Safarnama Iraq: Samarra

After the Fajr (dawn) namaz (prayer) Maulana Qasim Najaf, guide and mentor for the day’s ziarat met me at the hotel. We set out to reach Samarra first and decided to touch Balak and Kazmein on the return journey. The three and half hour journey to Samarra took over five hours due to the poor conditions of the road especially in the built up areas.

Taxi drivers universally have the same attributes viz, they are loud, verbose, talkative and often witty. Our’s was no different, though I did not understand a word of his broadsides! Do hear him out.

Though oil is the predominant revenue earner for Iraq, it is also a large producer of dates which it exports. Personally, I found them more fibrous and luscious than those I have tasted elsewhere. The palm dates gardens are scattered all along the highways. Do have a look.

Like the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia in modern Iraq, the Nile provided a hospitable environment for the emergence of one of the earliest and most dominant civilizations in history. Short of Samarra we encounter the river and hear to the legends related Prophet Moses (PBUH) and the protest by Shias.

We reach Samarra. (For those readers who are not familiar with Shia doctrine and their Imams, kindly log on to the link below for a better understanding) We proceeded with our ziarat.

Imame Zamana Masjid

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The next blog will complete the journey after visiting Balak and Kazmein.


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