Exploring Iraq: Dukan

We spend most of our time either at home or at work (school), so we really enjoy having time once in a while to get out of the city and explore the country. Last weekend we took a day trip to a region called Dukan.

We got in the car believing that Dukan was a little over an hour away. About  two and a half hours later, we finally rolled into the hilly Dukan area. The kids did pretty well, though – luckily, their grandma and grandpa (my parents) were in the car also and kept things really cheerful with songs and games when the kids were tired of being in the car…

We ate lunch at a roadside restaurant – between courses, Charbel had a lot of fun practicing how to carry two plastic kids’ chairs around the room. Unfortunately, none of us got pictures of his acrobatics – we were too busy watching him!

We then stopped at an ancient Zoroastrian site of worship – it would have been inhabited and used by a group of Zoroastrian priests around the time of Jesus – probably the same group that the Magi came from, so look forward to more details about this site and its symbolism in a “Fact or Fiction” blogpost related to the three “Kings” soon!

And here is the view the Zoroastrians would have seen from their crevice in the rocky hillside:


Our second stop was a reprieve from the desert heat. There are seven waterfalls in Northern Iraq; this is the smallest of them. The pathway leading up to the waterfall is lined with families playing games, barbecuing and wading in the water. Many of them come for the entire day to escape the heat of the city, especially if they do not have air-conditioners in their homes. We are spoiled in this regard – we have an AC in every room – so we don’t have to come to cool off, but it was great to visit anyway!

Before heading home we visited the Dukan Lake. We arrived at the lakeside right in time for the sunset!  The lake is really a portion of the Dukan River that has turned into a lake because of a dam. We learned while we were there that all of the electrical power our city (over two hours away from the lake) receives comes from a hydroelectric plant powered by the Dukan River and Lake – that’s a pretty impressive piece of information, considering the size of the city we live in and the surrounding area of Northern Iraq… and now that I know about it, I definitely hope that the lake never faces a shortage of water!


After a great day, we got home exhausted. The kids went right to bed – they’d actually fallen asleep in the car on the way back and only half woke up as we got them changed and in bed – and slept in until 10:30 the next morning! It was one of the rare and greatly appreciated occasions when both Eddy and I got to sleep in the same morning! Now we’re in the middle of wrapping up our last minute work responsibilities here and preparing the last details for our upcoming trip to Lebanon for my sister-in-law’s wedding.

Before closing – here are just a few more photos of all of us having fun throughout the day…

Charbel had lots of fun water-play! (Sorry, Paul – next year!)


Even if Paul was too little for splashing around, he could still have a great time with Grandma and Grandpa!


And finally, some family pictures…


2 thoughts on “Exploring Iraq: Dukan

  1. Lovely pictures.Nice to see Grandma and Grandpa enjoying their grandchildren and family.
    Sounds like you had a beautiful trip.

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