Surrounded by high mountain ranges and fertile river valley and deserts, Iraq is a small yet beautiful country in the Middle East, sharing its boundaries with Iran in the east, Turkey in the north, Syria and Jordan in the west and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the south. Iraq has a minute coastline of 58 kilometers towards the northern end of the Persian Gulf. The two major rivers Tigris and Euphrates flow through the country and carry rich historic and ancient importance.
Known as Mesopotamia ‘The land between the rivers’ in the ancient times, Iraq’s ancient civilization dates back to as early as 4000 B.C. During the 2000 B.C. period, the region was occupied by the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian empires, until it was conquered by the Persian ruler, Cyrus the Great in 538 B.C, and then by Alexander the great in 381 B.C. Baghdad became the administrative capital after the Arab invasion in 637-640. The country was then invaded by the Mongols, Turks and Persians till the 18th century until it gained independence in 1932. The current constitution of Iraq is defined as a democratic, federal parliamentary Islamic republic.
Majority of Iraq’s population constitutes of Muslims (97%), the remainder being Christians and a few other tribes. Within the Muslim population, Shias constitute of almost 60%-65% of population, while the rest are Sunnis. Arabic and Kurdish are the official languages recognized by the state, while Kurdish is spoken only in the regions inhabited by the Kurds. Several other languages like Turkmen, Assyrian and Armenian too are spoken by the meager native population. With its hot arid climate, Iraq has very severe summers with an average of 400C. The mild winters record an average of 140C.
Iraq is a treasure land of ancient and historically important sites with some areas like Ashur and Hatra being recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, while the cities of Babylon, Nineveh, Ur and Ctesiphon are rich in ancient culture and traditions from the prehistoric times. The traditional art and culture festivals and native Iraqi cuisine will surely entice you during your visit to this beautiful ancient country.
Surrounded by high mountain ranges and fertile river valley and deserts, Iraq is a small yet beautiful country in the Middle...