Located in the northern Iraqi city of Halabja, visiting the Monument of Halabja Martyrs is a sobering experience. Created in 2003, it’s difficult to imagine the very quiet and rather empty memorial-museum was the site of a riot in 2006. Residents were dissatisfied with the local government for spending millions on the monument so close to struggling Halabja. When I visited recently with Wandering Earl, there was no evidence that the Monument Of Halabja Martyrs was set a blaze just a few years prior.
The memorial remembers the thousands of people (mostly Kurds) who were killed gas attacks by Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1988; their names are inscribed along the marble walls of the memorial’s interior. You can get to the memorial by shared taxi from other cities in northern Iraq – just be sure to indicate you’d like to go to “old” Halabja, not the newer town nearby.
You can see more of my pictures from the Halabja memorial here.