Iraq is a country in Western Asia, best known for being the erstwhile rule of Saddam Hussein. Read on to explore some fun and interesting facts about Iraq.

Facts About Iraq

Iraq is a country situated in Western Asia, which stands bordered by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the south, Jordan in the west, Syria in the northwest, Turkey in the north, and Iran in the east. The country is spread over most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert. It also boasts of a coastline, comprising of a narrow section at Umm Qasr, on the Persian Gulf. The two main flowing rivers of Iraq, Tigris and the Euphrates, cater to the water needs of its people. In case you want to know more about Iraq, make use of the information provided in the following lines.
Image: Lezan@flickr
 
Fun & Interesting Facts about Iraq 
  • The official name of Iraq is the ‘Republic of Iraq’.
  • The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish, but Turkoman, Assyrian and Armenian are also widely spoken there.
  • Majority of the population in Iraq comprises of Shiite and Sunni Muslims, followed by Christians.
  • Arabs, Kurdish, Turkomans and Assyrians comprise of the main ethnic groups of Iraq.
  • The currency of Iraq is Iraqi Dinar.
  • The capital of Iraq is Baghdad.
  • Iraq follows the system of ‘Parliamentary Republic’.
  • Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq, dates back to the time of the ancient Mesopotamia.
  • The region between Tigris and Euphrates rivers is known to be the ‘cradle of civilization’ and the ‘birthplace of writing’.
  • The highest point in Iraq is formed by Haji Ibrahim (3600 m).
  • It is believed that Sumer, situated in Southern Mesopotamia, was one of the first civilizations of the world.
  • Eridu (Abu Shahrain), a Sumerian settlement, is believed to be inhabited since 5000 BC, making it one of the earliest cities of the world.
  • Abraham, believed to be the father of Jewish and Arab people, is said to have been born in Ur, in Sumer.
  • Satellite images of northern Iraq and Syria show evidence of major roads used over four thousand years ago.
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, situated in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II in Iraq, were one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Alexander the Great died in Babylon.
  • Jabir Ibn Haiyan, said to be the founder of chemistry, was a doctor and alchemist in Iraq, during Middle Ages.
  • Iraq came under the direct rule of the Ottoman Empire in 1831 and the rule lasted till 1919, the end of First World War.
  • The end of First World War saw Britain taking control of Iraq, under a League of Nations mandate.
  • Iraq gained independence from British in 1932 and became a republic in 1958.
  • Noah’s ark is believed to have been built in Iraq.
  • Saddam Hussein took over as the President of Iraq in 1979.
  • In 1980, Iraq declared war on Iran, which lasted for eight years.
  • Iraq annexed Kuwait in August 1990. After the country’s refusal to obey a UN resolution to leave the country, an international military campaign, Operation Desert Storm, forced Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.
  • US and British armies invaded Iraq in March 2003, mainly on the premise of existence of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ in the country.
  • Elections were held in Iraq in February 2005, which were won by a group dominated by Shi'a Muslim candidates.
  • Presently, Kurdistan is the only legally defined region within Iraq, with its own government and quasi-official militia, the Peshmerga.
  • Iraq is divided into eighteen governorates (or provinces), which are further subdivided into districts (or qadhas).





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