Iraq's date palms: rescuing a national icon

Thousands of young date palms, Iraq’s national symbol, form lines that extend from the edge of the desert near the central city of Karbala and into the horizon.

Iraq’s prized trees are central to a push aimed to preserve a long-threatened ancestral culture, whose fruit historically presented prosperity across the Arab world.

“The date palm is the symbol and pride of Iraq,” says Mohamed Abul-Maali, commercial director at the Fadak date plantation.