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Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Basra

asra is located in modern-day Iraq on the Shatt al-Arab river between Kuwait and Iran and is the main port.  Cyril Sladden arrived there in March 1916, having sailed from Egypt.  In a letter of 16th March 1916, he described it as “a thoroughly eastern town”.

The city is part of the historic location of Sumer, one of the ports from which Sinbad the Sailor journeyed, and a proposed location of the Garden of Eden. It played an important role in early Islamic history and was built in 636 AD or 14 AH. It is Iraq's second largest and most populous city after Baghdad.  Basra is consistently one of the hottest cities in Iraq, with summer temperatures regularly exceeding 50 °C (122 °F).

After the Battle of Basra (1914) during World War I, the occupying British modernized the port; these British commercial interests made it one of the most important ports in the Persian Gulf with shipping and trade links to the Far East.

Letters mentioning this place: