Al-Ahwar of southern Iraq is considered to be one of the most attractive and touristic areas, known for its five thousand years of economic wealth and rich history. Southern Iraq, in general, has unique and distinctive characteristics that differ from the rest of the Iraqi areas, namely, the presence of the constructed Sumerian hosting areas that are made entirely out of reeds. It was recently considered an important world heritage.
The construction of the ‘madyaf’ is a specialty that only the people who lived in the villages of Al-Ahwar know and appreciate. It’s called the ‘madyaf’ because it’s considered to be “the guesthouse”, located not too far away from the residents’ houses. It’s a place where wedding ceremonies, funerals and important meetings are held, where everyone discusses the matters of their districts and resolves problems as a community.
Sometimes they tell stories, historical and modern narratives that can last for hours, and between one period and another, everyone drinks coffee and tea, all gathering around to extended late hours of the night.