Once the largest ecosystem in the Middle East, and the rich homeland of Sumerians for millennia, the Mesopotamian Marshes were destroyed systematically by Saddam Hussein so that they couldnt shelter rebel forces. Drained and burned, the vital wetland habitat seemed lost forever. Iraqi exile Azzam Alwash, who spoke about his work at Mountainfilm in 2004 and 2008, never accepted that this magical place of his childhood could simply cease to exist. For the past 10 years, he has wheedled, cajoled, encouraged and coerced his countrymen to help restore the marshes sustainably.
- John Antonelli