The rose has played an important role in the history and culture of Iraq. Roses have been grown and used for various purposes in Iraq for centuries. The rose is not only valued for its beauty but also for its medicinal and culinary uses.
In Iraq, roses were grown primarily for their essential oils, which were used in perfumes, cosmetics, and medicines. Rose water, a byproduct of the distillation process, was also used for cooking and as a refreshing beverage. The roses were grown in the southern provinces of Iraq, especially around the cities of Basra and Nasiriyah.
During the Abbasid Caliphate (750-1258), Baghdad became a center for the production of perfumes and rose oil. The famous Arab perfumer, Al-Kindi, wrote a book on perfumes in the 9th century, in which he described the process of distilling rose oil from the flowers. The process involved soaking the petals in water and then boiling them in a still, which produced a fragrant oil.
Roses also played a role in Iraqi poetry and literature. The rose was often used as a symbol of love and beauty in Arabic poetry. The famous Iraqi poet, Al-Mutanabbi, wrote a poem in which he compared the beauty of his beloved to a rose.
In addition to their cultural and historical significance, roses have also played a role in modern Iraq. In 2010, the Iraqi government launched a project to revive the country’s rose industry, which had been in decline since the 1980s. The project involved providing farmers with new varieties of roses and training them in modern cultivation techniques. The aim was to increase the production of rose oil and other rose products, which would create jobs and boost the country’s economy.
Despite the challenges of the country’s political situation and economic conditions, Iraqis continue to value and appreciate the beauty and cultural significance of roses. Today, the rose remains an important part of Iraq’s heritage and culture.