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The Babel Tours logo and the Tower of Samarra

Nobody really knows what the Tower of Babel looked like. Famous engravings and paintings have represented it at various times down the ages, but nothing gives us any clue as to its real shape. The Bible and other traditions talk of a construction of brick and mortar derived from asphalt …

The Babel Tours logo is inspired by a tower known to all Iraqis, the Tower of Samarra. This city, some 130 kilometres north of Baghdad, is one of the four holy cities of Iraq, along with Najaf, Karbala and of course Baghdad. The city of Samarra is considered to be one of the oldest in the world and its ruins extend over several tens of kilometres along the banks of the Tigris. The famous spiral tower of Samarra (Al-Malweyya) was built by Caliph Al-Mu’tasim in 836 in honour of the relocation of the Abbasid capital from Baghdad to this location. The caliphs were to stay in the city for only a short period however, because Caliph Al-Mu'tamid decided to abandon it in 892. Yet the majesty of the site and the cultural riches that can still be perceived through the ruins and the archaeological excavations in the vestiges of Samarra, bear witness to the tower's legendary place in the history of the Arab populations and, more broadly, of all those who live both in Mesopotamia and Iraqi Kurdistan. In drawing on this Tower of Samarra for inspiration, Babel Tours wished to express its esteem and its respect for the ancient traditions, but also its desire for a true human and cultural rebirth in a country so deserving of peace and prosperity.

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