Iraq, located in the heart of the Middle East, is a country with a rich history and cultural heritage. With a population of over 40 million people, it is known for its diverse ethnic and religious groups. Its capital city, Baghdad, holds significant historical and cultural importance, with landmarks such as the famous Al-Mustansiriya University and the iconic Abbasid Palace.

Iraq has a fascinating cultural tapestry that dates back thousands of years. It is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the ancient city of Babylon, which was once a center of Mesopotamian civilization. The country has a diverse range of traditions, arts, and cuisine, influenced by a mix of Arab, Kurdish, and Turkoman cultures. Iraqi cuisine is known for its unique flavors, with dishes like masgouf, kebabs, bagila bil dihin, makhlama, and quzi being some of its most popular.

I visited Iraq in September of 2022 and took a deep dive into the real spirit of this country, which is nothing like the way it’s often portrayed in the media. Despite its well-documented challenges, it’s also a beautiful country with kind, generous, and resilient people who welcomed me with open arms.

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