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The region of modern-day Iraq was known in ancient times as Mesopotamia. The great rivers of Euphrates and Tigris often overflowed and flooded the area between them, providing arable fertile land, which gave birth to the world's earliest civilizations. ?
The Sumerian Kingdom ended with the rise of the Akkadian Kingdom in the 24th century BC. This was followed by the rule of the Akkadian-speaking Assyrians, which lasted until 1750 BC. The Babylonian Kingdom, headed by Hammurabi, took over and briefly rose to prominence, but slowly declined with the king's death.
The region eventually went back to Akkadian hands in 12th BC, and back to the Assyrians in 7th century BC. Over the next 1000 years, the region was conquered and ruled by several other kingdoms.
During the Middle Ages in 637 AD, the Arabs came and spread Islam to the region. The conquest ruled for 5 centuries, where it ended with the arrival of the Mongols in 1258.
In 1538, the region was under Ottoman rule, which lasted until the 1st World War. On November 11, 1920, the region came under British control, naming it the State of Iraq. The Great Iraqi Revolution also began in the same year. In 1921, the first king was declared, in the name of Faysal, son of Hussein Bin Ali.
The revolution against Britain resulted to Iraq's independence in 1932. This was short lived due to the 2nd World War, where Britain reoccupied Iraq. In 1958, a military coup took place, overthrowing the monarchy, and Iraq was declared a republic.
Iraq is located in Western Asia in the Middle East. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Saudi Arabia to the south, Iran to the east, Syria to the west, Jordan to the southwest, and Kuwait to the southeast.
Located on the north of the Persian Gulf, Iraq has 58km of coastline. The area consists mainly of desert, but the area between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris are fertile plains.
The nation's territory includes the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the eastern area of the Syrian Desert, and the northwest end of the Zagros mountain range.
Iraq is a democratic, federal parliamentary Islamic republic with 3 branches of government. These are: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches. The Prime Minister and the President exercise executive power, while the Council of the Representatives and the Federation Council exercise legislative power.
The last 4 decades of warfare in Iraq have had a devastating effect on its tourism industry. Many ancient ruins have either been destroyed or vandalized, but some are still kept in place and good enough to explore.
One of these ancient ruins is the city of Babylon, located 85km south of Baghdad in the town of Hillah in the Babil Governate. Built in 2300BC, Babylon was once the playground of King Nebuchadnezzar II, who had winter and summer palaces in the city. In the 1980's then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had his summer palace built on a hill overlooking the ancient city. Today, many of the monuments and ruins are replicas of the original structures that once stood in the area, such as the popular Ishtar Gate. Among the attractions in Babylon include the Lion of Babylon, and Hussein's abandoned and vandalized summer palace.
Another ancient city is Hatra, which is the city of the sun god. The fortification was the first Arab kingdom capital, and boasts of Hellenistic and Roman architecture, as well as Eastern decorative features.
Basra is called "Venice of the East," because of its abundance of parks and lagoons. The 2nd largest city of Iraq, Basra was the home of Sinbad the Sailor, with the Sinbad Island as one of the city's tourist landmarks. The city is filled with parks, markets, and palaces, as well as all the comforts of a modern city.
Another ancient structure is the Ziggurat of Ur, which was built sometime in the 21st century BC. It is the most distinctive architectural invention of the Ancient Near East, and one of the biggest and best preserved structures of Mesopotamia.
Education is compulsory in Iraq until the 6th grade. After which an exam is taken by students to evaluate whether they are qualified of continuing to the upper grades. Boys and girls are separated in the 7th grade, and those who do not pass the exam are given the option of continuing their education with vocational training. Many students prefer not to proceed since the vocational tract is of very poor quality.
The top universities of Iraq are the University of Dohuk, the University of Baghdad, and the Babylon University.
- Iraq has one of the most unstable governments in the world.
- They have the 2nd largest oil reserves in the world.
- Iraqi people are obsessed with American guilty pleasures such as orange soda and Hollywood movies.
Source Code: IW20141107
Last Update On : November 07, 2014
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