5 things I wish I knew before visiting Iraq

5 things I wish I knew before visiting Iraq

1. Dress conservatively

This is a tolerant area, but it is still wise to dress modestly. Women do not wear headscarves, but they should when visiting religious places. At the Yazidi Temple and Mosque, you are required to remove your shoes.

2. Working hours

Office hours are Sunday to Thursday 8.30-2pm. Friday and Saturday are good days for a picnic. Kurdistan also has many holidays as they recognize Iraqi national holidays and traditional Kurdish holidays.

3. Not quite T-total

Some hotels and restaurants serve alcohol, and there are bottle shops where you can buy beer and wine for a picnic. However, be aware of open drinking; for example, your hotel may not allow it on the premises.

4. Socket fights

Plug sockets vary – some rooms may only have a two-prong type, others a three-prong type. Some hotel rooms have both! Get an adapter to be sure.

5. Culture vultures

Before you go, it is worth mentioning the history and culture of the Kurds. Iraqi Kurdistan is Kurdistan first and Iraq second.

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