Umar bin al-Khattab, the Second Khalifa of the Muslims

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Pre-historic era. Between 65, BC and 35, BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is also the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from approximately 11, BC.

When Amr bin Aas conquered Egypt, Umar made him its governor. Yazid bin Abu Sufyan, the governor of Syria, died in the plague of 18 A. When Umar heard the news of his death, he went to see Abu Sufyan to offer condolences to him. Umar appointed Muawiya the new governor of Syria. He fixed his salary at 60, pieces of gold a year Isti'ab, Volume I.

He too was dismissed in 21 A. Amr bin Aas was Umar's governor in Egypt. Umar was a most exacting taskmaster for all his generals and governors. He was quick to lend his ears to any complaint against them, and he was even quicker to dismiss them —with one exception — Muawiya! He was forever indulgent to the sons of Abu Sufyan and the clan of Banu Umayya. Muawiya, the son of Abu Sufyan and Hinda, the governor of Syria, lived in Damascus in imperial splendor, surrounded by a glittering retinue.

It was a lifestyle that Umar did not tolerate in any other governor. Tabari has recorded the following incident in Volume VI of his History. Umar was in Damascus and Muawiya came to see him every day — mornings and evenings — bedecked in regal outfit, with splendidly caparisoned mounts and escorts.

His pageantry, he said, was only the outward emblem of that glory - the glory of Islam. I am at a loss to know what to do. He could condone Muawiya anything and everything. He, in fact, appeared to be ostentatiously courting Abu Sufyan and his sons. Once he placed them at the helm of affairs, they consolidated their position, and it became impossible to dislodge them.

It was in this manner that the secular, predatory, imperialist and economically exploitative Umayyads were foisted upon the Muslims.

The cultivation of the Umayyads, it appears, was one of the constants in Saqifa's policy equation. Umar's generals had conquered Persia, Syria and Egypt. His successors in the Umayyad dynasty pushed those conquests as far as southern France in the west, and the western frontiers of China and the Indus valley in the east.

They achieved all those conquests within years — truly one of the most remarkable series of conquests in world history. Many centuries later, the search goes on for the answer to the question: How did the Arabs conquer so much so soon? Many reasons have been given by the historians for the success of the Arab arms, among them: Also, the Persians and the Romans were handicapped by heavy baggage, and they lacked mobility.

The Arabs, on the other hands, were highly mobile. They could strike at a target of their choice, and then retreat into the desert on their swift camels where the enemy cavalry could not enter as it did not have logistical support.

In their campaigns, the Arabs were invariably outnumbered by their enemies but this was not necessarily a handicap for them. History abounds in examples of small forces of volunteers standing up to and defeating large conscript armies. But the Muslims themselves, discount most of these reasons for their success.

According to many of them, the secret of their success was in the piety and the religious zeal of the Muslim soldiers. The propulsive power behind the Arab conquests of the seventh century, they say, came from Islam, and every Arab who left the peninsula to attack the Fertile Crescent, was a mujahid or a holy warrior, fighting for the glory of God.

This claim, however, is only partly true. Without a doubt there were those Muslims who wished to spread the light of Islam in the world but also there were others, and they were the overwhelming majority, who fought for the material rewards that the conquests promised to bring to them.

They had developed a distinctly secular appetite for power and riches. The predominant incentives that drove the Bedouin out of the peninsula were bodily hunger and greed, natural consequences of the straitened circumstances there and of the endless opportunities for enrichment offered by the cultivated societies they overran.

The otherworldly aspects of Mohammed's preaching were completely eclipsed during the conquests by the incredible booty that could be won: Another of these ten pious men personally promised paradise by Mohammed owned real property in the amount of 30 million dirhems; on his death his steward had over two million dirhems in cash. Once this process is seen in perspective, it becomes clear how remarkably obtuse is the old, traditional conception of the Arab expansion as being a pietist movement aroused by Mohammed's personal religious zeal.

More particularly, the pietism that was to become the hallmark of later Islam, at least in certain of its manifestations, was utterly alien to the initial Arab conquerors. It has been pointed out, the driving force behind the Muslim Arab conquests was not religious in the least, but a migratory impulse rooted in the millennial condition of the Arabian peninsula.

