A Taste of History in Baghdad


We always wondered what it was whenever we pass by it on our way to and from the Green Zone. Our Iraqi drivers said it was a hookah lounge. I said it looked more like a coffeeshop. It was walking distance from the Embassy but security constraints prevented us from going there. We always have to go to more secure locations such as the Babylon Warwick a few blocks away or at Dojo’s inside the Green Zone. We only found out what it was when we decided to check it out a few days before I was to end my almost three-year tour of duty in Baghdad. As it turned out Atrakchi was a coffeeshop, a hookah bar, and a restaurant. But more than that, it was also museum containing the private collection of one of Baghdad’s top antiques dealer. I immediately fell in love with the place and went there one last time before I left. I wish I could have gone much sooner.

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