The photographic exhibition Eden: Marshlands of Mesopotamia took place in the framework of the Rodos Ecofilms Festival, 20-25 June 2006.
Eden portrayed in the exhibition is the largest wetland in the Middle East. It is an expansive oasis flooded by waters of mountains in Turkey and Iran that then flow into the Gulf of Persia. Home to the civilization of the Sumerians, it is also important for communities of Marsh Arabs who have lived in that area for centuries. A population of about 100,000 Ma’dan, as they are known live in Messopotamian wetlands today and their well being is linked to the wise use of the wetlands.
As about one third of the wetlands of Messopotamia have been drained and lost over the last 30 years it is important to protect what remains.
Thirty seven color prints with portraits of Marsh Arabs, village life, wildlife and landscapes taken during a Biodiversity Survey organised in 2005 were displayed in the exhibition. The photographer, Mr Mudhafar Salim participated in the Survey undertaken as part of a Canada-Iraq Marshlands Initiative (CIMI) to restore the wetland.
The exhibition was organised by the Embassy of Canada in Greece, MedWet and the Ecofilms Festival who subsequently collaborated with the Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage to bring it to Athens. In Rodos the Exhibition was also supported by the Organisation of Cultural Development / Prefecture of the Dodecanese islands, Greece.
A limited number of copies of the catalogue are available free of charge.
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