Iraq country

Iraq country

Iraq is a state located in the Middle East, its neighbors are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Syria, Turkey and Iran. Iraq is bounded to the south by the waters of the Persian Gulf. Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. The country has an area of 435 thousand km² and a population of more than 36 million people.

It is the richest country that has some of the largest oil reserves on the planet. But that has brought neither happiness nor prosperity to its residents – for decades the country has been in a state of fratricidal civil war, and the situation is only getting worse every day. This land is the cradle of human civilization. This is where man built the first cities, where great civilizations have succeeded one another for millennia, all of which have left their imprint on the culture of the people who now live in Iraq. We can only hope that reason will prevail, and peace will come to this long-suffering ancient land.

History

Mesopotamia - a historical and geographical region in the Middle East, located in the valley of the two great rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates

Mesopotamia is a historical and geographic region in the Middle East, in the valley of the two great rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates.

The valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers has long been inhabited by people. Scientists have found here numerous sites of primitive people, which are attributed to the Paleolithic and Mesolithic. It is Mesopotamian lowlands was the place where the most ancient human cultures: Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylon. It was here that mankind began to build the first cities, writing appeared, and science was born. People first began to use the wheel and make houses of bricks. The ancient Sumerians built majestic buildings, were well versed in astronomy and were active in trade with neighboring and distant countries. The Sumerian civilization appeared on these lands about 6 thousand years ago. Where they came from we do not know yet. They built numerous cities in Mesopotamia. The Sumerians were replaced by other peoples: the Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians.

Alexander of Macedon (Alexander III the Great, born presumably July 20, 356 - June 10, 323 BC) was the Macedonian king from 336 BC of the Argead dynasty, a military leader and creator of the world power that collapsed after his death

Alexander of Macedon (Alexander III the Great, born presumably July 20, 356 – June 10, 323 BC) – Macedonian king from 336 BC of the Argead dynasty, military leader, creator of the world power that collapsed after his death

In the 6th century BC Mesopotamia was conquered by the Persians and became part of the Achaemenid Empire. This lasted until Alexander the Great defeated the Persians and incorporated the land into his empire, which, however, did not last long. Later, the lands of modern Iraq became part of the Parthian Kingdom, and in the I century AD, Rome came to these lands. In the third century Iraq was conquered by the Sassanids, who ruled the land for nearly three hundred years. In the seventh century, Islam came to Mesopotamia: the Arabs conquered the country and converted its population to the new religion. In 762, Baghdad, the capital of current Iraq, became the center of the Arab Caliphate and remained so until the 13th century, when hordes of Mongolian nomads passed through Mesopotamia in an avalanche, destroying everything in their path. They sacked Baghdad and devastated the country. At the beginning of the 15th century Mesopotamia experienced another devastating invasion: the hordes of Tamerlane invaded the country.

Tamerlane, Timur was a Central Asian Turkic commander and conqueror who played a significant role in the history of Central, South and West Asia, as well as the Caucasus, the Volga region and Russia.

Tamerlane, Timur was a Central Asian Turkic commander and conqueror who played a significant role in the history of Central, South and West Asia, as well as the Caucasus, the Volga region and Russia.

In the early 16th century, the Ottoman Turks came to these lands, and the country became part of the Ottoman Empire for almost four hundred years. During the First World War, the territory of modern Iraq was conquered by Great Britain and the constitutional monarchy was established. In 1958, there is a military coup in the country. A group of officers seized power and executed the king. The next 20 years are marked by numerous military coups, acute political struggle, and reprisals against opponents. In 1979, Saddam Hussein officially came to power and ruled Iraq for decades.

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Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti 28 April 1937 - 30 December 2006- Iraqi statesman and politician, President of Iraq (1979-2003), Prime Minister of Iraq (1979-1991 and 1994-2003), General Secretary of the Iraqi branch of the Baath Party, Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Marshal (1979).

Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti 28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006- Iraqi statesman and politician, President of Iraq (1979-2003), Prime Minister of Iraq (1979-1991 and 1994-2003), Secretary General of the Iraqi Baath Party, Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Marshal (1979)

Hussein ruled the country very harshly, he dealt ruthlessly with his opponents, suppressed Kurdish uprisings several times, and in 1980 the Iraqi army invaded Iran. The war lasted eight years with mixed success. In 1990, Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait. The world community harshly condemned this act of aggression. An international coalition was formed, which liberated Kuwait within weeks in 1991. In the same year, unrest begins in Kurdistan, which is brutally suppressed by the government. Iraq falls under severe sanctions and a severe economic crisis begins. In 2003, the Americans start a second war in Iraq, accusing the government of collaborating with terrorists. The Iraqi army was quickly defeated, but guerrilla warfare breaks out in the country. In 2006 Saddam Hussein was executed. Today part of Iraq is controlled by the extremist organization ISIS, which lives under Sharia law and aims to create a worldwide caliphate. Northern Iraq is controlled by the Kurds, who have practically created an independent state. No one can say today what the future holds for the country.

General informationIranian Plateau

Iraq is located in the Middle East, in the valley of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. The capital of Iraq is Baghdad.

Relief .

The relief of the country is quite varied. There is a desert in the south-west, the Iranian Plateau in the north-east, the Armenian Plateau in the north and most of the country is in the Mesopotamian Lowlands. Two major rivers flow through the country: the Tigris and the Euphrates.

Climate

The climate is continental, very hot in summer and quite cool in winter. The country lies in the subtropical and tropical belt. The animal world is very poor, this can also be said about the plant diversity. The area of protected areas is negligible.

Mineral Resources

The main wealth of the country – huge reserves of oil and natural gas. The export of minerals – is the main part of the country’s income. The main oil deposits are in the north and south of Iraq. There are deposits of sulfur, gypsum, talcum, asbestos, table salt, clays, limestone, chromites, iron, lead-zinc, copper, nickel ores and other minerals

State Structure

Iraq is a parliamentary republic. The parliament consists of 325 deputies, who are elected by party lists. A parliamentary coalition forms the government and elects the prime minister. There are two official languages: Kurdish and Arabic. The overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim.

Population

Most of the country’s population belongs to one of three communities: Sunni Muslim, Shiite, or Kurdish. The relationship between them determines the situation in the state. Under Saddam Hussein, Sunni Muslims were in power, Shiites were in the background, and the Kurds, who had always dreamed of statehood, were brutally persecuted. Since Hussein’s ouster, the Sunnis have been marginalized and placed in opposition. They did not take part in the 2005 elections and did not participate in the discussion of the 2005 constitution, which proposes to turn Iraq into a federation. The problem is that the main oil wealth is in the north and south of the country, where Shiites and Kurds live. The Sunnis have accused them of wanting sole control over the oil money.

Features of Iraq

The north of the country is home to a dense population of Kurds. These people are seeking to establish their own state and in fact already control part of Iraq. Kurds also live on the territory of neighboring states. The Kurds completely control their part of Iraq and set their own rules there. During the time of Hussein, the Kurds repeatedly revolted, which were brutally suppressed by government troops. The Kurds have their own self-defense units, which are very combat-ready. Sunni Muslims are another isolated group that lives in Iraq. During the time of Hussein, they occupied leading positions in the state. After his defeat, they began to put up fierce resistance to the Americans. In the Sunni Triangle, an area where Sunnis were concentrated, the Americans had to assault every town, suffering heavy casualties. Shiites. The majority of Iraqi citizens belong to this branch of Islam. Shiites are actively supported by neighboring Iran, where they are also the majority. There are also quite a few Christians and Yazidis living in Iraq. However, since the outbreak of civil conflict in the country, it is these groups that have been targeted by Muslims. So many Christians and Yazidis have had to leave their homeland. Iraq has an incredibly interesting history and culture, but unfortunately travel there is currently impossible. For the past few decades, Iraq is not a good place for foreigners. Especially after the emergence of the extremist organization ISIS in the country. Since 2013, they actually control part of the country, and there is nothing the official authorities can do about it. Medieval savagery and obscurantism reign in these territories. Extremists aim to create an Islamic state within the borders of the Ottoman Caliphate, they claim the territories of several countries: Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Israel. Murder, torture, and kidnapping are the norm in Iraqi territories controlled by terrorists. In the summer of 2014, ISIS launched an offensive in the northern and western provinces of Iraq; only recently have government forces been able to retake some of the territories. In the north, the Kurds are fighting the extremists bravely and quite successfully.

