Portal:Iraq

Tigris River in Baghdad (2016).jpg

The Iraq portal

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Coat of Arms of Iraq
Iraq's location on a map of the Middle East and the world.

Iraq (Arabic: الْعِرَاق‎, romanizedal-ʿIrāq; Kurdish: عێراق‎, romanized: Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq (Arabic: جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاقJumhūriīyah al-ʿIrāq; Kurdish: کۆماری عێراق‎, romanized: Komarî Êraq), is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Jordan to the southwest, Syria to the west Kuwait to the southeast and Saudi Arabia to the south. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians/Chaldeans, Yazidis, Persians, Shabakis, Armenians, Sabian-Mandaeans, Circassians, and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 40 million citizens are Muslims, with minorities of Christians, Yarsans, Yezidis and Mandaeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish while other recoginzed regional languages include English, Neo-Aramaic, Turkish and Armenian language.

The "Cradle of Civilization" is a common term for the area comprising modern Iraq as it was home to the earliest known civilisation, the Sumerian civilisation. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia. It was here that mankind first began to read, write, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian empires. It was also part of the Median, Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, Ayyubid, Seljuk, Mongol, Timurid, Safavid, Afsharid and Ottoman empires.

During the Ottoman occupation of Iraq until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, Iraq was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman Turkish language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, and Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one 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, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian civil war spilled into the country. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL and announced full liberation of borders with Syria from Islamic State militants..

Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates, four of which make up the autonomous Kurdistan Region. The country's official religion is Islam while other recoginzed religions include Christianity, Yazidism and Mandaeism. Culturally, Iraq has a very rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets, Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the United Nations, the OPEC as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF. (Full article...)

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Assyria in the Achaemenid Empire, 500 BCE.

Athura (Old Persian: 𐎠𐎰𐎢𐎼𐎠 Aθurā), also called Assyria, was a geographical area within the Achaemenid Empire in Upper Mesopotamia from 539 to 330 BC as a military protectorate state. Although sometimes regarded as a satrapy, Achaemenid royal inscriptions list it as a dahyu (plural dahyāva), a concept generally interpreted as meaning either a group of people or both a country and its people, without any administrative implication.

It mostly incorporated the territories of Neo-Assyrian Empire corresponding to what is now northern Iraq in the upper Tigris, the middle and upper Euphrates, parts of modern-day northwestern Iran, modern-day northeastern Syria (Eber-Nari) and part of southeast Anatolia (now Turkey). However, Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula were separate Achaemenid territories. The Neo-Assyrian Empire collapsed after a period of violent civil wars, followed by an invasion by a coalition of some of its former subject peoples, the Iranian peoples (Medes, Persians and Scythians), Babylonians and Cimmerians in the late seventh century BC, culminating in the Battle of Nineveh, and Assyria had fallen completely by 609 BC. (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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Dinar of al-Mu'tazz, AH 253.jpg

Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jaʿfar (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد بن جعفر‎; 847 – 16 July 869), better known by his regnal title Al-Muʿtazz bi-ʾllāh (المعتز بالله, "He who is strengthened by God") was the Abbasid caliph from 866 to 869, during a period of extreme internal instability within the Abbasid Caliphate, known as the "Anarchy at Samarra".

Originally named as the second in line of three heirs of his father al-Mutawakkil, al-Mu'tazz was forced to renounce his rights after the accession of his brother al-Muntasir, and was thrown in prison as a dangerous rival during the reign of his cousin al-Musta'in. He was released and raised to the caliphate in January 866, during the civil war between al-Musta'in and the Turkish military of Samarra. Al-Mu'tazz was capable and determined to reassert the authority of the caliph over the Turkish military, but had only limited success. Aided by the vizier Ahmad ibn Isra'il, he managed to remove and kill the leading Turkish generals, Wasif al-Turki and Bugha al-Saghir, but the decline of the Tahirids in Baghdad deprived him of their role as a counterweight to the Turks. Faced with the assertive Turkish commander Salih ibn Wasif, and unable to find money to satisfy the demands of his troops, he was deposed and died of ill treatment a few days later, on 16 July 869. (Full article...)

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