[QODLink]
In Pictures
In pictures: Iraq's trickle of hope
An ancient system of wells and tunnels could help refresh a parched nation.
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2013 13:48

No-one knows exactly when they were built, but the ancient labyrinths of underground canals known as karez have helped keep water flowing through Iraq's most arid lands for much of the past 1,000 years.

Despite many drying up in recent years, a project to rehabilitate these tunnels has lent a lifeline to many of the country's most isolated villages.

Read more about karez systems here: Ancient aqueducts offer Iraq a trickle of hope


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
The opening to a karez shaft in Shekh Mamudian in Iraqi Kurdistan. UNESCO has hired two Iranians to repair ancient underground aqueducts in the region.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
Amir Heidary, an Iranian engineer who has been hired by UNESCO to repair karez, climbs down a karez shaft in Iraqi Kurdistan. More than 100,000 people in northern Iraq have abandoned their homes since 2005 because of severe water shortages.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
Mostafa Eghbali, an Iranian karez master, repairs a karez in Iraqi Kurdistan. Drought and excessive well pumping have drawn down aquifer levels in the region, causing a dramatic decline of water flow in ancient underground aqueducts, known in Iraq as karez (or qanat), upon which hundreds of communities depend.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
Amir Heidary, an Iranian engineer who has been hired by UNESCO to repair Iraqi karez, climbs up a karez shaft in Iraqi Kurdistan.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
Mostafa Eghbali, an Iranian karez master, repairs a karez in Iraqi Kurdistan.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
A local villager sews grain in the Iraqi Kurdish village of Shekh Mamudian, whose karez is being repaired by UNESCO.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
An elderly woman fills up a jug from the karez in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
The kerez in Kunaflusa flows to this small pool - a resource on which the entire village relies.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
A boy loads up a donkey with water containers in the village of Kunaflusa in Iraqi Kurdistan. The village relies on a trickle of water from an ancient subterranean canal system.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
The karez here in Kunaflusa is drying up, making life difficult for farmers, their livestock and working animals.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
Village boys warm themselves by a fire in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
The karez in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa is drying up, leading residents to abandon the settlement.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
Animals return in the evening to the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa. "If the karez runs dry, we will be forced to leave the village," said village elder Fadel Abdullah Salah.


Sebastian Meyer/Al Jazeera
Night falls on Kunaflusa. In 1984, there were some 200 homes here - now, just 13 remain occupied. But officials hope that refurbishment of their water system will rejuvenate the village.


