By Micah K. and Dasha M.

Iraq By: Micah and Dasha

Our country is Iraq. Iraq is located in the Middle East and their current leader is Jalal Talabani. You will learn about Iraq's Government, Geography, Travel, Economy, Social and Ethnic Groups, Religion, Language, Iraq's Flag, Traditional Holidays, Traditional Clothing and food, Notable People, and History.

Geography By: Dasha

One of the main mountain ranges in Iraq is called the Zagros Mountains which borders Iraq and Turkey. The country's highest unnamed peak has the height of 11,847 feet. The total length of the mountain range is 1500 km. The winters in Iraq are severe; they can reach -25 degrees C. During the Fall and Summer seasons it is very dry and the temperatures can reach a high of 118 degrees F. Their Summers are fiercely hot and last through May-September. They have short, cool Winters. The rivers that run through Iraq are the Tigris, Euphrates, and Shatt al-Arab, Great Zab, and Khuabur, Most of Iraq is made up of broad sandy plains. The Syrian dessert covers the land in the West and Southeast near the Persian Gulf. The land is low, marshy, and often flooded. Iraq is also one of the biggest countries that exports oil around the world. The capitol of Iraq is Baghdad. The population of Iraq is close to 25 million.

Travel By: Dasha

Most people in Iraq live within the Tigris and Euphrates rivers because it is the only fertile area because Iraq is mostly dessert. It is not such a bad idea to live next to a river. If you would decide to go to Iraq you would travel there on an airplane. A round trip to Iraq for one person would be $1192 and it could take 12-14 hours to travel there. The transportation you would use when you arrive would be public transportation, bikes, and a regular car. In the olden days they would use camels.

Government/ Foreign Policy By: Micah

In Iraq, their government type is a parliamentary democracy. Their current leader is Jalal Talabani. Their law-making bodies are the Council of Ministers, Council of Representatives, and the Federal Supreme Court. Their government is limited. Some current problems in Iraq are dried up rivers, and air and water pollution. In Iraq, their rights are very different from ours in the US. Prisoners suffer from terrible sanitary conditions but, in America we have better conditions. In Iraq over 30,000 Iraqis are held without trial or charge but in the US, we can go to court if needed. Also, some people in Iraq are denied access to doctors and medicine and religious minorities. Compared to America, They don't have very good rights. Iraq is in United Nations and NATO. This way, they can communicate with other countries. Iraq receives aid from Japan, The European Region, Spain, and The United States. Iraq does not give aid, though. Iraq has a good relationship with Turkey because Turkey is an important trade partner for both Iraqi oil exports and legal imports. They also have good relationships with France and Germany because they supply Iraq with some advanced weapons. They also have a good relationship with the United States because they supported Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War. Iraq does not have a good relationship with Kuwait because they triggered the Gulf War. They also have a bad relationship with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria because they supported Kuwait in the Gulf War.

Economy By: Dasha

In Iraq the currency they use is called the dinar. One United States dollar equals to 1165 dinars. Iraq is one of the countries that produce oil to the rest of the world. It is very hard for them to transport their oil because they are in the middle of the Middle East. Iraq's GDP per capita is $4,600. Iraq is some wealthy and some not and overall the United States is wealthier than Iraq.

Social and Ethnic Groups By: Micah

For Iraq, only some must pay. For most of Iraq, however, funds are greatly supported by the UN, World Bank, and The United States. Basic freedoms are not equal for men and women. Men have many more freedoms in Iraq than women. The literacy rate in Iraq for men is 86%. For women, the literacy rate is 71.2%. One can conclude that education is valued more for men than women in Iraq. There are more than 1 types of ethnic groups in Iraq. Arab: 75-80% Kurdish: 15-20% Turkonan, Assyrian, or other: 5%. The majority ethic group is Arab. A conflict for the ethnic groups in Iraq is that they are fighting worse and worse everyday for Kirkuk.

The Flag, Language, and Religion of Iraq By: Dasha

On their flag there are three different stripes then there is writing in the center which is believed that Saddam Hussein wrote himself. White, red, and black are three different colors on the flag. The white stands for peace, honesty, and a bright future. Red stands for hardiness, strength, bravery, and to overcome through bloody struggle. The the last color which is black stands for determination and to represent oppression. The most common language in Iraq is Arabic. The religion that is most often celebrated is Muslim. Sometimes there will be religious fights.

Traditional Holiday By: Dasha

Eid al-Firt is celebrated at the end of Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr celebrates the conclusion of the 29-30 days of dawn to sunset fasting during Ramadan. This Holiday is Islamic (most of Iraq is Islamic) and is a single day. During this day, Muslims are not allowed to fast. They traditionally have a particular Islamic prayer with two units usually at a field or hall. Eid al-Fitr expresses empathy for poor, charity, worship, steadfastness, and patience. It is a time to visit family, even the deceased. It is tradition to pray at the deceased's grave. There is also a lot of gift receiving. A traditional food is Steamed Kabab. (See below)

Steamed Kabab By: Micah

Ingredients (Steamed Kabab)

1 Onion
1 inch cube Ginger
1 Teaspoon Garlic paste
1 teaspoon curd
½ cup coarsely chopped Coriander leaves
5 – 6 Green chillies
1 teaspoon chilli powder to taste
Freshly crushed Black pepper
Salt to taste


Chop together green chillies, onions and ginger.

Add the minced mutton and chop in a Mixer grinder,

add rest of the ingredients and let it chop till the mixture is not lumpy.

Don’t add any water.

Greases palms with a little oil, make small balls with the mixture

Shallow fry on a pan till the outside turns golden.

Place the fried kabab balls onto a stick and into a steamer.

Cover and let it steam for ten to fifteen minutes.

Serve with sauce or chutney.

(See picture below.)

Traditional Clothing By: Micah

In Iraq traditional clothing for men is called dishdasha which is a long shirt. For women, their traditional clothing is hijab which is a long dress which is worn under a long black cloak called the abaya.

Saddam Hussein (Notable People) By: Dasha

Saddam Hussein was born on April 18, 1937, in the town of Awja and was buried on December 31, 2006. His mother was Sabha Tulfah al-Mussalt. Saddam's father disappeared before he was born. Saddam stuck up to him name, his name meaning in Arabic "the one who confronts". At thirteen years old, Saddam's brother died from cancer, Hussein was sent to live with his Uncle Khaira Ilah Tulfah until he was three. When he came back his mother has remarried and Saddam had gained three half-brothers. His stepfather had threatened him very harshly so at age 10 he returned back to Baghdad to live with his Uncle. Saddam went to law school for three years then dropped out and joined the revolutionary pan-Arab Ba'ath Party which his Uncle was a supporter of. In 1976, Hussein rose to position of General in Armed Forces. He became a Dictator in Iraq and was in power in the Iraq-Iran War. He killed 148 people so he was convicted to these charges and sentenced to death.

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History By: Micah

Iraq was first a Sumerian civilization in the fertile Tigris and Euphrates river valley. Later, it was dominated by Assyrians and Babylonians under Hammurabi in the 1800’s BC. They were soon defeated by the Persian Empire led by Cyrus. When WW1 ended, British took over Ottoman Empire. Iraq became independent in1932 ruled by a monarchy. Iraq was declared a republic in 1958 even though it was truly a dictatorship ruled by Saddam Hussein. In 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait and started the first Gulf War. In 2003 The United Sates invaded Iraq in “The Second Gulf War” and took away Saddam Hussein from his power.

Bibliography By: Micah and Dasha