Basra has been historically one of the richest cities of Iraq. In the old times and it still is a major center of trade and the country’s gateway to the outside world. It also holds vast oil reserves.
Agriculturally it is also rich and provides much of the drier provinces with fruit and vegetables.
It is known for its shanashils or balconies and terraces. Once it was a multicultural hub of Muslims, Christians, Jews and some Kurds in addition to foreign traders and company workers. Traces of the past glamour are still seen here and there.
But years of neglect added to years of war and sanctions led to the decay of most parts of Basra while parts of it are under renovation to keep up with the demand for business.