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Pictures Report

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Unexpected rainfall revives Iraq's 'Garden of Eden'
This time last year, most of Iraq's historic marshlands were dry, desiccated by upstream damming and a chronic lack of rainfall. But after heavy rainfall at the end of 2018, water came gushing back to the wetlands in southeastern Iraq.
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man fishes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. This time last year, most...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man fishes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man fishes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. This time last year, most of Iraq's historic marshlands were dry, desiccated by upstream damming and a chronic lack of rainfall. But after heavy rainfall at the end of 2018, water came gushing back to the wetlands in southeastern Iraq. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
RTX6SZMX
April 24, 2019
A flock of buffaloes is seen during the sunset at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. The marshes...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
A flock of buffaloes is seen during the sunset at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
A flock of buffaloes is seen during the sunset at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. The marshes are thought to be the biblical Garden of Eden and were named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2016.


REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man with his wife grill a fish at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province.



REUTERS/Thaier...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man with his wife grill a fish at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man with his wife grill a fish at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province.



REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man smoke cigarettes near buffaloes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. Saddam...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man smoke cigarettes near buffaloes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man smoke cigarettes near buffaloes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. Saddam Hussein accused the area's inhabitants, the Marsh Arabs, of treachery during the 1980-1988 war with Iran and later drained the marshes - which before then had stretched across more than 3,700 square miles - to flush out rebels. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
Many residents fled, but after Saddam's overthrow in 2003, parts of the marshland were reflooded and...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
Iraqi Marsh Arab people ride their boats as they collect reeds at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province...
Many residents fled, but after Saddam's overthrow in 2003, parts of the marshland were reflooded and around 250,000 Marsh Arabs have cautiously trickled back.


REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
Many had moved to farmland in nearby provinces, or went to live in exile in Iran. Their years away brought...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
A buffalo wades in the waters of Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
Many had moved to farmland in nearby provinces, or went to live in exile in Iran. Their years away brought a change to the vibrant local culture, residents say, and more conservative norms, particularly regarding the role of women who have long worked alongside men in the marshes.
REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
RTX6SZMO
April 24, 2019
The area has been home to the Marsh Arabs for millennia, and water is essential to maintaining their...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab paddles his boat as he collects reeds at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
The area has been home to the Marsh Arabs for millennia, and water is essential to maintaining their way of life. Though many were eager to return home after two decades away, life in the marshes is tough and revolves around fishing and raising water buffalo. The few schools and government-run health clinics are miles away from the open water, where many people live without electricity.


REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
Residents have to make daily trips on long wooden boats to buy bottled water for themselves and their...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
Iraqi Marsh Arab girls walk near buffaloes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
Residents have to make daily trips on long wooden boats to buy bottled water for themselves and their families – as the surrounding waters are too salty to drink. Years of low water levels have caused other problems, including less tall grass for the buffalo to graze on, and a drop in the variety of fish.


REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
RTX6SZMN
April 24, 2019
Residents have to make daily trips on long wooden boats to buy bottled water for themselves and their...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man with his wife make bread at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
Residents have to make daily trips on long wooden boats to buy bottled water for themselves and their families – as the surrounding waters are too salty to drink. Years of low water levels have caused other problems, including less tall grass for the buffalo to graze on, and a drop in the variety of fish.



REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
RTX6SZMU
April 24, 2019
Years of low water levels have caused other problems, including less tall grass for the buffalo to graze...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab woman paddles her boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
Years of low water levels have caused other problems, including less tall grass for the buffalo to graze on, and a drop in the variety of fish. The local carp, previously local fishermen's best seller, hasn't been seen in the waters here all year. Instead, the fishermen and women now catch just one type of small fish which most don't recall having seen until recently.


REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
RTX6SZMT
April 24, 2019
An Iraqi Marsh Arab carries reeds at the Chebayesh marsh in Iraq's Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab carries reeds at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
An Iraqi Marsh Arab carries reeds at the Chebayesh marsh in Iraq's Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man rides a boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man rides a boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man rides a boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man collects fishes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man collects fishes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man collects fishes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man sits in his house which is made of reeds at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province....
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man sits in his house which is made of reeds at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province...
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man sits in his house which is made of reeds at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province.
REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
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April 24, 2019
An Iraqi Marsh Arab woman is pictured in a boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
An Iraqi Marsh Arab woman is pictured in a boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
An Iraqi Marsh Arab woman is pictured in a boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man sits on a boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
Iraqi Marsh Arab man sits on a boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
An Iraqi Marsh Arab man sits on a boat at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
IRAQ-MARSHES/
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April 24, 2019
A flock of buffaloes is seen during the sunset at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier...
Dhi Qar, Iraq
A flock of buffaloes is seen during the sunset at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province
A flock of buffaloes is seen during the sunset at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
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