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name Iraq has been used since the 500s, but the origin of the name is questionable.
One belief is that the country is named after the city of Uruk, which was
a Sumerian city; the Sumerian word ur means "city." Another belief
is that the name means "deeply rooted" or "fertile," which would
describe the fertile land in the heart of the modern country.
WARNING: Iraq is currently unstable,
please read this travel warning
The culture and way of life in Iraq begins with the geography as the country tends
to be consumed with deserts and mountains, but running the stretch of the country
are the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers. These rivers established life in the region
very early in history as the lands were known as Mesopotamia or the "Fertile
Crescent," which was home to people who lived off the plants that could be
grown there and the animals the water attracted.
For most of history, the people of the region lived off the land and even today
this lifestyle is still present and popular in the country of Iraq. However, there
are numerous other factors that affect the way of life today, including religion,
but before this came economic progress.
The flag of Iraq is based on the Arab
Liberation flag, which includes black to represent oppression, red for bloody struggles,
and white to symbolize a bright future. In the middle of the flag is the Takbir,
or the words Allah Akbar, which means "God is Great."
Name: Republic of Iraq
Independence: October 3, 1932
Currency: Iraqi Dinar
Population: 31,858,481 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Arab, Kurdish, & others
Language: Arabic & Kurdish
Religion: Shi'a & Sunni Muslim
The region was home to multiple famed civilizations, including Babylon, and these
civilizations arose due to the land and animals present. With ample food supplies,
the people could focus on more than simply survival so they turned to establishing
governments, encouraging trade, education, and creating other forms of economy.
Earlier than most areas, the people in the region shifted to an economy based on
trade and bartering in addition to farming; again, most people in Iraq today work
in numerous industries that encourage an exchange of goods, today often on a local
scale, but farming and agriculture are the root of this economy.
In the 600s one of the greatest changes to the region's way of life arrived
with the Arabs and their religion, Islam. These people took over the region, incorporating
much of the past culture into their lives, but Islam changed many other aspects
of daily life, changes that continue to the present. As Muslims, many of the people
are quite conservative, they follow dietary restrictions, and regularly attend mosque.
This religion also helps dictate relationships in Iraq, including relations between
the sexes as men and women are not allowed to touch each other unless married or
To a lesser degree differing ethnic groups have different cultures and this is most
pronounced when comparing the Arabs with the Kurds. The Kurds seek political independence
and this has led to debates and arguments between the groups as well as different
cultures arising from the differences in food, dress, and language to behaviors
Today many of the people in Iraq live a unique way of life as the country recovers
from war in the 1990s and early 2000s. Life is focused on recovery, peace, stability,
and economic growth, which is at least partially based on the oil industry. Education,
healthcare, and economic sustainability are important parts of life, but in the
present state these items are sadly secondary to survival and obtaining basic needs
for many. Fortunately, in some regions this is not the case and generally, things
are improving each year so the people's focus and attention can shift more to
progress and growth rather than survival.
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