Ard Al-Sawad by Naseer Shamma

Ard Al-Sawad, which can be translated as either the dark or the fertile land, is the name the Arabs gave to Iraq when they conquered the country in 651 A.D. It is said that the name comes from the fact that it was dusk when the Arab armies first arrived, and thus their first glimpse of the land was coloured by the shadows of the thousands of palm trees that they saw. A different account has it that the name is derived from the famous fertility of the Iraqi soil.

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