Gulf Cup mascot Sindbad the Sailor dots Basra streets

STORY: Wearing a white turban around his head and a pair wide black 'surual' trousers, the popular fictional character from the tale of "Thousand and One Nights" is "a symbol that binds Iraq with the Gulf countries that are participating in this tournament," said soccer fan Hadhem Raad.

The stories of Sindbad’s travels 'are based on the experiences of merchants from Basra trading under great risk with the East Indies and China, probably in the early Abbasid period (750–c. 850)', according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

The 25th Arabian Gulf Cup runs January 6-19.