Monday, May 25, 2009

Biggest Tourist Site in Region--Closed for a Decade


The Ziggurat of Ur, the biggest tourist attraction in the region is closed until further notice--meaning possibly for a decade. We just missed seeing it. The last tour was on April 23. The next day the site was turned over to the Iraqi Army for renovation. The chaplain's office said it really might be five to ten years before it's open again.

So we won't get to see the inside of it. But many of us see it almost every day. The Ziggurat of Ur is literally just outside the wire near the northeast corner of Tallil Ali Air Base. Our motor pool is just a kilometer from the Ziggurat and the buses that take soldiers to the motor pool pass by that section of fence on their normal route. Personally, I seldom see it because the road near that section of fence is among the worst--pitted, lumpy, bumpy--paved roads on the entire base, so I ride a longer way around to avoid those bumps.

The Ziggurat is a monument to the hometown of Abraham--the Biblical patriarch of Israel, and one of the greatest prophets of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.