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Iraq )

Iraq, officially known as the Republic of Iraq, is a large state in the Middle East, located in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Iraq is a real treasury of the ancient culture of the Arab world, which emerged in the lands that in the distant past was called Mesopotamia and was the cradle of human civilization. On the territory of modern Iraq and to this day, there are countless monuments of history and architecture. The name of the country comes from the Arabic word “iraq” meaning “coast” or “lowland.

Beginning in the 16th century, the country was ruled by the Ottoman Empire; in the early 20th century Iraq came under British control and independence was declared in 1932. Today it is a republic where three peoples – Shia Arabs, Sunni Arabs and Kurds – coexist in shaky balance. Since the U.S.-British invasion and the Iraqi war, the country’s economy has been severely devastated and the political situation remains unstable. Iraq has abundant oil and gas reserves. The natural conditions are conducive to agriculture, but numerous military conflicts have led to the decline of the industry.

Iraq is a treasure trove of ancient Arab culture

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Capital

Baghdad, the capital of Iraq

The capital of Iraq is one of the largest cities in the Middle East – Baghdad . The city was founded as far back as 762, although the first settlements appeared here much earlier. And from century to century, numerous invaders destroyed it almost to the ground, but every time it was reborn. Baghdad today is the political, economic and cultural center of Iraq and the largest transportation hub of the state. Here is a great number of historical monuments and also there are the Academy of Sciences, several unique museums, the University and the Iraqi news agency. In spite of the ceaseless warfare, there are many cultural sites that can lift the veil of history and introduce you to this wonderful place. Baghdad takes its name from the Persian words “bagha” (God) and “dad” (give), which means “gift of God”.

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Flag of Iraq

The flag of Iraq is a three-color rectangular cloth, with an aspect ratio of 2:3. The flag consists of three equally spaced horizontal stripes – the upper one is red, the middle one is white, and the lower one is black. In the middle of the flag, on a white stripe, there is a green Arabic inscription, “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great”).

Symbolism

  • Red is the symbol of fierce fighting against the enemies of Islam
  • White is a symbol of the generosity and nobility of the Arabs and of unity.
  • Black is a reminder of the country’s past, and also mourning for fallen warriors.
  • Green, the traditional color of Islam.

The modern flag was adopted on January 22, 2002. It is known that during the Saddam Hussein regime, the inscription on the flag was made in his handwriting.

See all the flags of the world here.

emblem of Israel

The coat of arms of Iraq is the image of a black and gold Saladin’s Eagle, on the chest of which is a shield painted in the colors of the Iraqi national flag. The bird is depicted standing on two powerful paws with claws. The wings are up and wide open, the head of the bird is turned to the left. At the base of the coat of arms (in the claws of the eagle) is a scroll with an inscription in Arabic that translates as “Republic of Iraq”.

Symbolism:

  • Saladin’s eagle is a symbol of Arab nationalism, symbolizing power, beauty, and sovereignty
  • Red is the symbol of fierce fighting against the enemies of Islam
  • White is a symbol of the generosity and nobility of the Arabs and of unity.
  • Black is a reminder of the country’s past, and also mourning for fallen warriors.
  • Green, the traditional color of Islam.

See all the coats of arms of the world here.

Currency

Iraq’s national currency is the Iraqi dinar (lit. IQD), formally equal to 1000 fills. Currently in circulation are banknotes in denominations of 250, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000 and 25,000 dinars. The 50 dinars banknote and all coins have been withdrawn from circulation since May 1, 2015. In addition to national currency, US dollars, euros and the currencies of neighboring countries are widely used in Iraq. You can exchange currency in Iraq at exchange offices or on the street at private money changers. ATMs are very rare in the Republic and credit cards are almost never used.

Banknotes of Iraq

Iraqi money

Iraq on the world map

Iraq, officially known as the Republic of Iraq, is a large state in the Middle East, located in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Iraq is a real treasury of the ancient culture of the Arab world, which emerged in the lands that in the distant past was called Mesopotamia and was the cradle of human civilization. On the territory of modern Iraq and to this day, there are countless monuments of history and architecture. The name of the country comes from the Arabic word “iraq” meaning “coast” or “lowland.

Iraq on a map

The mountainous region is located to the east of the Tigris River valley . The northern mountains are the spurs of the Eastern Taurus and the northeastern mountains are the spurs of the Zagros. The highest point of the country is Mount Sheh Dar (3,611 m). In the west of Iraq lies the Syrian Desert, while in the southeast, near the Persian Gulf, the country is lower in altitude than in other areas and is a swampy area, often flooded. Mesopotamia abounds in lakes, the largest of which are El-Milh and El-Hammar. The main rivers of Iraq are the Euphrates and the Tigris. Forests occupy only 2% of the total area of the country.

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Things to see in Iraq

Iraq sights

Iraq is an ancient Arab country with an abundance of unique historic monuments and archaeological sites. The territory of the modern state is one of the earliest centers of civilization in the world. Like many hundreds of years ago, Iraq is now home to many nomadic tribes and has beautiful modern cities near the tribal areas. Below is a list of the most popular sights, which should be paid attention to when planning excursions in Iraq :

  • Baghdad Tower (Baghdad).
  • Baghdad Zoo (Baghdad)
  • Great Mosque in Samarra (Erbil)
  • Jebel Sinjar Mountain (Ninewa Governorate)
  • Cheekha Dar Mountain (Erbil)
  • Amedia Village (Dahuk Governorate)
  • “The Abbasid Palace (Baghdad)
  • Al-Sijud Palace (Baghdad)
  • The Radwaniyah Palace (Baghdad)
  • The Ancient City of Ashur (Baghdad)
  • The Ancient City of Nineveh (Ninewa Governorate)
  • The Ancient City of Nineveh (Najaf)
  • The Ancient City of Nimrud (Najaf)
  • The Ancient City of Ur (Basra)
  • The Ancient City of Khatra (Baghdad)
  • The Golden Mosque (Baghdad)
  • The Shatt al-Haye Canal (Al Kut)
  • Zubaydah Mausoleum (Basra)
  • Imam Ali Mosque (Erbil)
  • Umm Al-Mahar Mosque (Baghdad)
  • The “Swords of Qadisiyah” Monument
  • Basra Museum (Basra)
  • National Museum of Iraq (Baghdad)
  • Lake Qadissiya (Anbar Governorate)
  • Lake Tartar (Baghdad)
  • Lake El-Milh (Najaf)
  • The Ruins of Babylon (Baghdad)
  • The Tigris River (Baghdad)
  • Ruins of the City of Hart (Ninewa Governorate).

Major Cities

  1. Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, population 5,402,487
  2. Mosul – population 3,000,095
  3. Basra – 2,300,122 people
  4. Erbil – population 1,800,634
  5. Sulaymaniyah (Sulaymaniyah) – population 1,800,370
  6. Kirkuk – 1,200,002
  7. Fallujah – 850,990
  8. Karbala 800,345 – habitants
  9. 800,135 – Al-Najaf

Climate

Most of Iraq has a continental climate, subtropical in the north and tropical in the south. Summers are dry and very hot, and winters are relatively rainy and cool. Average “winter” air temperature is +8 °С … +12 °С, and average “summer” temperature is +34 °С … +48 °С. The annual amount of precipitation varies from 50 to 150 mm in the plains, and up to 1500 mm in the mountains. In the summer in the south of Iraq sandstorms are frequent. Rainfall is quite rare from May to October, but the humidity is quite high and ranges from 85% to 100% .

Population

Iraqi people

The population of Iraq is 41,648,540 (data as of August 2019), of which 80% are Arabs, 17% are Kurds, and about 3% are Persians, Turks, Armenians, Turkmen, etc. Arabs are mostly concentrated in the southern and central regions, Kurds and Turks in the north and northwest, and Persians in the south and in areas bordering Iran. Average life expectancy for women of Iraqi population is 70-72 years and for men 67-69 years.

