Arabic Word of the Day 64# [Journey in Arabia 6# - Iraq Facts!]
Today we’re taking a journey, jumping from Africa to Asia! Luckily our last destination happened to be the only country in the world connected to Asia and Africa so this should be easy ;p So our new location should be… Iraq! A wonderful [yet very unlucky] country in the Middle East! Hope you enjoy the following facts I’ve picked out for you:
1# Iraq is a country in Western Asia that borders Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest, and Syria to the west.
2# The largest ethnic group in Iraq are Arabs, Kurds form the largest minority, and other ethnic groups include Assyrians, Turcoman, Shabaki, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya.
3# Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through the center of Iraq and flow into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land.
4# Abbasid Palace in Baghdad is definitely worth visiting and will leave you marvelling. This superb palace looking over the Tigris River will remind you of the 13th century. In the capital city of Iraq, this is among the most ancient buildings. This palace also reminds of the time in history back when Baghdad used to be a hub of business operations and learning.
5# The monument made by Mohammad Ghani is located in Ali Baba Square, which is a depiction of the shrewd Murjana, Kahramana (the housekeeper of Ali Baba), and the forty thieves.
6# The Arch of Ctesiphon is located towards the east of Baghdad along the Tigris River. In the field of engineering back in the golden days, building something like this arch out of mud brick was regarded as a noteworthy achievement. This magnificent arch is worth visiting and reminds of Baghdad under the rule of different rulers throughout the century, such as the Byzantine Empire, the Romans, the Parthians, and Sassanians. [Wait! Sassanians? XD Does that ring a bell? I think Mushrooms must’ve ruled Iraq at some point!]
7# Babylon, the historical city and the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon are located at the south of Baghdad, only an hour away. The history of Babylon dates back to 2300 BC
8# Visiting the ancient city of Ur in Sumeria will leave you in awe because it is among the most impressive Iraqi archaeological sites. The earliest buildings in the city date back to 4000 BC
9# It is not considered rude in Iraq to eat food quickly or without utensils. In fact, it is a sign to the host or hostess that the food is delicious. Iraqis are also extremely offended if the family pet comes near the table during the meal.
10# If someone admires an Iraqi’s possession, such as a vase, the Iraqi will usually insist that the person takes it. Therefore, it is proper etiquette to avoid lavishly praising another person’s possessions.
11# Iraq first took part in the Olympic Games in 1948 and has only won one medal, a bronze in weightlifting in the 1960 Rome Games. Iraq has never competed in the Winter Games. [Let’s be honest, Arabia isn’t really the sporty type]
12# According to scientists, about 112.5 billion barrels of proven, or confirmed, crude oil are beneath the ground in Iraq. An additional 200 billion are thought to be in the ground. Although Iraq has the world’s second largest oil reserves, after Saudi Arabia, international sanctions during the 1990s and the wars have left Iraq in poverty.
13# Occasionally, Iraq experiences massive locust swarms. For some reason that no one completely understands, locusts sometimes swarm to about 40-80 million insects and travel up to 80 miles a day!
14# The Iraqi desert is home to the dangerous saw-scale viper. Many scientists consider it the most dangerous snake in the world.
15# A natural gas vent in Iraq known as The Eternal Fire has been burning continuously for over 4,000 years, and is mentioned by Herodotus, Plutarch, and in the Old Testament’s Book of Daniel. [Something to do with Christianity I assume?]
16# The town of Tikrit in Iraq erected a monument of the shoe thrown at Geroge W Bush. XDD The video is hilarious!
17# From earliest times Iraq was known as Mesopotamia—the land between the rivers—for it embraces a large part of the alluvial plains of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
18# During the Iran-Iraq War from 1980-1988, a million people died and the war bankrupted Iraq
19# Traditionally, marriages in Iraq are arranged, though more and more Iraqis are choosing their own spouses, especially in larger cities.
20# In general, both adults and children keep to themselves and are not loud and boisterous, especially in public. Men commonly hold hands or kiss when greeting each other, but this is not the case for men and women. Respect is given to the elderly and women, especially those with children.
