Dr. Douglas Layton's blog

"When US Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette, met the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani, he had the highest praise for the achievements of Iraq’s Kurds. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference to Kurdish reporters last Friday, before meeting with Barzani, Brouillette said, “I think today, we’re going to celebrate a miracle: your miracle." -- Laurie Mylroie

See complete article at Kurdistan24 News.

"The sheer beauty of Iraqi Kurdi­stan absolutely shocked me. Mountains unexpectedly surrounded us everywhere we went, and there was snow in those mountains! The snowcapped scenery certainly enhanced our photographic opportunities. Our guide, Balin Zrar, an affable, incredibly resourceful young man from Iraq, had a marvelous command of the English language, having lived in England for four years. He made life easy for the group at every turn, even sending us into a little shop along the way to pick out any treats that we might want for the trip.

"Except for the concussive sounds of 500-pound bombs being dropped on Mosul, there were few signs of war by the time we reached the most southwestern part of our journey through Iraqi Kurdistan. This was May 2017 and I was traveling with Balin Zrar our local guide, and a small band of wanderlusting friends to explore an area that only a few years earlier had barely fended off an ISIS onslaught. Coalition airstrikes, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Iraqi Army forces reversed the sea of black flags that had gotten to within three miles of where I now stood.

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Travel writer Tim Neville discusses why you'd enjoy vacationing in northern Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

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Editor’s Note: This past December ATTA President, Mr. Shannon Stowell, interviewed Douglas Layton about adventure travel in Kurdistan and his own experience in the region. “As Douglas said, “We all know the media likes a scary story and violence sells. The problem is, Kurdistan is not in the middle of a violent war and there is nothing scary about the region.” Stowell, who visited Kurdistan in April of 2009 often remarks on how incredibly friendly the people of the region were to him during his visit.

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"Each year the Adventure Travel Trade Association seeks motivated tour operators who show a demonstrated potential for positive impact on local cultural, ecological or historical resources for the Tour Operator Scholarship program. This year the ATTA teamed up with Visit Greenland to offer three scholarships to early-stage adventure tour operators to attend the 2016 Adventure Travel World Summit (#ATWS2016) in Anchorage, Alaska, and gain access to the ATTA’s global network of over 1,000 members, membership resources and benefits.

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"Until the beginning of 2014, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) fledgling tourism industry was growing at an impressive pace. Domestic and international investment was on the rise, and the region’s capital, Erbil, was celebrating its status as the 2014 Capital of Arab Tourism.

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Harvard University has compiled a listing of all current archaeological projects in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq here.

A pdf  version can be downloaded here.

See also Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey.

 

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