The Marches

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In the year 1975, director Kassem Hawal decided to make a film about the Iraqi Marches. He then wrote the script, shot the film and completed a 42 minutes documentary. The significance of this film being the only document which reflected the social, cultural and human reality of the indigenous population of The Marches, who have inhabited it since thousands of years. The Marches area is a cultural extension of the Sumerian civilization by more than seven thousand years. It is the largest ecosystem of its kind in the Middle East and West Asia and constitute two-thirds of southern Iraq. This vast swamp water is about 16 thousand square kilometers, an area larger than the state of Lebanon. But the Iraqi regime at that time, namely in 1985 had begun to dry it resulting in humanitarian, cultural, environmental and natural disasters in the area with the disappearance of tens of thousands of residents, air, water and soil pollution and the extinction of countless species of birds, plants and animals. Coinciding with the draining of The Marches, the Iraqi government have burned the original film material, luckily, Kassem kept a copy to share it with the world.


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