The green land is a barren desert

  • 11.09.2022
  • The Guardian

In the heart of a region known as the Fertile Crescent, Abdul Hadi Mizher dug a well on his family farm. The Iraqi farmer drilled 16m into the hard earth. But despite the depth, not a single drop of water emerged.

Iraq has had a particularly dry summer but Mizher’s family have been here for four generations, growing wheat and vegetables and raising cows and this year is exceptional.

“The green land has been transformed into a barren desert,” says Mizher, 35. “I don’t remember seeing this in my lifetime.”

Water levels in the country’s great rivers Euphrates and Tigris, on whose ancient banks Mesopotamia’s civilisations emerged 8,000 years ago, have dropped by half.