SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Marsh Arab reed house. The marsh Arabs inhabit the Mesopotamian marshes around the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in the south of Iraq. The marshes were systematically drained in the mid-to-late 20th century, shrinking to 10 per cent of their original size. This was done to provide agricultural land, but also to destroy the habitat of the Shi'a Muslim Marsh Arabs, who were persecuted by the Iraqi ruling Ba'athist Party. During this time the marsh Arab population fell from 500,000 to only 20,000.
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