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Safina is running this project in partnership with Basrah Museum, the University of Basrah, Natural History Museum (University of Basrah), British Institute for the Study of Iraz and Shanashil Foundation for Humanitarian Heritage Revival NGO.

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Project summary:

Iraq’s unique and endangered inland watercraft heritage is in rapid decline due to reduced rainfall and higher temperatures, making boats unusable and preventing fishing.

The grant has been awarded to work with local students to document and create new models of traditional boats along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Southern Iraq. Crucially, this project draws on the vernacular building methods of local skilled artisans and elders in the region.

A series of workshops and field testing will support new research into climate mitigation measures within this area of Iraq. The creation of boats and the increased profile of boat clubs will provide a diverse range of educational, sports, leisure and tourism activities which will engage local communities and civil society groups.

Small group of men sitting in a semi circle
Launch of the boat club in Baghdad, created to protect maritime heritage, as part of the project