The story of Iraq

Despite the devastation of Iraq, the country retains beautiful areas that hint at a brighter future.

Iraq's marshlands have been declared a world heritage site. Haidar Mohammed Ali / AFP
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Recognising the Iraqi Marshlands as a Unesco World Heritage site is proof that despite the years of destruction that have devastated Iraq, there are still many treasures to be found in the country. As The National reported yesterday, the area is considered one of the world's largest inland delta systems, despite being surrounded by an inhospitable environment.

Neither former president Saddam Hussein, who had much of the marshlands drained, nor ISIL, which still controls of some of the world’s most significant archaeological sites, have succeeded in stripping the country of its unique beauty. Today, many of its people are returning to the marshland area after they fled Saddam’s long reign of repression and were forced to become economic migrants.

Perhaps the marshlands provide a metaphor of the whole country, which, despite going through years of wars and conflict, is surviving and welcoming back many of its people.