REPUBLIC OF

IRAQ


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Coat of Arms

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Location

Map_Iraq

President Fuad Masum

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Capital
»Baghdad

Official Language
»Arabic Kurdish

Demonym
»Iraqi

Government
»Federal parliamentary republic

Area
»437,072 km2 (59th)

Population
»36,004,552 (36th)

GDP (PPP)
»$510.916 billion (37th)
» Per capita -$13,817 (85th)

GDP (nominal)
»$240.006 billion (47th)
» Per capita -$6,491 (88th)

Currency
»Iraqi dinar (IQD)

Time Zone
»Arabia Standard Time (UTC+3)

Iraq  is a country in Western Asia. The country borders Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest, and Syria to the west.

baghdad library

The capital, Baghdad, is in the center of the country and its largest city. The largest ethnic groups in Iraq are Arabs and Kurds. Other ethnic groups include Assyrians, Turcoman, Shabaki, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya form the minorities. Around 95% of the country’s 36 million citizens are Shia or Sunni Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also extant.

kurdistan2

Iraq has a narrow section of coastline measuring 58 km (36 mi) on the northern Persian Gulf and its territory 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 the center of Iraq and flow 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 is often referred to as Mesopotamia and thought to be the birthplace of writing and the world’s oldest civilizations. The area has been home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th millennium BC. At different periods in its history, Iraq was the center of the indigenous Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires. It was also part of the Median, Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid, Afsharid, and Ottoman empires, and under British control as a League of Nations mandate.

Iraq’s economy is dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings.  Public sector employment accounted for nearly 60% of full-time employment in 2011. The oil export industry, which dominates the Iraqi economy, generates very little employment. Currently only a modest percentage of women (the highest estimate for 2011 was 22%) participate in the labour force.

Prior to US occupation, Iraq’s centrally planned economy prohibited foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses, ran most large industries as state-owned enterprises, and imposed large tariffs to keep out foreign goods. After the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority quickly began issuing many binding orders privatizing Iraq’s economy and opening it up to foreign investment.

Iraq Gas and oil

Agriculture is the main occupation of the people.

In February 2011, Citigroup included Iraq in a group of countries which it described as ‘Global Growth Generators’, that it argued will enjoy significant economic growth in the future.

The official currency in Iraq is the Iraqi dinar. The Coalition Provisional Authority issued new dinar coins and notes, with the notes printed by De La Rue using modern anti-forgery techniques. Jim Cramer’s October 20, 2009 endorsement of the Iraqi Dinar on CNBC has further piqued interest in the investment.

Iraq is ranked 143 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of -2.2791

Top 5 Products exported by Iraq

  1. Crude Petroleum (99%),
  2. Refined Petroleum (0.29%),
  3. Gold (0.18%),
  4. Tropical Fruits(0.11%),
  5. Alkylbenzenes and Alkylnaphthalenes (0.049%)

Top 5 Export destinations of Iraq

  1. India (30%),
  2. China (19%),
  3. South Korea (16%),
  4. Italy (7.0%),
  5. Spain (6.0%)

Top 5 Products imported by Iraq

  1. Cars (5.1%),
  2. Raw Iron Bars (4.3%),
  3. Refined Petroleum (2.9%),
  4. Rice (2.6%),
  5. Wheat (2.3%)

Top 5 Import origins of Iraq

  1. Turkey (33%),
  2. China (15%),
  3. South Korea (5.8%),
  4. Germany (4.6%),
  5. India (3.9%)

The holiest sites of Shia Islam outside of Saudi Arabia are in Iraq’s fertile heartland of Lower Mesopotamia. The Shia-Sunni split in Islam occurred over a dispute in the mid-seventh century C.E. as to the true successor of the Prophet Muhammad, with the Shiites supporting Ali ibn Abi Talib, who would become the first Imam, and whose Caliphate capital was located in the medieval city of Kufa. Ali’s tomb is found in present day Najaf at the Imam Ali Mosque, one of Shia Islam’s most holy sites.

baghdad_mosque_01

The third Imam,  the grandson of the Prophet, Husayn ibn Ali, is widely revered as one of Shia Islam’s greatest martyrs, and the two grand mosques of Karbala, Al Abbas Mosque and Imam Husayn Shrine (which stands on his grave) are the sites of the Shiites’ most important pilgrimage, to observe the Ashura, the day of mourning for Imam Husayn. Samarra is home to another one of the most important Shia mosques, Al-Askari Mosque, which serves as the tomb of Imams ‘Ali al-Hadi and Hassan al-‘Askari. Tragically, this mosque is badly damaged, suffering explosions in sectarian violence in 2006, destroying the dome, minarets, and clock tower. Lastly, Al-Kadhimiya Mosque in Kadhimiya is revered, as it is the burial place of the seventh and ninth Imams, Musa al-Kadhim and Muhammad at-Taqi.

Sulamani-kurdistan

 

Also buried within this mosque are the famous historical scholars, Shaykh Mufid and Shaykh Nasir ad-Din Tusi. Iraq is also home to significant holy sites of Sunni Islam, especially Baghdad’s Abu Hanifa Mosque, built around the tomb of Abu Hanifah an-Nu’man, the founder of the Ḥanafī school of Islamic religious jurisprudence.

To See
  • The holiest sites of Shia Islam outside of Saudi Arabia are in Iraq’s fertile heartland of Lower Mesopotamia.
  • The Shia-Sunni split in Islam occurred over a dispute in the mid-seventh century C.E. as to the true successor of the Prophet Muhammad, with the Shiites supporting Ali ibn Abi Talib, who would become the first Imam, and whose Caliphate capital was located in the medieval city of Kufa.
  • Ali’s tomb is found in present day Najaf at the Imam Ali Mosque, one of Shia Islam’s most holy sites.
  • The third Imam, grandson of the Prophet, Husayn ibn Ali, is widely revered as one of Shia Islam’s greatest martyrs, and the two grand mosques of Karbala, Al Abbas Mosque and Imam Husayn Shrine (which stands on his grave) are the sites of the Shiites’ most important pilgrimage, to observe the Ashura, the day of mourning for Imam Husayn.
  • Samarra is home to another one of the most important Shia mosques, Al-Askari Mosque, which serves as the tomb of Imams ‘Ali al-Hadi and Hassan al-‘Askari. Tragically, this mosque is badly damaged, suffering explosions in sectarian violence in 2006, destroying the dome, minarets, and clock tower.
  • Lastly, Al-Kadhimiya Mosque in Kadhimiya is revered, as it is the burial place of the seventh and ninth Imams, Musa al-Kadhim and Muhammad at-Taqi.
  • Also buried within this mosque are the famous historical scholars, Shaykh Mufid and Shaykh Nasir ad-Din Tusi. Iraq is also home to significant holy sites of Sunni Islam, especially Baghdad’s Abu Hanifa Mosque, built around the tomb of Abu Hanifah an-Nu’man, the founder of the Ḥanafī school of Islamic religious jurisprudence.


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