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"There is no other happiness than peace"

thai proverb

Our feelings about Iraq in a few words; a big wave of emotion and a hell of a slap of reality in the face. We will tell you all about it in our articles below. One thing is certain, our  feelings are completely different in every part of the country.

MARCH 2023

VISA - payable at customs 75 USD/p for federal Iraq. This visa also allows you to travel to the Kurdish part of the country (the passage from Kurdistan to federal Iraq is only possible under certain conditions).


TAXES - Temporary importation of the vehicle, USD 105 for 30 days + road tax of 15,000 IQD per vehicle.

DOG - Import tax USD 40.-
Chip required, rabies vaccination between 30 days and 11 months, a certificate of entry into the country must be completed within 10-14 days of entering the country,

SIM - 10gb for 20,000 IQD at Asiacell

DIESEL - 1500 IQD/L for good fuel

INSURANCE - 30,000 IQD / week

OTHER - the crossing of the Syrian desert between Jordan and Baghdad is done under escort.


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Our arrival in Iraq

Border: Jordan-Iraq. We drive through the Syrian desert for about 428 km. The landscapes are arid, with charred carcasses and military posts every 15 km. The checkpoints are carried out with good humor and friendliness, which contrasts with the seriousness of the armed equipment of the soldiers. Despite the fact that this road remains dangerous (because of the presence of Daesh), the military always tries to guarantee our safety. It is hard to imagine that this insecurity,  they live it on a daily basis.


Iran-Iraq border: We did not live the experience in the same way. This border crossing and perhaps this region of Iraq is much less simple for us. Between the regular requests for Bakchich, the behavior and the gaze of men towards women, all of this makes us uncomfortable.

Minaret of Samara

When we find ourselves in front of this large spiral minaret, we find that it is not possible to approach it because of works. However, a proud soldier tells us that it is an archaeological site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discreetly, he opens the gate for us and tells us to enter. We then admire this sumptuous minaret 52 meters high called Malwiya. 2.jpg

Al-Shrine and its mosque

We discover the two faces of Iraq. Our first steps in the city of Samara reveal a damaged and largely destroyed city. A reality that ties our stomachs and makes us sad and yet, when we find ourselves in front of the mosque of Imam Hassan Askari and Al-Shrine, the contrast is such that it leaves us speechless. Its exterior is still being restored, but the interior is intact. Apart from the magical beauty of this place, there is this gripping atmosphere that we are not likely to forget.

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

The feeling we have when we arrive in Erbil was: have we changed country? Absolutely not, we just cross a checkpoint making us understand very well that now we are in Kurdistan. We meet a young 19-year-old Kurd, Jacob, who shows us around his city and tells us more about the situation in the region. 


In 2005, the autonomy of Kurdistan was enshrined in the Iraqi constitution. In particular, it has its own government, its own flag and Kurdish is spoken there unlike the rest of the country where Arabic is spoken. The Kurdish region has finally obtained a certain stability and an economic boom. But this does not mean that Kurdistan is completely able to find its independence today. We understand that for Jacob, the situation is not easy.



The closer we get to the village of Akré, the more we see beautiful green and wild mountains surrounding it. We take a little height by climbing the surrounding hills where we admire this magnificent panorama of the village, the mosque and these small houses.

Sheep market

At the side of the road, we see a bunch of worlds, headless chickens going around in circles and sheep tied in line one behind the other.

This scene intrigues us a lot, so we stop. This is the sheep market. The locals sell it for the herds and we see cars come and go to pick it up, leave with a chicken or vegetables. The atmosphere is on point. It speaks loudly, it laughs. It's a great time.

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Lalish and the Yazidis

We go to discover this temple called Lalish or Lalesh, located in the middle of the hills covered with greenery. It is a spiritual site of the Yezidi community in Iraq where peace now reigns. Arriving on the site we know nothing of this people and their religion. What we will learn later from his experience will classify the blood. Indeed, in 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (EIIL) launched an offensive against Sinjar. This offensive will mark the beginning of his campaign of terror against the Yezidi people. Several thousand people will be killed and many women will be sold in the markets. Prisoners of the Islamic State fighters, they will serve as their servants and sexual slaves.


These people may be only about fifty kilometers from Mosul (Islamic city) where, in 2014, many of them experienced terrible things. Although in the past they were treated horribly, today the Yazidis feel good and safe at home.


This community is in the Kurdish part of the country, but does not consider itself as such. She also doesn't see herself as Arab, but as Yazidis. We also learn that they are not allowed to convert to another religion. They were born Yazidis and must remain Yazidis. Their religion is not Islamic, but a monotheistic religion of medieval origin.

The olive festival

Today is a day of celebration for the Yezedis, a very special day that takes place only once a year. All the inhabitants come together to sort, press and prepare the olives harvested the previous year and we arrive on the first day of this festival. This olive oil will be used for lamps as well as for their religious ritual. It is not used for consumption.


The Yazidi community comes to this sanctuary regularly, especially on Wednesdays which are the busiest days of the week. This sanctuary is the oldest and healthiest of the temples. We have the chance to observe the different rituals of the Yazidis, such as kissing the thresholds of doors as well as every corner of the temple. In order to make their wishes come true, they tie and untie colored fabrics.

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