Follow Sebastian Meyer on Twitter: @sebphoto


images:
/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413420148451_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413420304626_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413420476615_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413420898893_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/20133241342154679_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413421242784_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413421445759_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413421617288_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413421804615_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/2013324134228377_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413422164947_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413422320584_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413422476332_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/3/24/201332413422617572_8.jpg
captions:
The opening to a karez shaft in Shekh Mamudian in Iraqi Kurdistan. UNESCO has hired two Iranians to repair ancient underground aqueducts in the region.;*;Amir Heidary, an Iranian engineer who has been hired by UNESCO to repair karez, climbs down a karez shaft in Iraqi Kurdistan. More than 100,000 people in northern Iraq have abandoned their homes since 2005 because of severe water shortages. ;*;Mostafa Eghbali, an Iranian karez master, repairs a karez in Iraqi Kurdistan. Drought and excessive well pumping have drawn down aquifer levels in the region, causing a dramatic decline of water flow in ancient underground aqueducts, known in Iraq as karez (or qanat), upon which hundreds of communities depend.;*;Amir Heidary, an Iranian engineer who has been hired by UNESCO to repair Iraqi karez, climbs up a karez shaft in Iraqi Kurdistan.;*;Mostafa Eghbali, an Iranian karez master, repairs a karez in Iraqi Kurdistan.;*;A local villager sews grain in the Iraqi Kurdish village of Shekh Mamudian, whose karez is being repaired by UNESCO.;*;An elderly woman fills up a jug from the karez in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa.;*;The kerez in Kunaflusa flows to this small pool - a resource on which the entire village relies.;*;A boy loads up a donkey with water containers in the village of Kunaflusa in Iraqi Kurdistan. The village relies on a trickle of water from an ancient subterranean canal system. ;*;The karez here in Kunaflusa is drying up, making life difficult for farmers, their livestock and working animals.;*;Village boys warm themselves by a fire in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa.;*;The karez in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa is drying up, leading residents to abandon the settlement.;*;Animals return in the evening to the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa. "If the karez runs dry, we will be forced to leave the village," said village elder Fadel Abdullah Salah.;*;Night falls on Kunaflusa. In 1984, there were some 200 homes here - now, just 13 remain occupied. But officials hope that refurbishment of their water system will rejuvenate the village. Daylife ID:
1364067600254
Photographer:
Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer;*;Sebastian Meyer
Image Source:
Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Kurdistan Karezhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karezen-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Sat, 23 Mar 2013 19:40:00 GMTSun, 24 Mar 2013 13:21:27 GMT http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=00dea1d9HR3zTThe opening to a karez shaft in Shekh Mamudian in Iraqi Kurdistan. UNESCO has hired two Iranians to repair ancient underground aqueducts in the region.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=00dea1d9HR3zTSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesThe opening to a karez shaft in Shekh Mamudian in Iraqi Kurdistan. UNESCO has hired two Iranians to repair ancient underground aqueducts in the region. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=06EHgGS1sWfkgAmir Heidary, an Iranian engineer who has been hired by UNESCO to repair karez, climbs down a karez shaft in Iraqi Kurdistan. More than 100,000 people in northern Iraq have abandoned their homes since 2005 because of severe water shortages. Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=06EHgGS1sWfkgSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesAmir Heidary, an Iranian engineer who has been hired by UNESCO to repair karez, climbs down a karez shaft in Iraqi Kurdistan. More than 100,000 people in northern Iraq have abandoned their homes since 2005 because of severe water shortages. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=0ayM5Yf71icETMostafa Eghbali, an Iranian karez master, repairs a karez in Iraqi Kurdistan. Drought and excessive well pumping have drawn down aquifer levels in the region, causing a dramatic decline of water flow in ancient underground aqueducts, known in Iraq as karez (or qanat), upon which hundreds of communities depend.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=0ayM5Yf71icETSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesMostafa Eghbali, an Iranian karez master, repairs a karez in Iraqi Kurdistan. Drought and excessive well pumping have drawn down aquifer levels in the region, causing a dramatic decline of water flow in ancient underground aqueducts, known in Iraq as karez (or qanat), upon which hundreds of communities depend. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=08kV8410426KUAmir Heidary, an Iranian engineer who has been hired by UNESCO to repair Iraqi karez, climbs up a karez shaft in Iraqi Kurdistan.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=08kV8410426KUSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesAmir Heidary, an Iranian engineer who has been hired by UNESCO to repair Iraqi karez, climbs up a karez shaft in Iraqi Kurdistan. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=0eOA5Nz4Wf7xoMostafa Eghbali, an Iranian karez master, repairs a karez in Iraqi Kurdistan.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=0eOA5Nz4Wf7xoSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesMostafa Eghbali, an Iranian karez master, repairs a karez in Iraqi Kurdistan. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=09Gf4R47ck6LOA local villager sews grain in the Iraqi Kurdish village of Shekh Mamudian, whose karez is being repaired by UNESCO.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=09Gf4R47ck6LOSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesA local villager sews grain in the Iraqi Kurdish village of Shekh Mamudian, whose karez is being repaired by UNESCO. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=07d06drdqd9cRAn elderly woman fills up a jug from the karez in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=07d06drdqd9cRSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesAn elderly woman fills up a jug from the karez in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=09cc149cw0aRUThe kerez in Kunaflusa flows to this small pool - a resource on which the entire village relies.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=09cc149cw0aRUSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesThe kerez in Kunaflusa flows to this small pool - a resource on which the entire village relies. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=08iYeMv4kAg0EA boy loads up a donkey with water containers in the village of Kunaflusa in Iraqi Kurdistan. The village relies on a trickle of water from an ancient subterranean canal system. Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=08iYeMv4kAg0ESebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesA boy loads up a donkey with water containers in the village of Kunaflusa in Iraqi Kurdistan. The village relies on a trickle of water from an ancient subterranean canal system. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=0akabiccUucaTThe karez here in Kunaflusa is drying up, making life difficult for farmers, their livestock and working animals.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=0akabiccUucaTSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesThe karez here in Kunaflusa is drying up, making life difficult for farmers, their livestock and working animals. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=06kQ7aJc3hduEVillage boys warm themselves by a fire in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=06kQ7aJc3hduESebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesVillage boys warm themselves by a fire in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=01fB8ZX5Cd6QkThe karez in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa is drying up, leading residents to abandon the settlement.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=01fB8ZX5Cd6QkSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesThe karez in the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa is drying up, leading residents to abandon the settlement. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=0c2k6yK5sh7GfAnimals return in the evening to the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa. "If the karez runs dry, we will be forced to leave the village," said village elder Fadel Abdullah Salah.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=0c2k6yK5sh7GfSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesAnimals return in the evening to the Kurdish Iraqi village of Kunaflusa. "If the karez runs dry, we will be forced to leave the village," said village elder Fadel Abdullah Salah. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=099Y8E2g4U8wcNight falls on Kunaflusa. In 1984, there were some 200 homes here - now, just 13 remain occupied. But officials hope that refurbishment of their water system will rejuvenate the village.Sun, 24 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Kurdistan-Karez?image_id=099Y8E2g4U8wcSebastian MeyerAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload ImagesNight falls on Kunaflusa. In 1984, there were some 200 homes here - now, just 13 remain occupied. But officials hope that refurbishment of their water system will rejuvenate the village.

Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.