The Nahrein Network


Ali Al Makhzomy


Scholarship dates: 3 September – 31 October 2018 

Academic hosts: British Library, Ashmolean Museum, British Museum, Reading University and World Monuments Fund

Ali Al Makhzomy
Mr Ali Al-Makhzomy is the founder of Bil Weekend Tour Company in Iraq, which caters to local tourists.

Mr Al-Makhzomy was awarded a research grant by the Nahrein Network and partner, the British Institute for the Study of Iraq, to undertake research on developing new methods to strengthen Iraq's tourism infrastructure.

Bil Weekend, which means "At the weekend", is the first tourism start-up operator in Iraq. It’s aim is to revive tourism in Iraq and then expand into worldwide destinations while promoting cultural tourism in heritage sites, sport tourism and adventure trips. All of this is done by means of social media.

Through the Visiting Scholars Scheme Mr Al-Makhzomy aimed to learn how to develop cultural and heritage tourism in Iraq, especially through the development of resources such as digital guidebooks and audio smart systems. It was a great opportunity to network, learn about new methods, and to discover how heritage sites in the UK face challenges and opportunities in the protection and promotion of cultural tourism.

Scholarship timetable: 

  • 3 September 2018: British Library, hosted by Daniel Lowe 
  • 11– 21 September 2018: Ashmolean Museum, hosted by Dr Paul Collins 
  • 25–26 September 2018: British Museum
  • 1–5 October 2018: Reading University, hosted by Professor Roger Matthews
  • 8–31 October 2018: World Monuments Fund, London