In 1980 live in Irak was almost normal. Sadam Hussein was on power since a few years and the country was improving a lot because of the petrol. To visit the country as tourist was almost impossible. But as a student I had the possibility to do a practical training in the electrical department in Dora Oil refinery outside Bagdad. There was a group of other students from all over Europe and from several Arabic countries who did their practical training too.
My reason to visit this country was the rich past that impressed me since I was a boy. Of course "Ali Baba and the 40 thiefs" the fariytale was in my mind too. The world with the oriental bazar and the mixture of tradition an new technique fascinated me very much. But live was not so easy with temperatures up to 50 degree celsius, Ramadan and permanently crowded buses.
student organisation "National Union of Iraky Students" supported
us with excursions to different ancient sites as
Babylon, Samarra, Agraruf, Nimrud, Ninivee and Ur. By our own we travelled also to the swamps in the south near Basra.
I am still in contact with 12 european friends from Helsinki (Finland) to Madrid (Spain) and we meet every second year somewhere. We even have a name: International Union of non Iraky Students. Of course we have a private web page since many years.