Kuwait’s role in Ahwar recognition lauded • IJS: Media visit to boost ties
BASRA: Collaboration and not competition should be the theme in the rapport between Kuwait’s Mubarak Al-Kabir Port and Basra’s Faw grand port, a Kuwaiti journalist said yesterday. Many discrepancies arose around this issue in the past by both parties, yet the idea of collaboration is one of many hopeful visions tabled by the Kuwaiti media delegation, noted Adnan Al-Rashed, Trustee of Kuwaiti Journalists’ Association (KJA). His statements to KUNA came as part of a number of ideas by Kuwaiti journalists currently visiting southern Iraq, namely Basra and Dhi Qar governorates.
“Uncertainty should be replaced with cooperation, which could extend even further should the Kuwaiti private sector be provided with the opportunity to invest in port management for other hubs in Basra, which would have a positive impact on bilateral relations,” Rashed, who is also coordinator of the visit, pointed out. Another proposal by the delegation was the establishment of a railroad between Kuwait and Basra; a project of multiple benefits for both sides in addition to other Gulf states, be they commercial or related to conventional or religious tourism, he said.
Organizing trips and exchanging visits for college and school students from both countries is another idea that will immensely contribute in buttressing social and cultural bonding between Kuwaiti and Iraqi peoples, as well as helping to create a “collective memory” of good and neighborly relations for generations to come, Rashed noted, pointing out that “this particular visit came upon the wish of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah”.
On his part, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Anbaa Youssef Al-Marzouq said despite the “difficulty” of achieving some of these proposals on the ground, both parties could achieve more on popular and private sector levels, especially since Iraq is an investment-attracting destination. Meanwhile, Media Advisor at HH the Prime Minister’s Diwan Hassan Al-Sayegh said the Kuwaiti delegation suggested during a meeting with Basra’s local government officials to work on rehabilitating Safwan border crossing and turning it into a vital economic link between cities in Iraq and the Gulf, which will boost trade volume both ways. The KJA delegation also includes KUNA Deputy Director General for Editorial Saad Al-Ali, Editor-in-Chief of Kuwait Times Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan and others.
Managing Director of the Chibaish Nature Office of Iraq Jassem Al-Asadi praised yesterday the role played by Kuwait in including the Al-Ahwar marshes in southern Iraq in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. The official’s remarks came during his reception of the visiting Kuwaiti media delegation to the southern provinces of Basra and Dhi Qar, a trip organized by the Iraq Journalists Syndicate (IJS). During their stay, the delegation visited an exhibition for photos and handicrafts by the inhabitants of the Al-Ahwar marshes, after which they went on a boat trip.
The media group also visited the famous reed houses, known as mudhif, inside the village of Chibaish. These houses, made from reed sticks, are considered one of the oldest forms of architecture in the southern regions of Iraq, dating back to the Sumerian civilization more than 7,000 years ago. Asadi presented a detailed explanation of the nature and history of the marshes, which extend more than 9,600 km. He explained how it was exposed to the most severe destruction and drying in 1991, which led to the migration of most of the local people.
Despite all challenges facing the area, the local government managed to overcome the water flow problem in 2003 and was able to extend the marshes area again. This helped in recognizing Al-Ahwar marshes as a UNESCO global heritage site due to its biodiversity and the presence of large quantities of endangered animals, fish and migrating birds.
The current visit of the Kuwaiti media delegation to Basra and Dhi Qar provinces will develop relations, said the Head of the IJS Moaid Al-Lami yesterday. In statement to KUNA, Lami said the visit will hopefully lead to the development of investment and tourism opportunities and boost media and cultural relations. The rapprochement between societies will stimulate the economic and cultural movement, he said, adding that the Kuwaiti media delegation have more of a clear idea of the stable conditions in both the provinces of Basra and Dhi Qar. – KUNA