Visiting Iraq for my dissertation.. is it safe?

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Visiting Iraq for my dissertation.. is it safe?

Page
Last Post
1. Posted by lewis1828 (Budding Member 6 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

Hi,

I'm currently doing at MA in History and was wondering how practical it would be for me to visit Iraq to interview the local people on the Iraq War. The most obvious question is would it be safe for me to do this? I have seen people visiting have security with them. I am a student and so money is not something that i have massively at my disposal. I presume i'd need to pay for a flights (return flights are around 500 GBP), the actual visa, accommodation, a translater, security if necessary etc?

Thanks

Lewis

2. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 488 posts) 8w 1 Star this if you like it!

As you quote in GBP I assume you are from the UK.

>The most obvious question is would it be safe for me to do this?

Read the official UK government about Iraq here:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/iraq

The official advice is against all travel in much of the country, and against all but essential travel in the rest of it. Your research would not be considered 'essential travel'.

Whilst I can make no personal comment about how safe or unsafe travel in Iraq might be...and, ultimately, that decision must be yours.... I can tell you about travel health insurance, which imo is absolutely essential. Anyone can break an ankle, be involved in a traffic accident, develop appendicitis etc etc. The cost of treatment for even minor injuries & illnesses can reach the thousands GBP (not just in Iraq) and medical evacuation/repatriation (even if you are dead) can easily bankrupt you or your family.

As the UK government has advised against all travel and all but essential travel to Iraq no ordinary UK travel health insurance policy will cover you. You must find and use a specialist broker. Even when you've found one the cost is likely to be considerable. As you've already noted that your budget is (understandably) limited you need to research insurance providers to get a quote & find out if you can cover the cost of health insurance as well as everything else. Imo you'd be very foolish indeed to travel without it...and, in the case of Iraq, I'm afraid premiums are not going to be cheap.

3. Posted by lewis1828 (Budding Member 6 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

Ah okay, how incredibly frustrating.

Thankyou for your reply though, i appreciate it.

4. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 488 posts) 8w 1 Star this if you like it!

Life is often incredibly frustrating, I'm afraid, and not just when it comes to travel. :-/

I hope you can find a reputable broker (do check!) who will provide cover for a tolerable premium.

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Nov-2018, at 09:45 by leics2 ]

5. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 374 posts) 8w 1 Star this if you like it!

The first point is safety in general.

The second, expecting local people to discuss a super sensitive political issue, together with potentially traumatic personal experiences, with a (I assume Western?) foreigner whose understanding is likely to be limited.

I don't know much about the current situation in the Iraq beyond what we hear in the news several times a week, which does not sound good. But I feel more than hesitant about this plan, unless you have very good contacts with locals already who know how to move and how to behave in this country, and help you and offer their protection. But if the latter was the case you would not have to ask here...

6. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 576 posts) 8w 3 Star this if you like it!

You may be wiser to investigate the various Iraqi associations in Britain, with a view to discussing this with people who have emigrated since the war. They may not be happy to do so, but if they are then there's a better chance that they speak good English.

7. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 887 posts) 8w 2 Star this if you like it!

It would be much safer, easier and faster to interview Iraq natives living in your own country and it would be much safer for them too.

8. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 640 posts) 8w 1 Star this if you like it!

The idea of seeking out Iraqi refugees in your own country is a good one, you might also consider talking to people who specialise in the treatment of war trauma in refugees if you are really interested in learning about the effects of war. Another option if you are determined to get closer to the war is to volunteer at a refugee camp. It still comes with its own set of safety issues but would certainly be much safer than an active war zone and definitely a lot cheaper.

9. Posted by lewis1828 (Budding Member 6 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

Thanks all for the responses. I just feel if i interviewed Iraqi's who have moved to the UK their general opinions on the Iraq war and it's consequences may be somewhat one sided or biased. Maybe i need to look at in more realistic terms and realise i am not a Sky News or BBC news correspondent going to such a place with a team. Clearly i still need to give a lot of thought into how i'm going to do this.

10. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 374 posts) 8w 1 Star this if you like it!

Since this is a M.A. thesis - there must be someone at university who gave you that topic to do? They ought to help. Do they, does your uni have connections with Iraq? Where did this project arise from?

There is a thing called Skype, which would make interviews much easier, cheaper, and safer for you. But you need contacts first of all. Otherwise this is rather unrealistic.