Photo Gallery: Iraq – Date Palms

This is part of the the Antoni Paszkiewicz project.

'Irak, daktyle, 1942r' - Iraq, dates, 1942

‘Irak, daktyle, 1942r’ – Iraq, dates, 1942

The date palm has always been an important part of the agricultural bedrock of Iraq and the precursor nations and empires in this region. Cultivated for over 5,000 years, the date palm has been used for food, medicine and building materials from the time of the Sumerians. The trees were grown in huge numbers along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates and in the south around Basra. Iraq became the largest producer of dates in the world and had the largest date forest in the world. Sadly, this important staple crop was largely destroyed in the south of the country during the Iraq-Iran war and subsequent conflicts have prevented its resurgence.

Toni grew up in eastern Poland, was imprisoned in Soviet Russia and was now in the ‘Garden of Eden’. Travelling in Iraq must have been an extraordinary experience. Not surprisingly, he took a number of photos of date palms, which characterise this exotic land.

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