Disturbing Facts about Iraq

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Iraq is a country that lies on the regions of what was known as Ancient Mesopotamia and the second richest oil reserve in the world after Saudi Arabia.

Here are some facts regarding Iraq:

  • Iraq’s population comprises of approximately 20 million Arabs divided into two sects of Shia and Sunni Muslims; Christians comprising a mere 3% of the population and a few million –non-Arab Muslims.
  • The currency used in Iraq is Iraqi Dinar while languages spoken include Arabic, Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian and Turkoman.
  • In the year 1932, Iraq gained independence from monarchy. However it was followed by a series of dictatorship rules, the last and most significant one being the invasion by Saddam Hussein in 1980. Iraq suffered much in his hands through war and casualties of all who opposed him.
  • Saddam Hussein was captured and executed after the US led coalition invasions in 2006 holding him responsible for leading crimes against humanity.
  • Industries and trades that flourish in Iraq include Petroleum, textiles, chemicals and construction raw materials. Crude oil forms a part of its export industry.
  • Ever since wars in Iraq began, it has been estimates that over 190,000 people have lost their lives in a period of 10 years. March 19th 2013 will mark the 10th anniversary of U.S invasion into Iraq. Almost 70% of casualties in the war comprised of civilians.
  • Degraded living conditions and increased vulnerability of diseases has left Iraq susceptible to greater civilian casualties every year as a result of the wars.
  • Two New Year’s days are celebrated by the Iraqis each year, one being on Muharram and the other by the Gregorian calendar on December 31st.
  • Post the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the Iraqis revolted against Saddam Hussein on being instigated by the US but with no aid which resulted in the death of tens and thousands of people.
  • There exist graves that stand proof to mass killings in the Shia Arab areas of South and Kurdish in north.
  • Hach’a, a dance form similar to belly dancing but with more movements of the neck and hands is a cultural dance of Iraq. Since the dance involves swinging of the head, long hairs of women are necessary for dancing.
  • Nearly half of the population in Iraq are married to their first of second cousins. Marriages continue to be arranged although in urban areas, people have some freedom of choice that can be exercised.
  • In 1948, Iraq took part in the Olympics for the first time and has won only one medal since then, a bronze for weightlifting in 1960. Iraq has never taken part in the Winter Games.
  • The most popular sport in Iraq is soccer and other popular sports include horse races, weightlifting, horse riding, boxing and basketball.

The growing tension between the two sects of Shia and Sunni Muslims is predicted to bring about major civil war in Iraq and the country is a long way from gaining restoration of peace and development. Dictatorial regimes, terrorist groups and invasions led by the US continue to keep Iraq in a continued state of political unrest.

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