Friday, February 01, 2013

February 2013 Monthly Travel Photo: Abraham's Oasis

The above photo is by Pep Photo of Abraham's Oasis on Al Asad (The Lion) Airbase, Al Anbar Province, Iraq.  I picked this photo since my Iraq photos are sadly lost.

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In the past I wrote about the Oasis and it's religious geography history

"First, a little geography. The oasis is about six miles (ten kilometers) away from the Euphrates River. At this point on, the more northwest one goes along the river the deeper it sinks into cliff sides, making side stops difficult. The whole western portion of Iraq is desert making any access to a rest area with water extremely valuable. Finally, the oasis is last oasis of any importance until well after the Syrian border.

All these factors lead locals to claim Abraham visited the Oasis during his divinely inspired mission to the Holy Land. Despite the fact neither the Bible or Qu'ran mention any stops, if the oasis was in existence at the time Abraham would have most likely stopped there."

While the base was under United States control the oasis was clean and access was restricted to those with a chaplain guide.  My visit to the oasis required me to attend a cultural awareness briefing about respecting the Iraqi traditions around the oasis.  However, several blog readers claim that the oasis is now trashed as the base is under Iraqi control.  Sadly, this matches the oasis' condition before American occupation.  While the United States treated this place as a holy site, local Iraqis, even those who believed the story, treated it like a garbage dump. 

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