The more time one spends on the website of Noor Holding, the firm that is allegedly developing Cedar Island, the more one begins to get the creeping suspicion that this is one of the most brilliant hoaxes pulled off in recent memory.
After all, their other projects include “Canadian Town”, a luxury full-service residence town 10 km from the Iraq International Airport. They include “the biggest chair in the world”, and a building in Kurdistan called Erbil Towers “comprised of five giant business and commercial towers embracing and illuminating the skies of Iraq and carrying the biggest word in the world, E R B I L.”
After scratching my head about this for a few minutes, I picked up the phone and called the number listed on the website. The fellow who answered assured me that it was real.
“The crazy cedar tree island is real?”
“Yes, of course.”
“The company is real? The enormous building shaped like a chair, and the Canadian Town near Baghdad airport? These are all happening?”
Truth stranger than fiction?
I’ve just received heard from my contact in the Tourism Minister’s office that the project is, in fact, real. It was first floated (no pun intended) a few years ago, and is now gathering steam.
Contrary to what they suggest on their website, however, the project does not have a green light yet. It still needs Cabinet approval, and will likely require a law to be passed by the Parliament as well, just like the proposed Sannine ski resort. The development firm is in the process of lobbying MP’s and ministers on their views.
I’d guess that they began releasing publicity materials ahead of time so that they could build some buzz around the idea.