short quote from this section: One day alone with young Shibil as he fished a lagoon, I said 'Before I returned here, I thought I would never see the marshes, or any of you ever again. I thought you might have all vanished.' He slapped his bare chest with his hand, sending a sharp echo around the red verge. 'Vanished? We Madan? Do I look as if I would ever disappear?" He stood laughing in the prow of his canoe, brown and half naked, his spear raised to strike down into the water. My edition contains an epilogue written in 1989. In 1980, the Iran/Iraq war commenced. It was not until 1989 that there was a resolution. In 1984 Gavin Young succeeded in returning again to Basra, and into the Marshes. Many of his friends had died. Some had moved away. Many others remained. His view of the future was one of caution, but hope for the survival of the ancient Madan culture, and way of life. Sadly, Saddam Hussein's plan to dam rivers and drain the Marshes displaced the vast majority of these people. Wikipedia says the Marshes were considered a refuge for 'elements persecuted by the government of Hussein', and in retribution he set up the irrigation project which resulted in displacement and resettlement, largely in refugee camps. The Marsh Arabs, who numbered around 500,000 in the 1950 were reduced to as few as 20,000 in Iraq. Since 2003, when dykes were breached returning waterflow, the process has been reversed and permanent wetlands cover 50% of the 1970s area. Now only a few thousand Madan remain in the marshes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad Ahmad

    The only question I want to ask about, how did Gavin have had the friendly relationship with those Arab Marshes people? I don't know how he for three times came to the region even at the war time that witnessed a savage broken out war between Iraq and Iran. I think as I am an Iraqi person I cannot do so in British, I think it is impossible to find the warmth- chested people in England... As I read the book " return to the marshes" which it really discloses the autobiography written by its author The only question I want to ask about, how did Gavin have had the friendly relationship with those Arab Marshes people? I don't know how he for three times came to the region even at the war time that witnessed a savage broken out war between Iraq and Iran. I think as I am an Iraqi person I cannot do so in British, I think it is impossible to find the warmth- chested people in England... As I read the book " return to the marshes" which it really discloses the autobiography written by its author "Gavin" since he had visited the Iraqi- marshes across three times, the first time was at 1951, the second visit was at 1973, and the third time of his visit was at 1984 during the Iraqi- Iranian war. The minute details he mentioned about the inhabitants lived there, the animals, the birds, the customs and habits of marshes people, his close-friends names, the Iraqis, all those minute details perplexed me more and more, but on the other hand the only thing it results on is the simple and the good- nature of Iraqis souls, their generosity, their good-hearted, so reasonably I had to think that Iraqis had helped the humanity more and more.

  5. 4 out of 5

    رغد قاسم

    such amazing book! warm, and faithful. take you to the unique , magical marshes of Iraq. the extraordinary beautiful nature, a book written with a big love and respect to the "Madan" the whole book was beautiful and the pictures, the pictures by itself worth , don't know what it's worth ... I just have no words to describe the greatness of it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Richard Loseby

    One of those books where you can 'feel' the location through its pages. Dust, dirt, reeds, water - all under an unrelenting sun - and even more so with the people Gavin Young writes about. If ever there was a book that made me want to travel, this was certainly it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cat {Wild Night In}

    Oh gosh, this book was fantastic. It was poetry. It was wonderful.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Colin Nichols

    Bitter-sweet as you know what Saddam did afterwards

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rahem_95

    ذكر معلومة في الكتاب بأن الإمام علي ع أُغتيل وهو في طريقه إلى مسجد الكوفة!! شيء غريب أن يصدر منه هذا الخطأ !، فالمعروف بأن الإمام علي عليه السلام ضُرب وهو في محراب الصلاة في مسجد الكوفة.

  10. 4 out of 5

    K.H.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anneke Alnatour

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Lesurf

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pierke Bosschieter

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul Tubb

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave Reid

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hanguin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ajsm53

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barry Hunter

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pete Bishop

  21. 4 out of 5

    Trudy O'Hara

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shawan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joel

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abu.elhasan ابو الحسن

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Richmond

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bob Marshall

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pat Napoleon

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nawal

  29. 4 out of 5

    ECL

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bob

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