For many tourists, Iraq is not likely to be a destination at the top of their travel list. It’s just not “touristy” enough. Not so for popular YouTuber and food blogger, creator of the NoGarlicNoOnions food blog, Anthony Rahayel who visited Baghdad on a five-day long trip in March and has returned again this week to experience Ramadan and all its colors and delights in the heart of Baghdad.
It’s not as easy as just hopping on a plane to Baghdad and you’re on your way. The process for most foreign visitors to apply for a visa is slightly bureaucratic and complex. However, the beauty of Iraq is that it’s an unconventional place. A perfect fit really for someone like Anthony with an unconventional approach to life.
“The secret to uncovering the beauty in these cultures is to go to the places where the locals go.” says Anthony. “If you want to experience the real Baghdad, this is the way to do it. Traveling with well-connected local contacts is key.”
What we see showcased in Anthony’s daily YouTube videos and on his Instagram posts, is a vibrant, thriving cultural and culinary epicenter where people have a generosity that invites you to want to come back again. Instantly you get a sense of how liberal the city is, how friendly the people are, how full of life all the streets, restaurants, and coffee shops are. You also get an interesting sense of what the Medieval Islamic era might have been like long ago in this historical city when its leaders were known to host famous, opulent banquets in its courts and how the magnificent food would have been front and center in their colorful celebrations.
Alsumaria TV in Baghdad has also just teamed up with Anthony Rahayel to showcase the best and finest of Iraqi culture and cuisine from all over the country, in a series of episodes to be broadcast on their TV channel over the coming months. You can watch this content here:
It’s important to take the time to learn about other cultures when traveling to new destinations and YouTube enables that with content like this at our fingertips. Anthony Rahayel and Alsumaria TV have made it possible for us to experience just some of this fascinating Iraqi culture. It’s eye-opening and reminds us there’s so much hidden beauty and magic to these unconventional places than we actually care to realize.