Syrian olive trees put down roots in Kurdish Iraq

Tucked away in the rolling hills of Iraqi Kurdistan is a hidden treasure: tens of thousands of olive trees, thriving in a new homeland after being smuggled from neighbouring Syria.Their branches are heaving with bright purple-black olives ready to be picked.Their caretaker, Syrian Kurdish businessman Suleiman Sheikho, is proud to have brought the olive oil business to Iraq’s autonomous north.”This year was a good year,” said 58-year-old Sheikho, who has been transporting trees from his native Afrin in northwest Syria into Kurdish Iraq since 2007.”On this farm I have 42,000 olive trees, all of …

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