The Other Holy Land

Afternoon – Arrive at Erbil

Evening – A buffet dinner will be served at the hotel.

Morning – Breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant.

Lecture on the political and security situation in Kurdistan. Emphasis will be given on Assyrian Christian situation in Mosul and other areas.

Depart for the 8000 year old Citadel of Erbil, the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth.

Tour the famous Textile Museum in the Citadel. The museum, housed in a 220 year old residence features ancient Kurdish fighting tools, traditional dresses, handmade rugs from different regions and eras of Kurdish history, jewelry and photos. In addition to Kurdish antiquities there are a number of pieces from Iran and Turkey and carpets/traditional dress of the Assyrians.

Afternoon: Lunch.

Visit the resort town of Shaqlawa – half of which is largely Assyrian and Chaldean. See the Christian fertility Shrine on Safeen Mountain above the city.

Evening: Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.

Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.

Depart for a monastery dating from the 4th century AD and meet the monks that live on the premises.

From here continue on to the the world’s oldest aqueduct. The Assyrian King Sennacharib was the builder of the Aqueduct. Sennacharib is mentioned in the Bible – II Kings 18-19.

Afternoon: Lunch at one of Duhok's finest restaurants.

After lunch drive to Khanis, the site of the headwaters that brought irrigation to Ninevah and Sennacharib’s palace. See ancient Assyrian carvings.

Visit the holiest shrine of the Yezidis, descdants of the Zoroastrians.

Evening - Dinner at the hotel.

Morning: Buffet breakfast.

See an ancient cave of Zoroastrian fire worshippers.

Visit to Duhok Bazaar.

Afternoon: Lunch at one of Duhok's restaurant.

Visit an ancient monastery and visit Nahum's tomb (author of one of the books of the Bible).

Evening: Dinner.

Morning: Buffet breakfast.

Depart the hotel this morning on a magnificent drive to Amadiya (several Assyrian connections).

Afternoon: Stop for lunch at a local Kurdistan Restaurant.

After lunch continue to Barzan. Meeting with the director of the new Mullah Mustapha Memorial (if available).

Climb to a cave where discoveries were made of Neanderthal remains - one of the most important Neanderthal sites in the world.

Evening: Check into a resort and enjoy its facilities. Dinner included.

Morning - Breakfast.

Drive on the winding rock-cut Hamilton Road to a number of local villages – one of the most beautiful sites in Kurdistan and one of the great engineering feats of the Century.

Afternoon - Lunch at Dokan.

Drive south through the scenic Balisan valley to Sulaymani.

Evening - Check into hotel and dine.

Morning: Breakfast.

Begin the day with a visit to the Sulaymani Museum housing Kurdistan’s finest collection of antiquities  (including a number of Assyrian artifacts).

Visit the Red House torture chambers of Saddam Hussein.

Shop in the local Bazaar.

Afternoon: Lunch.

Drive to Halabja, the most famous site of Saddam’s Anfal and chemical gas campaign against the Kurds for which he was later charged with the crime of genocide.

Evening: Return to the hotel and dine.

Morning: Buffet breakfast.

Set out on the journey back to Erbil stopping at an ancient cave and a Jewish town.

Afternoon: Lunch and final Q & A. 

Depart from Erbil.