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Landmarks from Iraq - Abu Nuwas Street

10/03/2013

Abu Nuwas Street is not just like any of the other ordinary streets in Baghdad. It is the country’s memory with all its joys and sorrows.

Any person visiting Iraq has got to make a stop at Abu Nuwas Street, as it is the embodiment of authentic Iraqi folklore which is represented in the simplicity and the Baghdadi heritage which emerged pungently.

That is due to the fact that it is located on the eternal Tigris River, which visitors enjoy the cool breeze mixed with the smell of hookah and that of Iraqi cardamom-infused tea as well as with the smell of Masgûf (grilled fish), which is the dish that the street is considered “dedicated” to.

Masgûf is the only technique in the world to grill river fish, as it is impaled on two sharp piles of wood in the round “fire altar”.

The entire street represents the authentic Baghdadi life as people go out at night and enjoy their evening chatting with family and friends.

Nightlife in Abu Nuwas Street is like a festival, as stars shine bright upon it. Fairouz goes on to describe this street in her song, mentioning Baghdad, the poets, the pictures, the beautiful scent and the moon.

All along Abu Nuwas Street are casinos and cafés playing folklore songs. It also includes seven halls that host the exhibitions held at the street every now and then.

It is noteworthy that Abu Nuwas Street bring together all Iraqis in general and Baghdadis in particular with all their different social classes.

The street is located on the eastern side of Baghdad (the Rusafa side) on the bank of the Tigris River which flows along with it between the Joumhouriya Bridge (formerly known as the Queen Aliya Bridge) in the area of the Eastern Door, and the suspended bridge in the eastern area of Karrada. This street was named after poet Abu Nuwas who died in Baghdad in 198 AH.

Moreover, Abu Nuwas Street included one of the most important nightlife venues throughout Baghdad’s modern history (since last century), as cafés stretch all along the street on the shore of the Tigris River. Those cafés, ranging between common and high-class ones, have one thing in common: serving the traditional dinner dish: fish

grilled the Iraqi way (masgûf), along with other delicious traditional dishes such as tukka, Kebab, Pachachi, and Iraqi tea (dark and concentrated), all of this on the tunes of the songs of the Iraqi songs’ ambassador Nazem Ghazali and the Star of the East Um Kulthum.

   
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