Men like Khalid and Amr bin Aas , for instance, were obviously no pietists or mystics; their interests were thoroughly practical. The switching over of the Meccan aristocracy to the side of the Muslims is a telling illustration of the swift and irresistible injection of purely secular elements into the earliest enterprises of the Umma, which though formulated on the basis of religion, was articulated on the basis of politics.

The Shaping of the Arabs, New York, It is true that religion was the factor that propelled the Muslims out of Arabia; but once it had done so, it did not play any significant role in the conquests that followed.

Its role was catalytic in the eruption of the Arabs. If religion and piety were the cause of the success of the Muslims in their campaigns, then how would one explain the success of the nations which were not Muslim?

Some of those nations were the enemies of Islam yet they were, at one time, triumphant on a scale that matched, and sometimes surpassed, the conquests of the Muslims. The conquests of the Arabs were astounding in their vastness but they were not, by any means, unique. Almost one thousand years before the rise of Islam, Alexander the Great, a young Macedonian, conquered, within ten years, all the lands from the Balkan peninsula to the frontiers of China, and from Libya to the Punjab in India.

He was a polytheist. Wherever he went, he worshipped the local gods. His conquests were not inspired by any religion. In fact, religion did not figure anywhere in his conquests. If he had not died at 32, he would have conquered the rest of the world. After the ancient Greeks, the Romans were the greatest conquerors and administrators.

They built one of the greatest and most powerful empires of history, and one that lasted longer than any other empire before or since. Like the Greeks before them, they too were worshippers of idols, though the Eastern Roman Empire was converted to Christianity in early fifth century A.

In the thirteenth century, the Mongols, led by Genghiz Khan, shook the whole earth. They were the most dangerous enemies that Islam ever met. All of Asia was at their feet, and they came within an ace of blotting out Islam in that continent. Their conquests were more rapid and on an even grander scale than the conquests of the Arabs.

Within fifty years, they had conquered all of China, all of Russia, all of Central and Western Asia, and had penetrated into Europe as far as Hungary. While the Muslims in their career of conquest, were defeated at Tours in the West, and at Constantinople in the East, the Mongols were consistently victorious everywhere. They retreated from Central Europe only because of the death, in distant Karakorum, of their Great Khan.

The Mongols did not have any religion at all. What was it that launched them on the career of world conquest? Certainly not religious zeal and piety. In the 16thcentury, the Castilian Conquistadores put Spain in the front rank of the nations of the world. A mere handful of them left the shores of Spain, and conquered the whole new world. They laid two continents at the feet of the king of Spain. It is true that they were inspired by religious zeal even though they did not have much piety — but it was Catholic zeal.

Their zeal was not so much unIslamic as it was anti-Islamic. Just before discovering and conquering the Americas, they had defeated the Muslims of Granada in , had expelled them from Spain, and had obliterated every vestige of Islamic culture from the Iberian peninsula.

In the 17thcentury, the Dutch rode the crest of glory. Their story of that epoch reads like a saga of great and heroic deeds. At home they had been locked up in a deadly struggle against two enemies — the Spaniards and the sea, and they had overcome both. They had expelled the Spaniards from the Netherlands, and they had tamed the wild and the rampaging North Sea. Having conquered these two enemies, the Dutch looked outward for new worlds to conquer.

The dynamics of war against Spain and the North Sea, gave them a momentum of victory and success that carried them around the world. In an outburst of energy, the Dutch girdled the earth, conquering, colonizing and building. The Dutch were not only good sailors and navigators; they were also good merchants and colonizers. Their colony in South Africa became one of the most successful in the history of settlement and colonization in the whole world.

The Dutch were empire-builders too. Twelve thousand miles away from home, they conquered the East Indies which was much the richest of all the empires of the Age of Imperialism, and they held it for years.

And yet, in their Golden Age, the 17th century, the Dutch were so few in number. But as few as they were, their quality was superb. They did not allow lack of numbers to put a crimp upon what they could accomplish, proving in this manner that there is no correlation between large numbers and achievement.

It's a most remarkable record of achievement for such a small nation as the Dutch. They also proved that there is not, necessarily, a correlation between religion and achievement.

