In Gavin Maxwell’s book, A Reed Shaken by Wind, Maxwell gives an account of a journey that he took through the Iraq’s Marshes in the 1950s. He described a place rich with wildlife and where the people could sustain themselves on the reeds and their water buffaloes found in the Marshes.
In these same Marshes so well romanticized by Maxwell, Saddam would unleash an engineering project aimed at eradicating the Marsh Arabs. After the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam devoted huge resources to draining water from these marshes to make them uninhabitable as a way to punish the the residents for supporting the uprising against his regime after that war.
This video by ABC provides an insightful first-hand account on how the Marsh Arabs are making a comeback after Saddam nearly destroyed the cradle of civilization.