Marsh Arabs

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Arab al-Ahwār "Arabs of the Marshlands"

The Marsh Arabs (ʻArab al-Ahwār "Arabs of the Marshlands"), also referred to as the Maʻdān (Arabic: "dweller in the plains") or shroog (Arabic:‎ "those from the east") — the latter two often considered derogatory in the present day — are inhabitants of the Tigris-Euphrates marshlands in the south and east of Iraq as well as in the Hoveyzieh marshes of Southwest Iran.

Ma'dan (Marsh Arabs).

Alternate names: Marsh Arabs.

Location: Iraq (marshes at the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers).

Population: Fewer than 20,000 (2003 estimate).

Language: Arabic.

Religion: Islam (Shia Muslim).

The Ma'dan, or Marsh Arabs, is a distinct group of people, who originally inhabited the marshy area at the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq before the marshes were destroyed by irrigation projects developed by the Iraqi government.

A semi-nomadic tribal people, the Ma'dan once lived in reed huts built on floating islands of reeds, and made their living by herding water buffalo, fishing, and hunting wild boars and waterfowl.

Their houses were elaborately woven with Gothic-like arches made of bundles of reeds tied together at the top.

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