Centuries before the dawn of their greatness, the Dutch had been devout Christians but it was only in the 17th century that their dizzying and dazzling rise began. In the 19th century, the British carved out an empire for themselves over which the sun never set. In North America, they ruled the northern half of the continent; in Africa, their empire extended from Alexandria in the north to Cape Town in the south; and in South Asia, they conquered from Kabul to Rangoon.

They colonized Australia and New Zealand. They established Pax Britannia over all this immense area, one-fourth of the earth. In the 18th century when the British were building their empire, they had only 35, men in arms, and 7, out of them were busy in pacifying Ireland. While the Royal Navy held the British Empire together, their merchant marine built another - an invisible empire. It was their commercial empire which comprehended many of those countries which were out of the orbit of their political power.

At one time, when the power of the British was at its zenith, no nation on earth could challenge them on land or on sea. Concurrently, with the extension of their political power and commercial influence, the British also established their cultural hegemony.

They spread the English language over most of the world so that it is spoken or it is understood in most of the countries of the world. The British accomplished all this and much more but not because of their piety and religious zeal. They were only tepidly interested in religion. They did not conquer an inch of foreign territory for the sake of Christ or the Bible; they conquered only for Britain, and to build the British Empire.

The old imperial system of Britain, France and the Netherlands held the world in an iron grip for nearly two centuries. Muslim states everywhere were at the feet of these powers. But in the aftermath of the two World Wars, their empires broke down. From the debris of their empires rose a multitude of new nations. One of these new nations was the Zionist State of Israel. On May 14, , the British relinquished their mandate over Palestine, and the Jewish settlers of the country proclaimed the birth of the State of Israel.

Israel defeated them all, and they had to retreat into their own shells. Since then, there have been other wars between the Arabs and Israel. There was one in and another in In both wars, Israel defeated the Arabs, and captured much territory from them including Old Jerusalem.

In August , a part of the Masjid-ul-Aqsa in Jerusalem caught fire. It was an act of arson. All Muslims — Arab as well as non-Arab — were inflamed at this outrage. The shock waves of the incident reached the remotest corners of the Muslim world, the two ends of which are 10, miles apart — from Indonesia in the east to Mauritania in the west.

The Muslim nations held a conference in Rabat Morocco to consider some action to recover Jerusalem from Israel. But all they did, was pass resolutions and denounce Israel. An insolent Israel dared and defied the vast, sprawling Muslim world, but the latter lacked the grit and the gumption to take up the challenge. The Jews were caught off-guard but they recovered from the surprise, and immediately struck back. They raced through the Sinai desert, crossed the Suez, established a beachhead on the west bank of the canal — 60 miles from Cairo, and surrounded the whole Egyptian Third Army!

In June Israel rode rough shod into Lebanon. She evicted the Palestinian guerrillas from the country as the whole Arab world sat gazing in silent despair — a truly helpless giant if ever there was any. In all these wars one thing the Arabs did not lack was economic power. They had more of it than any other country in the Third World.

As for manpower, the Arabs outnumbered Israelis by more than 50 to 1. And yet, never before did they face the paradox of the combination of wealth and powerlessness; material abundance and moral bankruptcy; strategic importance and humiliation, as they are doing in their confrontation with Israel.

It may even be said that some Arab countries, e. Thus it appears that religion, any religion, pagan, animistic, Christian or Islamic, had little, if anything, to do with the military conquests of a nation. A recurring phenomenon in world history is that at any given time, any one nation, is supreme, militarily, politically, and in many cases, also intellectually.

At that moment or in that epoch, it is irresistible and invincible. The hundred years from to were the century of the Arabs. They were supreme, they were triumphant, they were irresistible and they were invincible — in that century. Islam united them and gave them a sense of direction, purpose and propulsive power. Without Islam, their future would have been just as irrelevant and barren as their past had been.

But there is no correlation between their conquests on the one hand, and piety and religious enthusiasm on the other. One of the friends of Umar was a certain Mughira bin Shaaba.

Umar had appointed him governor, first of Basra, and later of Kufa. A slave of Mughira had a certain grouse against him. He requested Umar's intercession, and upon the latter's refusal, he attacked him, and mortally wounded him.

A physician was called. He gave Umar some medicine to drink but all of it came out of the gaping wound in his navel. When the physician noticed this, he told Umar that there was no hope of his recovery, and advised him to make his will since little time was left for him in this world.