21# The Anniversary of the Revolution is 17 July and the most important secular holiday.
22# Dance has played an important role in Iraq culture for thousands of years. One dancing style in Iraq, the hacha’a, is similar to belly dancing, but there is more neck and hand motion and less hip movement. A woman must have long hair because part of the dance involves swinging her hair to the music… [It’s unique!]
23# The traditional music of Iraq is the maqam, which is based on Arabic poetry and is very heart wrenching and slow. Maqam musical scales are said to have been influenced by the courts of ancient Arabic kings and by the Persians (ancient Iranians).
24# Iraq’s national dish is Masgouf (impaled fish) and its national cookie is Kleicha (meaning circle or wheel), both of which can be traced back to antiquity.
25# Researchers claim that most Irish and Britons can trace their roots to Iraq and Syria
26# Traditionally in Iraq, more than half of all brides and grooms marry their first or second cousin.
27# In Iraq, as it is in many predominantly Muslim countries, it is offensive to use one’s left hand while eating
28# Iraq once had one of the highest quality schools and colleges in the Arab world
29# Football is the most popular sport in Iraq. Iraqis also enjoy basketball, boxing, weight lifting, horseback riding, and horse races
30# For 5,000 years Iraqis have been keeping bees. Honey is an important source of food and income for many Iraq families
Thanks for reading, I hope you have enjoyed today’s lesson! Iraq happens to be one of the touchy countries in Arabia, so I’ve tried to avoid trouble, but if there’s any facts that you dislike, please comment below and I’ll remove it. Have a Great Night! :D Cya guys tomorrow when we’ll be looking at… Jordan, I think?
تحية الى العراق ;)
The House of Wisdom was also in Baghdad and it was the Abbasid capital until they got overthrown by the Mongols.
Really? [My history knowledge is terrible! I mean the only thing I learnt about was Henry the 8th and William the Great then I quit History for good!]
Yeah I'm not ready to give up on History yet. I
want need to do it for my GCSEs. Only thing I'm good at[apart from French].
Well everyone in my year who picked History regretted it! I'm warning you! they said they write 5 times more than in English!
Have you not got your options back yet? My brother got his yesterday :o
Oh yeah, did I tell you how terrible today's exams were? They were exhausting! I totally flopped my English exam! And the Maths exam was hard but at least I knew some of it! Anyways, the fire alarm went off at lunch and we had to line up in the scorching sun and waste OUR lunch break! -.- Then we went straight into the maths exam and had to continue it over 3 o'clock! Then the stupid examiners started lecturing us on plastic bottles and whistling in exams then FINALLY let us go at 4'oclock! :(
We've got our options but we[as a class] have to make the final decision next year.
I read your last paragraph and I laughed like mad. That must have been so sad. I had a better day I guess. We looked at old stuff. Ate food. Had a workshop. Go on bus to the train station and make our own way home from there. Got home at 2:45. hehehe ;p
It's either Geography or History. See what choices I'm left with? :(
Ohh yeah! I forgot! our school is one of the few schools in England who decided to start GCSEs in Year 9! [early stress] That's why my bro has already got his! ;p But I guess the advantage is, that we have more time than you do! :p
Whatever! I picked Geography without hesitation! History is terribly boring! XP
Great post! And I thought you kept all the information very good (I see nothing that should be removed)
Quick question, wouldn’t Iran be next tomorrow?
Iran doesn't count as an Arabic country [well it isn't in the Arabic league anyways]. Wait, I'll search why that is...
Edit: Iran is the modern day remnant of ancient Persia.
You have to know a very important thing: All Persians are Iranians but not all Iranians are Persians.
Iran is quite a diverse country. Iran has three major races: Persians, Azeris and Kurds.
Persians form about 62% of Iran’s population. Azeris form 16% and Kurds form 10% of the Population.
The Remaining 12% includes: Lurs, Balochis, Arabs, Turkmen etc.
See there? ARABS.
Arabs form more or less only 2% of Iran’s population.
Farsi (Persian) and Arab are two different unintelligible languages.
Thank you Sassy! I never knew that Iran wasn’t considered an Arab nation.