A large project composed for the Embassy of Iraq in Ottawa to produce a booklet for visitors, guests, and workshop attendees to introduce them in depth to the Mesopotamian heritage.
Excerpt from the intro:
“The word Mesopotamia is of Greek origin and refers to a land between two rivers, Euphrates and Tigris, where modern Iraq is located. In this fertile land, the two rivers drench the ground to create ideal conditions for agriculture with minimal effort and set the population up for an easy existence where sustenance was not a constant worry. The two rivers stretch across the plains of Mesopotamia and just before they meet with the Persian Gulf, they form marshes with mud flats, reed banks, unique fauna and flora, and of course the people of the marsh. The inhabitants of the Mesopotamian marshes lived comfortable lives where the rivers fed them and the reeds protected them from the elements. Under the ancient stars, in the southern Mesopotamian lands, a group of inquisitive and highly resourceful people took shelter between the tall reeds and let nature nurture them. This is where Mesopotamian history begins, the history of the first human civilizations.
This booklet has taken on the ambitious task of summarizing 8500 years of human civilization into 40 pages, only to succeed in scratching away some of the paint to reveal mere fragments of the bigger picture. The intended purpose of a booklet such as this is to inspire future historians and correct misconceptions of Mesopotamian history. As a historian of Iraqi descent, I feel the heavy burden of responsibility towards my ancestors, whose voices still echo between two ancient rivers, unheard and lost in translation. Mesopotamia in all its opulent history and epic tales has a very sobering story to tell. The story is of empires whose apparent invincibility was a weakness and whose predecessors have been so far removed from their heritage that they have become strangers to their own inheritance. Many lessons can be learnt from the ancient civilizations that developed between the Tigris and Euphrates. Lessons that could potentially lessen the cultural wasteland we have found ourselves in and help us choose our priorities correctly. The following text and illustrations attempt to stir national pride and responsibility in the hearts of those whose forefathers created the very concept of civilization. ”