Word rapidly spread that the khalifa was mortally wounded, and the news caused much commotion in the city. Many companions called on Umar to enquire after his health. Some of them suggested that he designate someone as his successor. But if I do not designate anyone as my successor, nothing would be amiss with that either since the Apostle of God did not designate his own successor, and he was better than both of us Abu Bakr and Umar.

The six men are: The Apostle of God was pleased with all six of them when he left this world, and each of them is qualified to become the khalifa of the Muslims. Umar then called all six members of his electoral committee to his home to explain to them what they had to do.

When they came, he addressed them as follows:. Verily, the Apostle of God died, and he was pleased with all six of you. I have, therefore, decided to make it the selection of khalifa a matter of consultation among you, so that you may select one of yourselves as khalifa.

If five of you agree upon one man, and there is one who is opposed to the five, kill him. If four are one side and two on the other, kill the two. And if three are on one side and three on the other, then Abdur Rahman ibn Auf will have the casting vote, and the khalifa will be selected from his party. In that case, kill the three men on the opposing side. You may, if you wish, invite some of the chief men of the Ansar as observers but the khalifa must be one of you Muhajireen, and not any of them.

They have no share in the khilafat. And your selection of the new khalifa must be made within three days. Umar ordered his son, Abdullah, also to attend the meetings of the newly-formed electoral committee, though not as a candidate for caliphate, and said to him:.

If there is a tie with three on each side, then you support the party of Abdur Rahman bin Auf. Umar had prescribed a maximum of three days for their the electoral committee's deliberations. At the end of that period, they must willy-nilly unanimously choose a khalif. In the event of the decision not being unanimous, the majority candidate was to be adopted, the members of the minority being all immediately put to death.

When Umar was satisfied that he had done his duty in the matter of his succession, he asked some of those men who were around him, whom out of the six nominees, they would like to see as their new khalifa. One of them present named Zubayr. Walid bin Aqaba, a half-brother of Uthman, was also present in the assembly. When he heard Umar's comments on the candidates, he exclaimed: Umar ordered Abu Talha Ansari to lead the Muslims in prayer during the interregnum, and also to watch the members of the electoral committee during their deliberations.

He also gave him fifty armed men to enable him to carry out his duties. These men were to act, if necessary, as executioners Tarikh Kamil. On the following day, Umar called the members of the electoral committee again, and when they came, he said: Umar repeated his question whereupon Zubayr said: You became khalifa and you managed it. Talha is rude, greedy and conceited.

Abdur Rahman is too much given to comfort and luxury; if he becomes khalifa, his wives will run the government. Zubayr is a believer when he is in a happy mood but is an unbeliever when he is angry. Ali is worthy of being the ruler of the Muslims in every respect but he is too ambitious. It is as if I am seeing with my own eyes that the Quraysh have put this necklace khilafat around your neck, and you have foisted the Banu Umayya and the Banu Abi Muayt Uthman's family upon the Muslims, and have given them all the wealth of the umma.

Then the wolves of the Arabs came, and slaughtered you. By God, if they the Quraysh do, you will certainly do; and if you do, they the Arabs will certainly do. But was the Apostle pleased only with these six men? Was he displeased with the rest of the Muhajireen and the Ansar? If he was not, then why did Umar exclude all of them from his electoral committee?

He did not give the rest of the Muhajireen and Ansar the right even to express an opinion much less the right to select their ruler. Both parties are secular and enjoy close ties with the West. In , according to the Failed States Index , Iraq was the world's eleventh most politically unstable country.

He announced on 14 August that he would stand aside so that Haider Al-Abadi , who had been nominated just days earlier by newly installed President Fuad Masum , could take over. Until that point, al-Maliki had clung to power even asking the federal court to veto the president's nomination describing it as a violation of the constitution. Transparency International ranks Iraq's government as the eighth-most-corrupt government in the world. Government payroll have increased from 1 million employees under Saddam Hussein to around 7 million employees in Since the establishment of the no—fly zones following the Gulf War of —, the Kurds established their own autonomous region.

