Travel - The Republic of Iraq
No matter where you live, you've been hearing things about Iraq. But how much do you actually know about this middle-eastern country? Find out a little more about the history, the geography and why the United Nations has placed sanctions on trade with Iraq.
History of Iraq
The area which the country of Iraq occupies today was once known by a different name. About 6,000 years ago, this area was known as Mesopotamia - home to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In 1932, the country of Iraq joined the British League of Nations and twenty-six years later, in 1958, Iraq became a republic. This means they no longer had a king but an elected president, instead. Iraq's president, Saddam Hussein, who had been leader of the country since 1979, was removed from power in early 2003 when the United States invaded.
Religion in Iraq
Thousands of years after the fall of the Babylonian Empire, in the mid-seventh century, Iraq was invaded by surrounding Arab nations. It was at this time that the country was introduced to the Islam faith. Today, 97 percent of the Iraqi population are Muslim - 60 percent are Shiite Muslims, while approximately 37 percent are Sunni Muslims. The world's Muslim population is continually growing with just under 1.5 billion followers around the globe.
Where Is Iraq?
Iraq lies just off the top, right-hand corner of Africa. It is near several bodies of water, including the Persian Gulf. Iraq borders five separate countries - Kuwait, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Two major rivers also run through Iraq - the Euphrates and the Tigris.
- To find out why the United Nations has placed sanctions on Iraq, click here.