The Iraqi Red Crescent Society established a camp for recreational and training scouts for a group of young people from the marshes of Al-Jbayish district as part of the program (Union is strength through the power of football).
The camp’s program included educational lectures on how to interact with tourists in the marshes, as well as the dangers of overfishing for birds and fish in order to preserve the marshlands’ natural resources.
Qassem Aziz, one of the tents’ organizers, stated: “The Iraqi Red Crescent established a scientific recreational camp in the Chabayish marshes with the assistance of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the program (Union through the Power of Football), the camp’s mission is to educate and rehabilitate youth from marsh areas through educational lectures on the importance of marshes and how to invest in these water bodies in order to improve the living standards of residents in these areas in particular and to reroute tourism to southern heritage areas. and, more broadly, archaeology.
“The lectures discussed how to preserve the marshes and to reject all acts of sabotage such as overfishing and waste disposal in these natural areas, particularly in light of the recent influx of foreigners,” Aziz added.“Sports entertainment games were held, interspersed with traditional practices (such as folk songs) that are unique to marsh residents,” Qassem continued.
The marshes, located in southern Iraq, are bodies of water and natural habitats for a variety of migratory birds and fish.
The marshes had been neglected for a long period of time and were subjected to drought, drying, and overfishing. In July 2016, UNESCO inscribed the Iraqi marshes as an international natural reserve, along with other archaeological sites in the Dhi Qar Governorate.
This event drew over thirty young men from the Chabayish district.
According to Sajjad Sakban, one of the trainees and camp participants: “The participants gained valuable insight into how to invest in marshes and develop them into a viable economic resource on a par with oil. The marshes in general, and Dhi Qar in particular, have developed into a popular tourist destination for foreign and Arab delegations, and as residents of these areas, we must ensure that this influx benefits the residents of these regions and Iraq as a whole.”
Qassem has emphasized that this activity and interest in heritage and archaeological areas creates numerous job opportunities for young people from the marshes, and that it also serves as a call to preserve the marshes as a national treasure.