Under the terms of the constitution, the country conducted fresh nationwide parliamentary elections on 15 December All three major ethnic groups in Iraq voted along ethnic lines, as did Assyrian and Turcoman minorities. In Iraq introduced Sharia punishment for certain types of criminal offences. In , the CPA chief executive L. Paul Bremer said he would veto any constitutional draft stating that sharia is the principal basis of law. The Iraqi Penal Code is the statutory law of Iraq.

The Peshmerga are a separate armed force loyal to the Kurdistan Regional Government. The regional government and the central government disagree as to whether they are under Baghdad's authority and to what extent.

The Iraqi Army is an objective counter-insurgency force that as of November includes 14 divisions, each division consisting of 4 brigades. The Iraqi Air Force is designed to support ground forces with surveillance, reconnaissance and troop lift. Two reconnaissance squadrons use light aircraft, three helicopter squadrons are used to move troops and one air transportation squadron uses C transport aircraft to move troops, equipment, and supplies.

It currently has 3, personnel. It is planned to increase to 18, personnel, with aircraft by The Iraqi Navy is a small force with 1, sailors and officers, including Marines , designed to protect shoreline and inland waterways from insurgent infiltration. The navy is also responsible for the security of offshore oil platforms.

The navy will have coastal patrol squadrons, assault boat squadrons and a marine battalion. Under the provisions of this treaty , Iraq is considered a party with declared stockpiles of chemical weapons.

Because of their late accession, Iraq is the only State Party exempt from the existing timeline for destruction of their chemical weapons. Specific criteria is in development to address the unique nature of Iraqi accession. Iran—Iraq relations have flourished since by the exchange of high level visits: Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki made frequent visits to Iran, along with Jalal Talabani visiting numerous times, to help boost bilateral co-operation in all fields.

Relations between Iraq and its Kurdish population have been sour in recent history, especially with Saddam Hussein's genocidal campaign against them in the s. After uprisings during the early 90s , many Kurds fled their homeland and no-fly zones were established in northern Iraq to prevent more conflicts.

Despite historically poor relations, some progress has been made, and Iraq elected its first Kurdish president, Jalal Talabani , in Furthermore, Kurdish is now an official language of Iraq alongside Arabic according to Article 4 of the constitution. LGBT rights in Iraq remain limited. Although decriminalised , homosexuality remains stigmatised in Iraqi society. People who dress in emo style are mistakenly associated with homosexuality and may suffer the same fate.

Iraq is composed of nineteen governorates or provinces Arabic: Iraqi Kurdistan Erbil , Dohuk , Sulaymaniyah and Halabja is the only legally defined region within Iraq, with its own government and quasi-official army Peshmerga. 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.

The debt relief will be implemented in three stages: In February , 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. Five years after the invasion, an estimated 2. According to the Overseas Development Institute , international NGOs face challenges in carrying out their mission, leaving their assistance "piecemeal and largely conducted undercover, hindered by insecurity, a lack of coordinated funding, limited operational capacity and patchy information".

During the s Iraq produced up to 3. The sanctions were lifted in after the US-led invasion removed Saddam Hussein from power, but development of Iraq's oil resources has been hampered by the ongoing conflict.

As of [update] , despite improved security and billions of dollars in oil revenue, Iraq still generates about half the electricity that customers demand, leading to protests during the hot summer months. The Iraq oil law , a proposed piece of legislation submitted to the Iraqi Council of Representatives in , has failed to gain approval due to disagreements among Iraq's various political blocs.

Several United States senators had also criticised the deal, arguing it was hindering efforts to pass the hydrocarbon law. On 30 June and 11 December , the Iraqi ministry of oil awarded service contracts to international oil companies for some of Iraq's many oil fields. On 14 March , the International Energy Agency said Iraq's oil output jumped by half a million barrels a day in February to average 3.

The country hadn't pumped that much oil since , when Saddam Hussein rose to power. Baghdad condemned the seizure and threatened "dire consequences" if the fields were not returned.

Water supply and sanitation in Iraq is characterized by poor water and service quality. Three decades of war, combined with limited environmental awareness, have destroyed Iraq's water resources management system. Access to potable water differs significantly among governorates and between urban and rural areas. Although many infrastructure projects are underway, Iraq remains in deep housing crisis, with the war-ravaged country likely to complete only 5 percent of the 2.

