Iraq is a country in located in western Asia with an area of 169,234 square miles. It is the country mostly comprises desert. Iraq is in the middle-east bordered by Jordan on the west, Syria on the north-west, Turkey on the north, Iran on the east, and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on the south. According to the 2011 census, Iraq has an estimated population of 30,399,572. Arabs constitute about eighty percent of the population of Iraq. The remaining population belong to a group called the Kurds and other ethnic groups such as Armenians and Assyrians . Iraq has two official languages: Arabic and Kurdish. Regional languages such as the Aramaic, South Azeri, Armenian, and Persian are also spoken in the country.
Iraq Political Map
The capital of Iraq is Baghdad and is the largest city in Iraq. Iraq comprises eighteen governorates that are better known as provinces. These provinces are sub-divided into districts.
Iraq has a federal government. The country is defined as an Islamic, democratic, parliamentary republic
In the history of this country is written that Iraq was formerly part of the Ottoman Empire. It was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of strongmen ruled the country until 2003. The last was SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. US forces remained in Iraq under a UNSC mandate through 2009 and under a bilateral security agreement thereafter, helping to provide security and to train and mentor Iraqi security forces. In October 2005, Iraqis approved a constitution in a national referendum and, pursuant to this document, elected a 275-member Council of Representatives (COR) in December 2005. The COR approved most cabinet ministers in May 2006, marking the transition to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half century. In January 2009 and April 2013, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three governorates comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kirkuk Governorate. Iraq held a national legislative election in March 2010 - choosing 325 legislators in an expanded COR - and, after nine months of deadlock the COR approved the new government in December 2010. Nearly nine years after the start of the Second Gulf War in Iraq, US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011.Now Iraq is not secure and has a kind of war with terrorist group of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham). ISIS is highly fanatical, killing Shia Muslims and Christians whenever possible, as well as militarily efficient and under tight direction by top leaders.
The April 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Firdos Square in Baghdad shortly after the Iraq War invasion
Iraq is a Muslim-majority country; Islam accounts for an estimated 95% of the population, while non-Muslims (mainly Assyrian Christians) account for just 5%. It has a mixed Shia and Sunni population. Most sources estimate that around 65% of Muslims in Iraq are Shia, and around 35% are Sunni. Christians have lived in the area for about 2,000 years, and many descend from the pre-Arab ancient Mesopotamians-Assyrians. They numbered over 1.4 million in 1987 or 8% of the estimate population of 16.3 million. Indigenous Neo Aramaic speaking Assyrians, most of whom are adherents of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Assyrian Pentecostal Church and Syriac Orthodox Church account for most of the Christian population. Estimates for the numbers of Christians suggest a decline from 8–10% in the mid-20th century to 5% in 2008. More than half of Iraqi Christians have fled to neighboring 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. The Iraqi Jewish community, numbering around 150,000 in 1941, has almost entirely left the country.
Iraq is home to two of the world's holiest places among Shias: Najaf and Karbala.
The Holy Shrine of Imam Ali (p.b.u.h) in Najaf
The Holy Shrine of Imam Hussain (p.b.u.h) in Karbala City
The federal government of Iraq is defined under the current Constitution as a democratic, federal parliamentary Islamic republic. The federal government is composed of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as numerous independent commissions. Aside from the federal government, there are regions (made of one or more governorates), governorates, and districts within Iraq with jurisdiction over various matters as defined by law.
The National Alliance is the main Shia parliamentary bloc, and was established as a result of a merger of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's State of Law Coalition and the Iraqi National Alliance. The Iraqi National Movement is led by Iyad Allawi, a secular Shia widely supported by Sunnis. The party has a more consistent anti-sectarian perspective than most of its rivals. The Kurdistan List is dominated by two parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Masood Barzani and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by Jalal Talabani. Both parties are secular and enjoy close ties with the West.
In 2010, according to the Failed States Index, Iraq was the world's seventh most politically unstable country. The concentration of power in the hands of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and growing pressure on the opposition led to growing concern about the future of political rights in Iraq. Nevertheless progress was made and the country had risen to 11th place by 2013. In August 2014 al-Maliki's reign came to an end. He announced on 14 August 2014 he would stand aside so 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.
Since the establishment of the no–fly zones following the Persian Gulf War of 1990–1991, the Kurds established their own autonomous region. This has been a source of particular tension with Turkey.
Tankers At the Basra Oil Terminal
Iraq's economy is dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. The country also has a small industrial sector that includes food-processing, chemicals, textiles, construction materials, leather goods, and metals. Electronics, fertilizers, and refined sugar are the major industries. Agriculture is an important sector, employing about one-third of the population. Iraq is the largest producer of wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, and cotton.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people