The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish. Arabic was brought to the territory of the state by the Arab conquerors and has three different forms: classical Arabic, modern Arabic and colloquial Arabic. Classical Arabic is studied and taught in schools and is the written language of the Koran.

The most common language in Iraq is the Iraqi (Mesopotamian) dialect of Arabic. Kurdish is spoken by about 20% of the population; it is considered an official language in Kurdistan and serves to distinguish the Kurds from other Iraqis. Kurdish is not a language of Semitic origin, nor is it an Arabic or Persian dialect; it is a completely separate language belonging to the Indo-European language family. In addition to Arabic and Kurdish, Aramaic, Turkic, Armenian, and Persian are also spoken in Iraq.

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Religion

Most residents of Iraq (about 97%) are Muslim. At the same time there is a clear division of Muslims into Sunni (34%) and Shiite (63%). Sunni Islam among the Arabs of Iraq is mainly practiced by urban dwellers and some members of the feudal tribal elite. Some geographic areas are inhabited almost entirely by members of one or another faith, forming stable areas of almost homogeneous ethno-cultural groups. The remaining 3% of the Iraqi population profess different currents of the Christian religion (Gregorians, Nestorians, Chaldeans).

Holidays

Iraqi holidays

Iraq’s national and public holidays in 2019:

  • Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day
  • January 6 – Iraqi Armed Forces Day
  • March 21 – Nowruz (celebration of the arrival of spring)
  • May 1 – Labor Day
  • June 5 – 7 – Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
  • 14 July – Republic Day
  • 12-15 August – Eid-al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
  • 1 September – Muslim New Year
  • September 10 – Ashura (Shia commemoration day of Imam Hussein ibn Ali)
  • October 3 – Iraqi Independence Day
  • November 10 – Birth of the Prophet
  • December 25 – Christmas
  • 31 December – New Year’s Eve

Souvenirs and Gifts

Gifts from Iraq

Below is a small list of the most common and popular souvenirs and gifts that tourists usually bring from Iraq:

  • aromatic lamps
  • clay products
  • gold and silver jewelry
  • Iraqi textiles
  • Leather bags, wallets and purses decorated with oriental ornaments and inscriptions.
  • national clothes
  • spices and herbs
  • Souvenirs with stylized images of Saddam Hussein
  • tobacco
  • tea
  • woolen carpets

“No nail, no rod,” or customs rules

Iraqi customs regulations do not limit the importation of foreign currency, while a declaration is mandatory, the importation of local currency – no more than 25 Iraqi dinars . Allowed to export the imported foreign currency within the declared in the entry declaration, the national currency – not more than 5 dinars. It is forbidden to import Israeli currency.

Allowed:

Duty-free import of up to 200 pieces of cigarettes, or cigars – up to 50 pieces, or tobacco – up to 250 g; perfumes – 2 open bottles with a total volume not exceeding 500 ml; alcoholic beverages with a total volume not exceeding 1 liter, as well as gifts of no more than $28. At the same time the total value of the above items must not exceed 100 dinars. Entry of one piece of electric, audio and photo equipment is permitted with a stamp in the passport that gives the right for its subsequent export from the country.

Allowed the export of arts and crafts, gift sets of Iraqi coins, stamps and books. To export them, you must have a cashier’s check or other document confirming the legality of their purchase,

Prohibited:

Importation of drugs and narcotics-containing medicines, weapons, ammunition and explosives, a range of fruits and plants (especially mangoes and citrus fruits), audio and video recordings of a political and religious nature, and any goods and things in quantities that imply commercial use are prohibited. The export of goods made in the country with imported raw materials as well as imported goods purchased on the domestic market with hard currency is prohibited.

Pets

To import pets you must have an international passport and a document confirming vaccination against rabies and major viral infections.

Voltage in the electrical network

Voltage of Irak’s electrical network: 220 volts, 50 Hz. The plugs are of the following types: Type C, Type D. Type G.

Gentle Reader. If you have been to that country, or if you have something interesting to tell about Iraq, WRITE! After all, your lines may be useful and informative for the visitors of our site “Around the Planet Step by Step” and for all travel lovers.

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