There's a really interesting piece up on HG101 in which Iraqi gamer Salwan Asaad, now living in Egypt, recounts his experiences growing up in the 1980s with the region's fledgling scene.
Unlike the hell-in-a-handbasket Iraq has become in the last 20 years, Asaad remembers during the 1980s it was a (relatively) more prosperous state, and kids growing up had access to official, Arab-supporting hardware like NEC's PC range (called Al Warkaa), Al Alamiah's licensed MSX Sakhr 170 system and Najm's Atari computers.
Like every other kid on the planet in the 1980's, they also got most of their gaming done by swapping 3.5" disks around.
Awesomely, Asaad also says there was intense fanboy rivalry even then and there, with owners of the Al Warkaa and Sakhr 170 going at it, to the point that official competitions involving amateur game development and demo building were held to try and determine which of the two systems were better.
You can read more at HG101's site, linked below.
History of computers in Iraq [HG101]