Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Al FAW Palace, Baghdad, Iraq

Hi. I had an opportunity to visit al FAW palace outside Baghdad and wanted to share some of the photos I took. Al FAW is located about 5 km north of Baghdad International Airport and served as a hunting and fishing retreat for Saddam and select members of the Ba'ath party. The palace is 450,000 sq. ft., has 62 rooms and 29 bathrooms.

The chandelier in the rotunda is the focal point of the palace and contains 234 light bulbs. It's estimated to have cost more than a million dollars.

The throne at al FAW was a gift to Saddam from Yasir Arafat. Uncle John took one look at this picture and said "You should fire your decorator."

Most of the ceiling looks like carved panels but are actually cast. This picture doesn't do it justice, they are really beautiful to see.

The palace is situated on an enormous man made lake complex that also contains many smaller palaces and villas. Both of Saddam's sons and his daughter had villas here.

You can see some of them in the picture below. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can also see the air traffic control tower at Baghdad International Airport and Sather Air Base.

It is really a beautiful place. Unfortunately, the entire complex was built at the expense of the Iraqi people. While Iraq was suffering from a serious drought, water was diverted from irrigation and used to fill and maintain the lakes. It's surrounded by a high wall and most Iraqi's were never allowed to visit or even see the complex. Its really a testament to one man's greed.


Jessy, Greg, Grace, Jack, Nora, and Lexi said...

Wow Joel. Thank you for sharing. That is absolutely incredible.

dairyqueen said...

Honey, thank you for posting these. It is so interesting to see the things you are seeing.