Baghdad

Baghdad

Overview
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040. It is the largest city in Iraq, the second largest city in the Arab World
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 (after Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

), and the second largest city in Western Asia (after Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

).

Located along the Tigris River
Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

, the city was founded in the 8th century and became the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate.
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Timeline

762   Baghdad is founded by caliph Al-Mansur.

1258   Baghdad falls to the Mongols, and the Abbasid Caliphate is destroyed.

1917   World War I: Baghdad falls to Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Stanley Maude.

1991   Gulf War: Two laser-guided "smart bombs" destroy the Amiriyah shelter in Baghdad. Allied forces said the bunker was being used as a military communications outpost, but over 400 Iraqi civilians inside were killed.

1991   Gulf War: On Baghdad Radio Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait.

2003   U.S. troops capture Baghdad; Saddam Hussein's regime falls two days later.

2003   2003 invasion of Iraq: Baghdad falls to American forces;Saddam Hussein statue topples as Iraqis turn on symbols of their former leader, pulling down the statue and tearing it to pieces.

2003   U.S. troops in Baghdad capture Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the {{MS|Achille Lauro}} in 1985.

2005   A stampede on Al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad kills 1,199 people.

2006   Three Christian Peacemaker Team hostages are freed by British forces in Baghdad after 118 days of captivity and the death of their colleague, American Tom Fox.

 
Encyclopedia
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040. It is the largest city in Iraq, the second largest city in the Arab World
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 (after Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

), and the second largest city in Western Asia (after Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

).

Located along the Tigris River
Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

, the city was founded in the 8th century and became the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. Within a short time of its inception, Baghdad evolved into a significant cultural, commercial, and intellectual center for the Islamic World. This in addition to housing several key academic institutions (e.g. House of Wisdom
House of Wisdom
The House of Wisdom was a library and translation institute established in Abbassid-era Baghdad, Iraq. It was a key institution in the Translation Movement and considered to have been a major intellectual centre during the Islamic Golden Age...

) garnered the city a worldwide reputation as the "Center of Learning". Throughout the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

, Baghdad was considered to be the largest city in the world with an estimated population of 1,200,000 people. The city was largely destroyed at the hands of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 in 1258, resulting in a decline that would linger through many centuries due to frequent plagues and multiple successive empires. With the recognition of Iraq as an independent state (formerly the British Mandate of Mesopotamia) in 1938, Baghdad gradually regained some of its former prominence as a significant center of Arabic culture
Arabic culture
Arab culture refers to the culture in Arab countries of West Asia and North Africa, from Morocco to the Persian Gulf. Language, literature, gastronomy, art, architecture, music, spirituality, philosophy, mysticism are all part of the cultural heritage of the pan-Arab world.-Language:The Arabic...

.

In contemporary times the city has often faced severe infrastructural damage, most recently due to the US-led occupation
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 in 2003 and the subsequent state of war that lasted until 2010. In recent years the city has been a frequent subject to insurgency activities and terrorist attacks.

Toponym


There have been several rival proposals as to the specific etymology of the name Baghdad. The most reliable and most widely accepted among these is that the name is a Middle Persian
Middle Persian
Middle Persian , indigenously known as "Pârsig" sometimes referred to as Pahlavi or Pehlevi, is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions as well. Middle Persian is classified as a...

  compound of Bag "god" + dād "given", translating to "God-given" or "God's gift", whence Modern Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 Baɣdād. This in turn can be traced to Old Persian.
.

A less probable guess has been Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 compound Bağ "garden" + dād "fair", translating to "The fair Garden",

Another leading proposal is that the name comes from Middle Persian Bāgh-dād "The Given Garden". The name is pre-Islamic and the origins are unclear, but it is related to previous settlements, which did not have any political or commercial power, making it a virtually new foundation in the time of the Abbasids.

However Baghdad, as a name, had been mentioned as Baghdadu on the Assyrian cuneiform records of the 9th century BC, and Babylonian bricks bearing the Royal Seal of King Nebuchadnezzar (6th century BC)

The village of Baghdad importance increased rapidly by the time it was founded by the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 caliph al-Mansur
Al-Mansur
Al-Mansur, Almanzor or Abu Ja'far Abdallah ibn Muhammad al-Mansur was the second Abbasid Caliph from 136 AH to 158 AH .-Biography:...

, who chose the name Madinat al-Salaam or "City of Peace" for his new foundation. This was the official name on coins, weights, and other official usage, although the common people continued to use the old name. By the 11th century, "Baghdad" had become almost the exclusive name for the world-renowned metropolis.

Foundation


On 30 July 762 the caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 Al Mansur commissioned the construction of the city and it was built under the supervision of the Barmakids
Barmakids
The Barmakids were a noble Persian family from Balkh that came to great political power under the Abbasid caliphs. Khalid, the son of Barmak became the Prime Minister or Wazir of Al Saffah, the first Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty. His son Yahya aided Harun Al-Rashid in capturing the throne and...

. Mansur believed that Baghdad was the perfect city to be the capital of the Islamic empire under the Abbasids. Mansur loved the site so much he is quoted saying, "This is indeed the city that I am to found, where I am to live, and where my descendants will reign afterward".

