Al Qurnah, Iraq

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Al Qurnah, Iraq

Region: Basra Governorate


Geographic Coordinates: 31.015800, 47.430600
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 45.0°C (68°F to 113°F)
Climate: Hot and dry summers, mild winters with occasional rainfall.
Population: 286073
Language: Arabic

Al Qurnah is a city located in southern Iraq, Near the border with Iran. It sits on the western bank of the Tigris River, Which flows through the city and provides water for irrigation. The estimated population of Al Qurnah is 50, 000 people. The history of Al Qurnah dates back to ancient times when it was an important center for trade and commerce during Babylonian rule. The city was also significant for its proximity to Ur, A holy city in Mesopotamian culture.

Despite being heavily impacted by wars and conflicts in Iraq during the 20th century, Efforts have been made towards rebuilding infrastructure in Al Qurnah. One notable feature of this small city is its natural beauty with lush green fields and palm groves irrigated by nearby rivers making it ideal for agriculture. Al-Qurna holds cultural significance within Shia Islam due to its association with Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib – one of Prophet Muhammad’s closest companions who lived here before his death.

In recent years there has been an increase in tourism within Iraq as security has improved across much of the country including areas like Al-Qurna which have seen improvements over time making them safer places for visitors interested in exploring Iraqi culture or visiting historical sites such as those mentioned earlier. Overall despite being affected by wars over recent decades such as Gulf War I & II (1991 & 2003), This small city has continued to thrive and is slowly but surely becoming a more popular destination for tourists.

Its unique history, Culture and natural beauty make it an interesting place to visit for those looking to explore Iraq beyond the major cities.



Important Landmarks

  1. The Shrine of Imam Ali: This pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims is located in the nearby city of Najaf.
  2. The Tigris River: Al Qurnah sits at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, offering scenic views.
  3. Marshes of Mesopotamia: These wetlands near Al Qurnah are home to unique flora and fauna.
  4. Basra War Cemetery: This cemetery contains graves of soldiers who died during World War I and II.
  5. Ancient Babylon: Although not located in Al Qurnah, this ancient city is only a few hours’ drive away and attracts many visitors each year.
  6. Basra Museum: This museum in nearby Basra houses artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia.
  7. Shatt al-Arab Waterway: This waterway connects the Persian Gulf to Iraq’s interior regions, providing opportunities for boating trips or fishing excursions.
  8. Maysan Dam: It is one of the largest dams in Iraq built on Dicle river.

Noteable History

  1. Al Qurnah, Iraq is a city with a rich history and many notable events and people associated with it.
  2. The Battle of Al-Qadisiyyah in 636 AD, when Arab Muslims defeated Sassanid Persians near Al Qurnah.
  3. Prophet Ibrahim passing through during his journey from Ur to Canaan.
  4. The confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which have played an important role in shaping Mesopotamian history and culture.
  5. Saddam Hussein’s palace complex called Qadisiyah Saddam, which was destroyed during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
  6. The Marsh Arabs who live in southern Iraq’s marshlands bordering Iran’s southwestern provinces around Basra along with other cities including al-Qur’nah.
  7. British occupation during World War I until 1920 when it became part of newly formed Kingdom of Iraq under British mandate until independence on October 3rd, 1932.
  8. Saint Thomas Christians who were evangelized by Apostle Thomas who came from Jerusalem through Mesopotamia and reached Kerala in India passing through Al Qurnah during his journey.
  9. Mesopotamian civilization dating back to 4000 BC associated with several ancient empires including Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Persians located at heart of Mesopotamia.
  10. Southern Iraq including al-Qur’nah predominantly Shiite Muslim with significant religious sites such as Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf and Karbala commemorating martyrdom of Imam Hussein.
  11. Oil industry home to some largest oil fields that have played important role shaping modern Iraq’s economy since discovery early 20th century until present day conflicts that have disrupted production capacity leading to economic challenges for local population.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Al-Qurnah Mosque – A historic mosque located in the heart of Al Qurnah.
  2. The Ancient City of Ur – An archaeological site that dates back to the Sumerian period and is believed to be the birthplace of Abraham.
  3. Basra Museum – A museum that showcases artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia and other periods of Iraqi history.
  4. Basra War Cemetery – A cemetery dedicated to Commonwealth soldiers who died during World War I and II.
  5. Basra Corniche – A scenic promenade along the Shatt al-Arab river with parks, restaurants, and cafes.
  6. Basra Grand Mosque – One of the largest mosques in Iraq with a beautiful interior design.
  7. The Marshes of Southern Iraq – A unique wetland ecosystem that is home to diverse wildlife and traditional marsh Arab communities.
  8. Saddam Hussein’s Palace Complex in Basra – The former presidential palace complex now serves as a cultural center for events and exhibitions.
  9. Al-Faw Palace Museum- An art center showcasing contemporary Iraqi art exhibitions.
  10. Abu al-Khaseeb- This area has a market where one can buy souvenirs such as pottery items made by local artisans.



Cultural Events

  1. Al Qurnah is a small town situated in southern Iraq that is predominantly recognized for its historical and religious importance.
  2. The town features numerous ancient sites and shrines that lure pilgrims from all corners of the world throughout the year.
  3. Some of the well-known sites include the Shrine of Imam Ali al-Hadi and the Tomb of Prophet Ezekiel.
  4. Furthermore, traditional markets are also available where tourists can purchase local handicrafts and souvenirs while visiting Al Qurnah.
  5. However, upon conducting research, I was unable to find any cultural events or festivals in Al Qurnah.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Marshlands: The marshes around Al Qurnah are renowned for their natural beauty and unique ecosystem.
  2. Ancient ruins: There are several ancient ruins near Al Qurnah including the ruins of the ancient city of Ur.
  3. Fishing: The nearby Tigris River offers opportunities for fishing.
  4. Boating: Visitors can rent boats to explore the Tigris River.

It is essential to note that due to security concerns and political instability in Iraq, travelers should exercise caution when visiting any area within the country and check with local authorities before embarking on any activities or trips outside major cities like Baghdad or Erbil.


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