When Saddam Hussein was in power, he wanted to punish the people who lived in the marshes along the two great rivers in Iraq. He drained the water and the marshes dried up, forcing people to move away.
In this edition of The Story, Azzam Alwash talks about how he grew up going in and out of the marshes with his father, who was in charge of irrigation. Azzam moved to Los Angeles, where he became a civil engineer, and after the U.S. invaded Iraq, he returned and began to restore the marshes. Earlier this month, Azzam Alwash was awarded The Goldman Prize for Asia for his work protecting the environment.
Hear the full interview at The Story's site. Also in this show: Gabriel Kahane wrote music for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra based on the 1930s American Guide Series; and passenger pigeons, which flourished in America over 100 years ago and were systematically extinguished.