Iraq is often called “the cradle of human civilization”, which is one hundred percent true. It was on the territory of modern Iraq in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that the Sumerian civilization was formed 5 thousand years ago. Unfortunately, it is not very safe for tourists to visit this country now. the socio-political situation there has not yet stabilized. However, we are sure that everything will change soon, and foreigners will again be able to see the historical monuments of Ancient Sumer and Uruk, as well as walk safely through the streets of Baghdad.
Geography of Iraq
Iraq is located in the Middle East. Iraq borders Syria to the northwest, Turkey to the north, Jordan to the southwest, and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to the south. The Persian Gulf is located in the southeast of Iraq. The total area of this country is 437,072 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 3,650 km.
Iraq occupies the territory of the Mesopotamian lowland. In the southwest of Iraq is the Syrian Desert, in the north is the Armenian Highlands, and in the northeast is the Iranian Highlands. The highest peak in the country is Mount Haji Ibrahim, whose height reaches 3,587 meters.
The two largest rivers of the East, the Tigris and the Euphrates, flow through the territory of Iraq.
According to itypemba.com, the capital of Iraq is Baghdad, which is now home to more than 6 million people. Archaeologists say that the settlement of people on the site of modern Baghdad existed already 3 thousand years ago. The city of Baghdad itself was built in 762 AD.
There are two official languages in Iraq – Arabic (belongs to the Semitic group of the Afro-Asian language family) and Kurdish (the northwestern subgroup of the Iranian group of the Indo-European language family).
About 95% of the population of Iraq are Muslims (65% are Shiite Muslims and 30% are Sunni Muslims).
State structure of Iraq
According to equzhou.net, Iraq is a parliamentary republic (this country is considered a federation). Parliament in Iraq (National Assembly) is bipartisan – it consists of the Council of Unions and the Council of Representatives.
The main Iraqi political parties are the United Iraqi Alliance, the Alliance of Kurdish Parties and the Islamic Party of Iraq.
Climate and weather
The climate, in most of the territory of Iraq, is hot, arid with a noticeable subtropical influence. The average annual air temperature is +22.8C. The highest average air temperature in August is +44C, and the lowest is in January (+4C). The average annual rainfall is 156 mm.
Sea in Iraq
Iraq has 58 km of coastline on the Persian Gulf, which is part of the Arabian Sea.
Rivers and lakes
The two largest rivers of the East, the Tigris and the Euphrates, flow through the territory of Iraq. Thanks to these rivers, Iraq, unlike other countries in Western Asia, has agricultural land.
History of Iraq
On the territory of modern Iraq (Mesopotamia), in the fertile valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the Sumerian civilization was born a long time ago. It is considered the earliest civilization in the world. It was in ancient Sumer that the first written language appeared.
In ancient times, Iraq was part of the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian kingdom, the Persian kingdom. Iraq was conquered by the troops of Alexander the Great, Parthians and Roman legionnaires.
In the 7th century, Iraq was conquered by the Arabs, who brought Islam with them. In the 8th century, the Arabs made Baghdad the capital of their Caliphate.
In the middle of the XIII century, Iraq was invaded by the Tatar-Mongol, and in 1401 this country was conquered by the troops of Tamerlane. In the 16th century, most of the territory of modern Iraq became part of the Ottoman Empire.
Only in 1921, on the initiative of Great Britain, the Kingdom of Iraq was formed, which was under the British protectorate (under the mandate of the League of Nations). The independence of the Kingdom of Iraq was proclaimed in 1932. In 1958, the rule of kings was destroyed in Iraq, and the country became a Republic.
Saddam Hussein becomes President of Iraq in 1979 as a result of a military coup.
On January 17, 1991, the United States, together with its allies, decided to restore the independence of Kuwait (it was captured by Iraq in 1990), and invade this country. The so-called. “First Gulf War”. This war continues until February 1991. Kuwait’s independence has been restored.
On March 20, 2003, the US, supported by its allies, invades Iraq and conquers the country. Saddam Hussein is captured and after a while he is executed.