The city's growth was helped by its location, which gave it control over strategic and trading routes, along the Tigris. A reason why Baghdad provided an excellent location was the abundance of water and the dry climate. Water exists on both north and south ends of the city gates, allowing all households to have a plentiful supply, which was very uncommon during this time.


Baghdad eclipsed Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon, the imperial capital of the Parthian Arsacids and of the Persian Sassanids, was one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia.The ruins of the city are located on the east bank of the Tigris, across the river from the Hellenistic city of Seleucia...

, the capital of the Persian Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

, which was located some 30 km (18.6 mi) to the southeast. Today, all that remains of Ctesiphon is the shrine town of Salman Pak
Salman Pak
Salman Pak is a city approximately 15 miles south of Baghdad near a peninsula formed by a broad eastward bend of the Tigris River. It is named after Salman the Persian, a companion of Muhammad who is buried there....

, just to the south of Greater Baghdad. Ctesiphon itself had replaced and absorbed Seleucia
Seleucia
Seleucia was the first capital of the Seleucid Empire, and one of the great cities of antiquity standing in Mesopotamia, on the Tigris River.Seleucia may refer to:...

, the first capital of the Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
The Seleucid Empire was a Greek-Macedonian state that was created out of the eastern conquests of Alexander the Great. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia, today's Turkmenistan, Pamir and parts of Pakistan.The Seleucid Empire was a major centre...

. Seleucia
Seleucia
Seleucia was the first capital of the Seleucid Empire, and one of the great cities of antiquity standing in Mesopotamia, on the Tigris River.Seleucia may refer to:...

 had earlier replaced the city of Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

.

In its early years the city was known as a deliberate reminder of an expression in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, when it refers to Paradise
Paradise
Paradise is a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless. It is conceptually a counter-image of the miseries of human civilization, and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment, but it is not necessarily a land of luxury and...

. Four years before Baghdad's foundation, in 758, Mansur assembled engineers, surveyors, and art constructionists from around the world to come together and draw up plans for the city. Over 100,000 construction workers came to survey the plans; many were distributed salaries to start the building of the city. July was chosen as the starting time because two astronomers, Naubakht Ahvaz and Mashallah, believed that the city should be built under the sign of the lion, Leo
Leo (astrology)
Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of Leo. In astrology, Leo is considered to be a "masculine", positive sign. It is also considered a fire sign and is one of four fixed signs ruled by the Sun.Individuals born when the Sun is in this sign are...

. Leo is associated with fire and symbolises productivity, pride, and expansion.

The bricks used to make the city were 18 inches (457.2 mm) on all four sides. Abu Hanifa was the counter of the bricks and he developed a canal, which brought water to the work site for the use of both human consumption and the manufacturing of the bricks. Marble was also used to make buildings throughout the city, and marble steps led down to the river's edge.

The basic framework of the city consists of two large semicircles about 19 km (11.8 mi) in diameter. The city was designed as a circle about 2 km in diameter, leading it to be known as the "Round City". The original design shows as single ring of residential and commercial structures along the inside of the city walls, but the final construction added another ring inside the first. Within the city there were many parks, gardens, villas, and promenades. In the center of the city lay the mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

, as well as headquarters for guards. The purpose or use of the remaining space in the center is unknown. The circular design of the city was a direct reflection of the traditional Persian Sasanian urban design
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

. The Sasanian city of Gur
Firouzabad
Firuzabad is a city in and the capital of Firuzabad County, Fars Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 58,210, in 12,888 families.Firuzabad is located south of Shiraz. The town is surrounded by a mud wall and ditch....

 in Fars, built 500 years before Baghdad, is nearly identical in its general circular design, radiating avenues, and the government buildings and temples at the centre of the city. This style of urban planning contrasted with Ancient Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 urban planning, in which cities are designed as squares or rectangles with streets intersecting each other at right angles.

The surrounding walls


The four surrounding walls of Baghdad were named Kufa
Kufa
Kufa is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000....

, Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

, Khurasan, and Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

; named because their gates pointed in the directions of these destinations. The distance between these gates was a little less than 1.5 miles (2.4 km). Each gate had double doors that were made of iron; the doors were so heavy it took several men to open and close them. The wall itself was about 44 m thick at the base and about 12 m thick at the top. Also, the wall was 30 m high, which included merlon
Merlon
In architecture, a merlon forms the solid part of an embattled parapet, sometimes pierced by embrasures. The space between two merlons is usually called a crenel, although those later designed and used for cannons were called embrasures.-Etymology:...

s, a solid part of an embattled parapet usually pierced by embrasure
Embrasure
In military architecture, an embrasure is the opening in a crenellation or battlement between the two raised solid portions or merlons, sometimes called a crenel or crenelle...

s. This wall was surrounded by another wall with a thickness of 50 m. The second wall had towers and rounded merlons, which surrounded the towers. This outer wall was protected by solid glacis
Glacis
A glacis in military engineering is an artificial slope of earth used in late European fortresses so constructed as to keep any potential assailant under the fire of the defenders until the last possible moment...

