is the capital of Basra Province, Iraq, and had an estimated population of 3,800,200 as of 2009. The city is located along the Shatt al-Arab waterway near the Persian Gulf. Basra is Iraq's main port, although it does not have a deep water access.
The city is the historic location of Sumer, the home of Sinbad the Sailor, and a proposed location of the Garden of Eden. It also played an important role in early Islamic history. A network of canals flowed through the city, giving it the nickname "The Venice of the Middle East" at least at high tide. For a long time, Basra was known for the superior quality of its dates.