Now Iraq is a country where Sunni Muslims oppose Shiite Muslims, and the Kurds in the north of the country are fighting for secession and the creation of an independent Kurdistan.
Most Asian countries and some European countries borrowed elements of their cultural traditions from Iraq. This is not surprising given that Iraq is considered “the cradle of human civilization.”
The dominant religion in Iraq is Islam, and therefore there are widespread religious holidays (Ramadan, etc.).
We can safely say that the cuisine of Iraq was formed under the strong influence of Iranian and Turkish culinary traditions. The main foodstuffs in Iraq are rice, meat, vegetables, dairy products, fruits.
For tourists in Iraq, we definitely recommend (along with barbecue and dolma) to try the following dishes:
– “tikka” – lamb fried on a spit;
– “kuozi” – whole fried lamb, which is stuffed with various fillings;
– “kibbe” – meat with nuts and raisins;
– “kibbe-batata” – beef stew with potatoes;
– “Baryani” – pilaf with meat and raisins;
– “cube” – pies with different fillings.
Traditional soft drinks are yogurt, coffee and tea.
In Iraq, Muslim laws regarding the consumption of alcohol are strictly observed. Drinking alcohol is allowed only in some hotels of international chains. During Ramadan, smoking and drinking alcohol in public places is not allowed.
However, in Iraq there is a tradition of drinking aniseed vodka (“arak”), which is also typical for some other countries of the East.
Sights of Iraq
Iraq has experienced many wars, as a result of which many unique historical and architectural monuments were destroyed. However, some historical monuments were destroyed in peacetime (for example, if it was necessary to build a highway). However, there are still many interesting sights left in Iraq. The top ten Iraqi attractions, in our opinion, may include the following:
- Ruins of the ancient city of Babylon
- Abassid Palace in Baghdad
- Hussein Mosque in Karbala
- Minaret of Souq al-Ghazal in Baghdad
- El Mahayam Mosque in Karbala
- Mausoleum of Imam Ali in Najaf
- Golden Mosque in Baghdad
- Mausoleum of Sitt-Zumurrud-Khatun in Baghdad
- Abassid Palace in Samarra
- Fortress in Kirkuk
Cities and resorts
The largest Iraqi cities are Mosul, Basra, Erbil, Karbala, Najaf, Kirkuk, and, of course, Baghdad. As for resorts, there are none in Iraq yet.
Foreigners from Iraq bring folk art, silver and jewelry, various sweets, ceramics, towels and tablecloths as souvenirs.
Sat-Thu: 09:00-18:00 (until 17:00 in summer)
A visa is required to visit Iraq.
Currency of Iraq
The official currency in Iraq is the Iraqi dinar (its international designation is IQD). One Iraqi dinar = 1000 fils. In recent years, credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, and American Express) have come into circulation in the country.
The import and export of currency in Iraq is not limited, but a declaration is required. It is forbidden to import Israeli shekels, as well as drugs, firearms. In addition, citrus fruits, mangoes, grapes, plums cannot be imported into Iraq – these are the phytosanitary requirements.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Embassy of Iraq in Ukraine:
Kiev, Henri Barbusa st., 49
T: (044) 269-46-49
Address of the Embassy of Ukraine in Iraq:
Baghdad, Al-Mansour district 609, st. 1b. 20
T: (8 10 9641)
542-66-77 address: [email protected]
104 – Police
115 – Fire brigade
122 – Emergencies, including ambulances
The difference with time in Kyiv is +1 hour. Those. if in Baghdad, for example, it is 09:00 am, then in Kyiv it is 08:00 am.
Tipping is not common in Iraq. In some prestigious hotels and restaurants in Baghdad, service charges are included in the bill.
No mandatory vaccinations are required to visit Iraq. However, doctors still recommend tourists to be vaccinated against malaria, rabies, hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus, and typhoid fever.
Most countries do not yet recommend their citizens to visit Iraq, because. the socio-political situation there is still not stable.