Call for Contributions



Growing up, living and working in Iraq

Sherqatis outside their tent at Abu Salabikh, 1978. (Image courtesy of Dr Ellen McAdam)


The British Institute for the Study of Iraq is interested in collecting your reminiscences and stories about growing up, living or working in Iraq in the period up to 1990. We welcome contributions, including photographs and other images, from members of the Iraqi diaspora, archaeologists, diplomats and anyone else who lived and worked in Iraq.


There is no word-limit, however, we suggest up to 5,000 words for each of the three sections below. Please number your images and include a list of explanatory captions.


Contributions will be edited using the Institute’s standard guideline for publications. An edited highlight of the contribution will be published on the BISI website alongside the full text in downloadable PDF form. A copy will be shared with the contributor for final approval prior to publication.


Contributions should be sent to: [email protected]


Topics we are interested in including:


1.     Growing up in Iraq. For example:

·       What were your family home and neighbourhood like?

·       What were your favourite toys and games?

·       How did you and your family work and play together – family businesses and jobs, housekeeping, bringing up children, celebrations, parties, days out, holidays, religious services and festivals?

·       What were your favourite/least favourite things to eat?

·       What do you remember about your school and college days?


2.     Living in Iraq. For example:

·       What was your experience of living in Iraq, including expatriate life – visas, company housing, shopping, eating and drinking, social life, travel and transport?

·       What can you tell us about traditional Iraqi life, especially outside Baghdad – cuisine, traditional dress, suqs, crafts and trades, music and dance, towns, villages and landscapes, farming?

·       Were you and your family interested in heritage – did you visit museums, historic buildings, sites and monuments, excavations? Listen to folk stories? Collect old objects?

·       Do you want to share a story about love and marriage?


3.     Working in Iraq. For example:

·       What are your memories of your first job in Iraq?

·       Did you work on one or more large engineering projects, or for the British Council or British Embassy – what were the highs and lows?

·       Did you work on or visit a British School of Archaeology in Iraq excavation or survey – what do you remember about the work, living conditions, social life, weekend trips?

·       Did you stay in the British School in Baghdad – what was daily life like?

·       Did you undertake research in the Iraq Museum? What were you working on? Do you remember museum staff?


These questions are only a guide. We expect that you will have many other areas of life that you want to cover.

Dr Ellen McAdam with other diggers from Abu Salabikh on a boat trip through the Iraqi Marshes, 1978. (Image courtesy of Dr Ellen McAdam)

All images are copyright to their respective owners and may not be reproduced without their written consent.