The country of Iraq has weathered many hardships over the past few decades. An eight-year war over territory with Iran began in 1980. Soon after, in 1990, Iraq invaded the country of Kuwait, which led to the Gulf War. Then, after twelve years of not complying with the UN Security Council over weapons of mass destruction, Iraq was invaded by the United States in March of 2003.
A consequence of Iraq’s rocky past is an unstable government. Several countries, including the U.S. are currently providing aid to help the rebuilding effort. Some efforts include strengthening school, healthcare, and law enforcement systems with education and reconstruction. Recent government changes for Iraq include a new flag and new currency. The new flag has a blue crescent moon in the center and is white with one yellow and two blue strips at the bottom. The new currency is called the New Iraqi Dinar, and it features many new safety features to prevent counterfeiting. There is also currently an interim (temporary) government in Iraq. Elections by the Iraqi people will hopefully occur on the 30th of January this year. If the elections proceed as planned, Iraq will be one step closer to having an independent government.
Though Iraq is in a time of crisis, it is truly an interesting and beautiful country. At twice the size of Idaho, it is the home to about 25,374,691 Iraqis. The primary religion in Iraq is Muslim. Almost 97% of Iraqis are practicing Muslims. There are also many languages spoken by the people of Iraq. The four languages that are mainly used in the country are Arabic, Kurdish, Assyrian, and Armenian. These languages are most commonly found in the Middle East, where Iraq is located.
Unfortunately, Iraq can only be visited for emergencies or press at this time. This is mainly because of terrorist attacks in protest of the invaders who ended Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq’s, regime. When and if things clear up for the country of Iraq, many people will enjoy visiting the attractions of Iraq and it’s capital, Baghdad.
The city of Baghdad is home to many cultural and historical sites. There are beautiful monuments, restaurants, and mosques. Sadly, many of Baghdad’s museums have been looted and destroyed in the past few years. Fortunately, they are in the process of being rebuilt and restored. In time, Baghdad will be a wonderful place to visit.
Another historical location in Iraq is the valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It was the scenic and fertile location of ancient Mesopotamia, the world’s first known civilization. One amazing historical landmark is the Dur Kurigalzu, an ancient temple from the 14th century B.C. Another place of great history is the ruins of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In its time, it was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
It’s also quite a wonder how Iraq has such a varied climate. The climate ranges from desert to mountainous. Weather in Iraq is normally mild in the winter, with very hot and dry summers. Often, in the spring, snow from the northern mountains melts and floods central and southern Iraq. If flooding occurs, it delays many forms of transportation.
Iraq has many methods of transport. There is 45,550 total kilometers of road in the country, and 111 airports. Counting the main rivers, there is about 5,275 kilometers of waterways. There are thousands of kilometers of pipelines, and also almost 2,000 kilometers of railroad. Along with the population, these numbers are only expected to increase. Right now in Iraq, for every 33 births, there are only 5 deaths. The population density is up to 55 people per square kilometer and growing.
The country of Iraq has improved and grown very quickly recently. It appears that even with the brutal history and harsh government the Iraqi people have endured, they have come great strides in rebuilding their unique country. Someday, with continued aid and persistence, Iraq may reach it’s potential of a stable and peaceful nation.