(Excerpt taken from letter sent to all Dallas beekeepers after hosting a visitor from Baghdad)
The Trinity Valley Beekeepers of Dallas, Texas had the privilege of hosting a guest beekeeper from Iraq on Friday May 22, 2009: Mr. Qassim Mudhaffer, from Baghdad in Iraq. He contacted us through our website, www.tvbees.org, during a visit he made to the US in May of 2009.
He is the president of the Iraqi Beekeepers Association which was founded in 1991 after the second Gulf War. By 2003 the number of beekeepers involved had grown to about 770; the majority of them based in Baghdad. The current conflict in Iraq, especially as the war has hit Baghdad, has greatly reduced their operations. Mr. Mudhaffer is active in rebuilding this sector of agriculture in their country. Since 1969 he has worked in the agricultural sector in imports and sales of products and goods for agribusiness. He began selling beekeeping supplies in 1972. He has also been an active member of the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce since 1993.
We put together a tour of some beekeeping operations in the Dallas area for Qassim Mudhaffer while he was here. Our first stop was to see John Talbert of Sabine Creek Honey Farm and get a tour of his operation. They were busy preparing supers for honey when we were there.
We next toured a tilapia farm and horticulture operation designed to feed a small community in poverty stricken areas of the world. The farm is in DeSoto, Texas called Aquaponics and Earth Sustainable Living. This is being developed by John Musser for this humanitarian organization and I am the beekeeper for the venture.”
We were invited to set up our system for poor farmers in Iraq.