The Choli Minaret is in the Minara Park („Minara“ means „Lighthouse“). It is 36 meters high and was built in 1190 till 1232 AD. It is built of baked bricks, the base being decorated with two tiers of niches with pointed arches, two on each of the eight faces that are inscribed in rectangle frames.
It was the last evening of my stay in Erbil. Work was done and after swimming my laps in the hotel pool I took a local taxi to venture out in town. It was about one hour before sunset and the heat was still there but bearable compared to the hours before. The taxi took me past the Minara Park and I told the driver to stop.
I was in the mood to stroll around. I passed families and a group of youngsters in the compound. Women wearing huge black veils. Some of them were posing, taking photographs and selfies with their mobiles. The atmosphere was pleasant and peaceful.
Only half an hour drive away were mined villages without population, empty. Erbil is more or less safe. The war is outside.
On September 25, 2017 there will be the referendum for the independency of Iraqi Kurdistan. The local population is very excited about this day. Erbil is the capital city of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq. We will see how it turns out.