Oct 12/10 - Pt 3: Eden Restored

Iraq's marshlands were destroyed under Saddam Hussein. We hear from the engineer and environmentalist who is who is working to bring back the 'Garden of Eden'.


Eden Restored

In the early days of the war in Iraq .. in the midst of deadly violence -- from military attack, to suicide bombs, to kidnappings, one optimistic Californian decided the time was right to return to the site of his boyhood dreams. Dr. Azzam Alwash is a hydraulic engineer who left Iraq in his twenties.

But he could never forget the vast wetland area of southern Iraq. In a matter of years, the delicate marshlands had been reduced to little more than a desert, their ecosystem deliberately and systematically destroyed by Saddam Hussein... as a punishment against Marsh Arabs who had backed a Shiite uprising in the early 1990s. As a result, the Marsh Arab population dropped from 250 thousand to fewer than 40 thousand today.

In the midst of the war, Dr. Alwash saw an opportunity to restore the marshlands to their former glory. He now heads up Iraq's first environmental NGO, Nature Iraq and is behind Eden Again - an ambitious project to resurrect the marshlands of Iraq.
He has taken great risk and spent vast amounts of time away from his young family but you can hear in his voice, how important this project is to him. Dr. Azzam Alwash was in Los Angeles.

Last Word - Eva Gabrielsson

Tomorrow on The Current... a conversation you won't want to miss - especially if you're one of the millions who devoured The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. Larsson, of course he is the author of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. Together, the novels have sold more than 46 million copies worldwide.

And the real life story playing out right now in Sweden might just be worthy of a bestseller itself. If Stieg Larsson were alive, he'd be a multi-millionaire. But he died before the books were published. And under Swedish law, his father and brother get his entire estate. The woman Larsson lived with for more than 30 years is entitled to nothing. Her name is Eva Gabrielsson. And she's fighting for the rights to the trilogy, and another book Larsson never finished.

We will speak with Eva Gabrielsson tomorrow on The Current. But today, we gave the Last Word to Jan Moberg, a former journalist in Oslo. He set up the Support Eva campaign to raise money for herlegal fees and bring attention to her story. 

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