The estimate of the total Iraqi population is 37,, Around 20, Marsh Arabs live in southern Iraq. Iraq has a community of 2, Chechens. Prior to the invasion in , Arabic was the sole official language.

According to the Iraqi constitution:. The Arabic language and the Kurdish language are the two official languages of Iraq. The right of Iraqis to educate their children in their mother tongue, such as Turkmen, Assyrian, and Armenian shall be guaranteed in government educational institutions in accordance with educational guidelines, or in any other language in private educational institutions. The Sunni population complains of facing discrimination in almost all aspects of life by the government.

However, former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki denied that such discrimination occurs. More than half of Iraqi Christians have fled to neighbouring countries since the start of the war, and many have not returned, although a number are migrating back to the traditional Assyrian homeland in the Kurdish Autonomous Region. There are also small ethno-religious minority populations of Mandaeans , Shabaks , Yarsan and Yezidis remaining.

Prior to their numbers together may have been 2 million, the majority Yarsan, a non-Islamic religion with roots in pre-Islamic and pre-Christian religion. There are reports of over The Iraqi Jewish community, numbering around , in , has almost entirely left the country.

Iraq is home to two of the world's holiest places among Shias: The dispersion of native Iraqis to other countries is known as the Iraqi diaspora. The UN High Commission for Refugees has estimated that nearly two million Iraqis have fled the country after the multinational invasion of Iraq in , mostly to Syria and Jordan. As of [update] , nearly 3 million Iraqis have been displaced, with 1.

To escape the civil war, over , Syrian refugees of varying ethnicities have fled to Iraq since In , spending on healthcare accounted for 6. In , there were 6. Iraq had developed a centralised free health care system in the s using a hospital based, capital-intensive model of curative care. Unlike other poorer countries, which focused on mass health care using primary care practitioners, Iraq developed a Westernized system of sophisticated hospitals with advanced medical procedures, provided by specialist physicians.

Before Iraq faced economic sanctions from the UN, it already had an advanced and successful Arab education system. At the turn of the millennium, many countries, including Iraq, attempted to take part in the Millennium Development Goals as a way to help underdeveloped countries prosper. In Iraq, one of the goals was for education to be universally available for both boys and girls at the primary level.

In general, the education of Iraq has been improving since the MDGs were implemented. However, the dramatic increase of the number of students in primary education has had some negative and straining effects for the education system. At the same time, UNICEF investigated portions of spending for education and found that some of the money has gone to waste.

Many of those people who dropout or have to repeat a grade do not see the economic cost for long term results. Other statistics show that regional differences can attribute to lower or higher enrollment rates for children in primary education.

There are also the differing enrollment rates between boys and girls. Although the numbers suggest a dramatic increase of enrollment rates for primary education in total, a large number of children still remain out of the education system. About , of internally displaced children are not in the education system. With the overall increase of enrollment rates, there continues to be a large strain on the resources for education.

Baathist ideology was removed from curricula and there were substantial increases in teacher salaries and training programs, which the Hussein regime neglected in the s. Education is mandatory only through to the sixth grade, after which a national examination determines the possibility of continuing into the upper grades.

In , obstacles to further reform were poor security conditions in many areas, a centralised system that lacked accountability for teachers and administrators, and the isolation in which the system functioned for the previous 30 years. According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities , the top-ranking universities in the country are the University of Dohuk th worldwide , the University of Baghdad th and Babylon University th.

Iraq is known primarily for its rich maqam heritage which has been passed down orally by the masters of the maqam in an unbroken chain of transmission leading up to the present. The maqam al-Iraqi is considered to be the most noble and perfect form of maqam. Al-maqam al-Iraqi is the collection of sung poems written either in one of the sixteen meters of classical Arabic or in Iraqi dialect Zuhayri. Early in the 20th century, many of the most prominent musicians in Iraq were Jewish.

At the nightclubs of Baghdad, ensembles consisted of oud, qanun and two percussionists, while the same format with a ney and cello were used on the radio. The most famous early composer from Iraq was Ezra Aharon , an oud player, while the most prominent instrumentalist was Daoud Al-Kuwaiti.

