The Iraq Portal

A view of Baghdad, Iraq
A view of Baghdad, Iraq

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Coat of Arms of Iraq
Iraq

Iraq (Arabic: الْعِرَاق, romanizedal-ʿIrāq; Kurdish: عێراق, romanized: Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq (Arabic: جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق Jumhūriīyet al-ʿIrāq; Kurdish: کۆماری عێراق, romanized: Komarî Êraq), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf and Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians, Armenians, Yazidis, Sabian-Mandaeans, Persians and Shabakis with similarly diverse geography and wildlife. The majority of the country's 40 million citizens are Muslims, and other recognized religions include Christianity, Yazidism, Mandaeism, Yarsanism and Zoroastrianism The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish, with other recognized regional languages being English, Neo-Aramaic, Turkish and Armenian.

Modern Iraq dates back to 1920, when the British Mandate for Mesopotamia, joining three Ottoman vilayets, was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq. The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created. Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. In 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, sparking a protracted war which would last for almost eight years, and end in a stalemate with devastating losses for both countries. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, and multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005. The US presence in Iraq ended in 2011.

Iraq is considered an emerging middle power with a strategic location and a founding member of the United Nations, the OPEC as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF. Since its independence, Iraq's political history has been characterized by periods of significant economic and military growth, as well as periods of political and economic instability. (Full article...)

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Iraq is a country in Western Asia that largely corresponds with the territory of ancient Mesopotamia, the easternmost portion of the Fertile Crescent that is situated along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The present-day borders of Iraq were established following the dissolution and partition of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, with the former vilayets of Baghdad, Basra, and Mosul being placed under British administration. The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq, which existed as a British mandate from 1921–1932, was created after the failed Iraqi revolt against British rule in 1920 and finalized with the Anglo-Iraqi treaty of 1922. Encompassed within Iraqi territory is the ancient land of Sumer, which came into being between 6,000 and 5,000 BC during the Neolithic Ubaid period of Mesopotamian history, and is widely considered the oldest civilization in recorded history. It is also the historic center of the Akkadian, Neo-Sumerian, Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian, and Neo-Babylonian empires, a succession of local ruling dynasties that reigned over Lower Mesopotamia and various other regions of the Ancient Near East during the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Iraq during antiquity witnessed some of the world's earliest writing, literature, sciences, mathematics, laws and philosophies; hence its common epithet, the Cradle of Civilization. (Full article...)

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Milkau Oberer Teil der Stele mit dem Text von Hammurapis Gesetzescode 369-2.png
The Code of Hammurabi (Codex Hammurabi), the best preserved ancient law code, was created ca. 1760 BC (middle chronology) in ancient Babylon. It was enacted by the sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi.

Did you know...

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  • ...that the oldest known writing system, known as cuneiform, was developed in southern Iraq during the Sumerian civilization.
  • ...that the oldest laws were written in Iraq by the Sumerian King Ur-Nammu.
  • ...that Iraq is second only to Saudi Arabia in oil reserves.
  • ...that the national soccer team of Iraq won the AFC Asian Cup in 2007.
  • ...the wheel was invented in the southern Iraqi city of Ur.
  • ...that Iraq is the largest producer of dates with more than 400 types and more than 22 million date palms.
  • ...that Iraq’s national dish is Masgouf (impaled fish) and its national cookie is Kleicha (meaning circle or wheel), both of which can be traced back to antiquity.
  • ...in the 1940s and 1950s, Iraq had 4/5 of the world's Arecaceae population, these numbers have drastically decreased in the last few decades.

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Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr
Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr
Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr (Arabic: آية الله العظمى السيد محمد باقر الصدر; March 1, 1935 – April 9, 1980), also known as al-Shahīd al-Khāmis, was an Iraqi philosopher, and the ideological founder of the Islamic Dawa Party, born in al-Kadhimiya, Iraq. He was father-in-law to Muqtada al-Sadr, a cousin of Muhammad Sadeq al-Sadr and Imam Musa as-Sadr. His father Haydar al-Sadr was a well-respected high-ranking Shi'a cleric. His lineage can be traced back to Muhammad through the seventh Shia Imam Musa al-Kazim. Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was executed in 1980 by the regime of Saddam Hussein along with his sister, Amina Sadr bint al-Huda. (Full article...)

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