I never thought this would come out of my mouth, but I miss Iraq! I miss their interesting culture! I miss sitting on the floor and eating the most delicious home cooked meal with amazing people! In this picture, our tour guide Adam Jebrin, through Soviet Tours, invited Ramblin' Randy Williams and me back to his family’s home for this outstanding meal with his and his brother’s
Dear Brother Adam & Musa
I want my guide to Iraq, Adam, to thank you. So touching me. A, when it's time for the road to cross, where the head will be spared in a low opening when you fall for sandbags (kidding). When we stopped for prayer, he and his brother took turns to leave me alone. He says I physically feel responsible for you. From, says the stamp of departure at Baghdad airport and came to me. Then I'll go with the oblečeniem. A beautiful guide, intelligent, understands what I want, with an excellent English and local to the same, even an ex. If anyone needs, highly recommend.
Trip to Iraq Dec 2017 - Najaf, Babylon, Ur, Baghdad etc
I’ve just returned from a 10 days tour in Southern Iraq, Basra to Baghdad. It was a fabulous experience to see historical places, like Babylon, Ur, Ctesiphon, marshlands of Mesopotamia, etc. We visited many mosques and observed pilgrims coming to ... Read more >>
Dear Brother Adam & Musa
I was wearing a long dress on top of my pants, a long cardigan and a headscarf covering all my hair. To me, I literally looked like a pilgrim in Mecca. But according to Mousa, this wasn't good enough to enter one of the most famous mosques of Iraq ... Read more >>
Dear Brother Adam & Musa
I would like to say a sincere "thank you" to you for making my "Grand Tour" of Iraq so memorable. I feel very fortunate that I had this opportunity to be on this tour and you were the guide. Visiting Iraq was my dream come true.It was amazing how much i packed into 7 days. Your stories and descriptions of the sites and the history was phenomenal. You certainly have a wonderful manner of giving some of the information you have about your country.
Looking forward to visit Iraq in 2015 or 2016 Insha ALLAH
I recently returned from my second trip to Southern Iraq in two years and wanted to share my recommendation of Alwaseilah Tours, who facilitated both of my trips. Here is their contact information:
UK Office: +44 7947138673 / +44 7947138373
Iraq Office: +964 7801002151 / +964 7801560671
Adam Jebrin and his brother Musa are truly wonderful people, who went out of their way to help me plan a customized itinerary that encompassed all of my historical, cultural and religious interests. While their agency primarily organizes packages for Shi'a pilgrims visiting the country's numerous Islamic sites, they are just as happy to organize tours comprised entirely of historical sites (Babylon, Nippur, Ur, etc.) or a combination of both.
Their Agency is based out of Najaf, which happens to be one of the safest and most stable places in Southern Iraq, as well as being centrally located to several of the country's major archaeological sites. As such, we used Najaf as our primary base, making day trips to surrounding cities and sites and overnighting in cities further afield (Baghdad, Kut and Basrah).
Adam's primary concern is for the comfort and safety of his clients, and for that reason he is very up-front about what is and isn't feasible. Many places to the North and West of Baghdad, which had featured on classical itineraries for Southern Iraq (e.g. Samarra, al-Mada'in, al-Ukhaydir) are at present entirely unsafe, and Adam is quite simply not willing to risk your life and his to try and take you there. The situation on the ground is extremely fluid, and it's impossible to predict what will happen between now and when you've planned your trip, so some flexibility will of course be necessary.
That said, the vast majority of places of interest to tourists are feasible, and I'm happy to say that on both of my trips we were able to visit every point on my itinerary without a hitch. Yes, there are dozens of military checkpoints along each of the roads between Baghdad and Basrah, and security can at times be very tight, but it helps to remember that this is all in place for your protection and for the security of the country, and in all cases I was treated with politeness and respect.
In terms of logistics, whereas Alwaseilah (and, I suspect, other tour agencies) was previously able to arrange for individual visas on arrival at Najaf and Baghdad airports, the Government of Iraq has unfortunately just overhauled their policy within the last few months, and the situation is a bit more complex. At present, all visitors to Iraq must travel as part of a group of no less than 5 people, all of whom must enter Iraq together at Najaf airport. The visas must be applied for in advance (it takes approx. 4 weeks to issue an approval code) and then collected from the Iraqi Embassy in your country of residence, similarly to how the Iranian visa system works.
26 Jan 2015