Important cultural institutions in the capital include the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra — rehearsals and performances were briefly interrupted during the Occupation of Iraq but have since returned to normal. The National Theatre of Iraq was looted during the invasion, but efforts are underway to restore it.

The live theatre scene received a boost during the s when UN sanctions limited the import of foreign films. As many as 30 cinemas were reported to have been converted to live stages, producing a wide range of comedies and dramatic productions.

Baghdad also features a number of museums including the National Museum of Iraq — which houses the world's largest and finest collection of artefacts and relics of Ancient Iraqi civilisations; some of which were stolen during the Occupation of Iraq. The capital, Ninus or Nineveh , was taken by the Medes under Cyaxares , and some years after Xenophon passed over its site, then mere mounds of earth.

It remained buried until , when Botta and Layard discovered the ruins of the Assyrian cities. In these cities are found fragments of several great buildings which seem to have been palace-temples. They were constructed chiefly of sun-dried bricks , and all that remains of them is the lower part of the walls, decorated with sculpture and paintings, portions of the pavements, a few indications of the elevation, and some interesting works connected with the drainage.

After the end of the full state control in , there were a period of significant growth in the broadcast media in Iraq. Immediately, and the ban on satellite dishes is no longer in place, and by mid, according to a BBC report, there were 20 radio stations from 0. Significantly, there have been many of these newspapers in numbers disproportionate to the population of their locations.

For example, in Najaf , which has a population of ,, is being published more than 30 newspapers and distributed. Iraqi media expert and author of a number of reports on this subject, Ibrahim Al Marashi, identifies four stages of the US invasion of Iraq in where they had been taking the steps that have significant effects on the way for the later of the Iraqi media since then. Iraqi cuisine can be traced back some 10, years — to the Sumerians , Akkadians , Babylonians , Assyrians and Ancient Persians.

Some characteristic ingredients of Iraqi cuisine include — vegetables such as aubergine , tomato , okra , onion , potato , courgette , garlic , peppers and chilli , cereals such as rice , bulgur wheat and barley , pulses and legumes such as lentils , chickpeas and cannellini , fruits such as dates , raisins , apricots , figs , grapes , melon , pomegranate and citrus fruits , especially lemon and lime. Similarly with other countries of Western Asia , chicken and especially lamb are the favourite meats.

Most dishes are served with rice — usually Basmati , grown in the marshes of southern Iraq. Football is the most popular sport in Iraq. Football is a considerable uniting factor in Iraq following years of war and unrest. Basketball , swimming , weightlifting , bodybuilding , boxing , kick boxing and tennis are also popular sports. The biggest club in Iraq is Al-Shorta , who won back-to-back league titles in and and were the first ever winners of the Arab Champions League.

Despite having mobile phones in the Middle East since , Iraqis were only able to use mobile phones after Mobile phones were banned under Saddam's rule. According to the Iraqi Ministry of Communication, Iraq is now in the second phase of building and launching a multipurpose strategic satellite.

On 18 January , Iraq was connected to the undersea communications network for the first time. In October , the Iraqi Minister for Communication ordered internet prices to be lowered by a third.

This is an attempt to boost usage and comes as a result of significant improvements in Internet infrastructure in the country. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Iraq disambiguation. Constitution of Iraq, Article 4 1st. This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources. Ottoman Iraq and Mamluk dynasty of Iraq.

Mandatory Iraq and Kingdom of Iraq. Iraqi Civil War — , American-led intervention in Iraq —present , Iraqi—Kurdish conflict , and Iraqi insurgency —present. Geography of Iraq and Governorates of Iraq. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Controlled by Iraqi government. Controlled by Iraqi Kurds. Foreign relations of Iraq. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. Human rights in Iraq. Oil reserves in Iraq and Energy in Iraq. Water supply and sanitation in Iraq. List of cities in Iraq.

Largest cities or towns in Iraq Largest cities in Iraq geonames. Religion in Iraq and Islam in Iraq. Kontakt - Impressum - Werben - Presse mehr anzeigen. Kontakt Impressum Werben Presse Sitemap. Wie bewerten Sie diese Seite? Problem mit dieser Seite? Für die aufgeführten Inhalte kann keine Gewährleistung für die Vollständigkeit, Richtigkeit und Genauigkeit übernommen werden.

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