A bird just fly through my living room . He enter through the window in the bathroom en used the living room as space to fly out again. Small images of the Garden of Eden..

To day it is Friday and as I thought no work on Friday the  Muslim sunday day. All around me they work to completed the garden around this hotel. I promised it before, one day just a blog about this place. Sam en Thomas are to the constructing place of the house and I use this morning to bring order in my pictures of yesterday and that helps to get my item for the blog of today.

Yesterday was a very intensive day. The day before we met Dr. Riaed S Jassim chairman of the investment commission of Maysan. I met him on the place of construction of the house. So I expected him to appear but in stead of that four man in two white Nissan’s came and introduced themselves as business men who where looking for investors in the city. Of course they started to speak to Thomas. But in this case he was very correct and said to them:” There is miss Anne she is our director you have to speak to her”. Unfortunately I did not managed to get through this business thinking so at least I said yes on a proposal if I wanted to see a beautiful place on the Tigris. And there on that spot it became clear that there was something else going on. I was taking pictures of very crazy things (in their mind crazy things) like old cars and old house, something on the ground. And that made them stop to convinced me that this spot was a beautiful place for a 5 star hotel and the only thing what was needed was an investor. So they asked me what I want to see. My answer was :”The city of course, the live in the city and the university”. And that all happened.

So we passed by a very old Soul and the market and finally we ended up in the university where we had a meeting with the staff of the university and they invited me

to talk about my mission. So I told them that I was an artist and that my first interested her in Maysan where the marshes. So then they introduced me to the director of the fine Arts department. And the rest of the stay in this part of the university was overwhelming. I touched the first Reed, I got a private concert in the theatre hall.

I got a beautiful painting and at least I entered the ceramic department where they explained me that they where still working with mud. There was no money for an oven. The sun was since the first made sculptors on earth their oven. So while the rest of the world went a long in their development and where talking about the first founded sculptors in Mesopotamia, where we are right now in the middle of it.

They where not taking part in our development.

So let’s start to collect money to provide then an oven. This is the start of my business today.


This afternoon I was invited by Hajj Abed Al-Saedi the owner of this hotel to make a small tour with him. He wanted to show me some special places. It where all religious places and I got different presents, like the Koran a prayer chain and a prayer tablet. So together with my black dress and my veiled head I am ready for it so to say. At least a piece of cloth in the famous green colour It became clear to me that he owns a lot of land here in this neighbourhood. And as it became clear to me that he wants to use this for tourism. He is the head of a tribe and there for they call him a sheik. His family is very big and the whole I get introduced to new people with the sentence, He is a nephew or the bother or the sun of the brother of the…and so on. They all have a kind of place here in this Garden of Eden Hotel. Talib a nephew of the sheik says it like this: Our country does not have a government so if we have problems we go to our sheik. And he helps me to solve it.

The House

Yesterday we came on the working place at around 10 o’clock. The frame of the Veerman house was already there. The Veerman house was built in the middle of houses build with bricks. I like the colour of those bricks. It is from light yellow to light brown. In the city of Al Amara a lot of new houses are built but the infrastructure is very poor I only saw sand roads. I spoke with the owner of a beautiful house just aside the Veerman house. His house was built in 1980 and he would really like to have a Veerman house. For this house he could have three of these houses. For every son there could be one house. I was allowed to see his house. First I was alone and then the women showed me full of proud her house. Big rooms nice and cool and a palm three was hanging like an umbrella above the patio. I wonder if she would like to change? This is a very poor region so perhaps by way of building more people can afford a house. Mr. Marsoomi was very happy and he sees a lot of possibilities for the people here.

Black Dress

Good morning. Around me in The Garden of Eden it is already very busy from working with the plants, building pavilions and constructing the fountains. I promise you an extra photo edition one of these days.

Yesterday Mr. Marsoomi came in with two big plastic bags full of real black Muslim clothing’s and a beautiful blue house dress. I have it experience a lot every body gets very happy when they see that you put on these cloths. Now you are a real Iraqi or even a real Muslima. I think it needs more to get there! But any way now I am allowed to got to the market one of these days together with a guard. But as a silent black bird. Not taking picture just looking. Finally I am behind my computer already dressed to leave the house. I am going to buy some telephone cards and I have to work on their PC. Apple and the provider here do not fit for getting connection.

Skype works.

Garden of Eden

Passing the border in Kuwait was not a big deal. But then we could walk to the border or paying for two cars. Mr Veerman gave him about 60 euro to drive us in 6 minutes to the Iraqi border. So that is a good business. There we where very happy to meet Mr. Marsoomi and Mr Hassan to help us with the Iraqi visas.  And still it takes us hours and one of the reasons was that al our visa need to be handwritten in each passport. So it is really a very special document now. After that we were driven in four cars with police guidance. Imaging you see a very important person driving along the road every body has to wait for these cars can pass. So it was with us yesterday and perhaps even more if you see the pictures. These pictures are in order of the day. The last one is a picture with Thomas the cameraman and the director Mr. Al-Haj – Abd Hussein Jabbar Alsaediof the Park of Eden where we are staying.

the last things

Almost ready to go and with this typethelastthings

of car we will cross the desert monday morning to the Iraqi

border. I read

about this road in the book – Zwemmen in

Bagdad-of the Dutch journalist Tom Kleijn.
Ahmed send us this picture with the last details for the travel.


On the 31 of October we will leave for Koeweit.


Then we will travel by car to the Iraqi border. Where our

host will wait for us. They will bring us to Al-Mahara,

our working place.

Article by Nies Medema about the project in Exponto


we go


The container with the pilothous  has already arrived in Al-Amarah. This house is with a peaked roof. Unfortunately the pilothouse were  already packed before this peaked roof was seen as a problem. At that time it was not possible anymore to change the construction.  I really wonder how this house will fit in the Iraqi landscape. As you see in the still (out of my movie -A day in Bagdad-) people like to sleep on the roof especially in the extreme hot summers.

Ahmed sends us this morning a kind of behaviour instructions for Kuwait and Iraq. Very important no alcohol drinks. For me I have no problem with it for some others a relief. As we have got the stamp to confirm our visa,  we go outside the airport and there hotel IBIS has send some limousines  to bring us to the hotel. The next morning we will leave for the Iraqi border where Mr. Marsoomi will wait for us with the visa. Now two days of packing and organizing everthing.

Visa Koeweit

The visas for Kuwait have reached our email box. It appears that we are welcome in this country.

For the visa’s for Iraqi, we are still waiting. According to Ahmed that also will hopefully be solved before this Friday.  Perhaps I told this before that there is no possibility to get the visa direct to the embassy in The Hague. Only in Jordan, Syria and Turkey they will give them out directly to us.  So they will come either way, by email to The Hague or they will have them for us at the border with Kuwait and Iraq. Alexander The Great had no problems with visas on his way. Around 330BC he attack, defeated and became the hero of Babylon. Here is a map of his conquest of his rout in at that time in Persia.


Preparing ground

At this moment he Iraqis are busy with preparing the ground in Al-Mahara in the marshlands. Two pilothouses will be built also one house in Diwaniya. The opening of this project is on the 9 of November. So they have quiet a tide schedule.  After that the so-called Veerman group (8)is going home and the Verhoijsen group (4) stays to research on a more profound level the live in the marshlands. Dorinde de Tempe is also going home and she will write over her experiences, observations in this project in of the first 10 days. This place on the picture is really in the city of Al-mahara. We will stay in this city and make trips to the marshlands. An over night stay whish I would like is probably not so safe. Till now it is not sure of Ahmed Faraj leader of the whole group will stay with us.preparingground


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