, which is made out of bricks and quicklime. Beyond the outer wall was a water-filled moat.

Golden Gate lounge



In the middle of Baghdad, in the central square was the Golden Gate Palace. The Palace was the residence of the caliph and his family. In the central part of the building was a green dome that was 39 m high. Surrounding the palace was an esplanade
Esplanade
An esplanade is a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water, where people may walk. The original meaning of esplanade was a large, open, level area outside fortress or city walls to provide clear fields of fire for the fortress' guns...

, a waterside building, in which only the caliph could come riding on horseback. In addition, the palace was near other mansions and officer's residences. Near the Gate of Syria a building served as the home for the guards. It was made of brick and marble. The palace governor lived in the latter part of the building and the commander of the guards in the front. In 813, after the death of caliph Al-Mansur
Al-Mansur
Al-Mansur, Almanzor or Abu Ja'far Abdallah ibn Muhammad al-Mansur was the second Abbasid Caliph from 136 AH to 158 AH .-Biography:...

 the palace was no longer used as the home for the caliph and his family.
The roundness points to the fact that it was based on Arab. The two designers who were hired by al-Mansur
Al-Mansur
Al-Mansur, Almanzor or Abu Ja'far Abdallah ibn Muhammad al-Mansur was the second Abbasid Caliph from 136 AH to 158 AH .-Biography:...

 to plan the city's design were Naubakht
Naubakht
Nobakht Ahvazi also transliterated 'Naubakht') and his sons were astrologers from Ahvaz .Nobakht was particularly famous for having led a group of astrologers who picked an auspicious electional chart for the founding of Baghdad. His family also helped design the city...

, a Zoroastrian who also determined that the date of the foundation of the city would be astrologically auspicious, and Mashallah, a Jew from Khorasan, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

.

The Abbasids and the round city



The Abbasid Caliphate was based on their being the descendants of the uncle of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 and being part of the Quraysh tribe. They used Shi'a resentment, Khorasan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

ian movement, and appeals to the ambitions and traditions of the newly conquered Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 aristocracy to overthrow the Umayyads.
The Abbasids sought to combine the hegemony of the Arabic tribes with the imperial, court, ceremonial, and administrative structures of the Persians. The Abbasids considered themselves the inheritors of two traditions: the Arabian-Islamic (bearers of the mantle of Muhammad) and the Persian (successors to the Sassanid monarchs).

These two things are evident from the construction, which is modeled after Persian structures and the need of Mansur to place the capital in a place that was representative of Arab-Islamic identity by building the House of Wisdom
House of Wisdom
The House of Wisdom was a library and translation institute established in Abbassid-era Baghdad, Iraq. It was a key institution in the Translation Movement and considered to have been a major intellectual centre during the Islamic Golden Age...

, where ancient texts were translated from their original language, such as Greek, to Arabic. Mansur is credited with the "Translation Movement
Translation Movement
The Translation Movement was a movement started in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad which translated many Greek classics into Arabic.The relationship between the early period of Islamic mathematics and the mathematics of Greece and India is not yet fully understood as much work is extant only in...

" for this. Further, Baghdad is also near the ancient Sassanid imperial seat of Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon, the imperial capital of the Parthian Arsacids and of the Persian Sassanids, was one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia.The ruins of the city are located on the east bank of the Tigris, across the river from the Hellenistic city of Seleucia...

 on the Tigris River.

A centre of learning (8th to 13th centuries)



Within a generation of its founding, Baghdad became a hub of learning
Learning
Learning is acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals and some machines. Progress over time tends to follow learning curves.Human learning...

 and commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

. The House of Wisdom
House of Wisdom
The House of Wisdom was a library and translation institute established in Abbassid-era Baghdad, Iraq. It was a key institution in the Translation Movement and considered to have been a major intellectual centre during the Islamic Golden Age...

 was an establishment dedicated to the translation of Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, Middle Persian
Middle Persian
Middle Persian , indigenously known as "Pârsig" sometimes referred to as Pahlavi or Pehlevi, is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions as well. Middle Persian is classified as a...

 and Syriac works. Scholars headed to Baghdad from all over the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 empire, facilitating the introduction of Greek and Indian science
Science and technology in ancient India
The history of science and technology in the Indian subcontinent begins with prehistoric human activity at Mehrgarh, in present-day Pakistan, and continues through the Indus Valley Civilization to early states and empires. The British colonial rule introduced some elements of western education in...

 into the Arabic and Islamic world at that time. Baghdad was likely the largest city in the world
Historical urban community sizes
Estimated populations of historical cities over time.-Neolithic settlements:-Bronze Age:-Iron Age:-Middle Ages:-Early Modern era:-20th century:-See also:*World population*Urbanism*List of metropolitan areas by population...

 from shortly after its foundation until the 930s, when it was tied by Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

.
Several estimates suggest that the city contained over a million inhabitants at its peak. Many of the One Thousand and One Nights tales are set in Baghdad during this period.

The end of the Abbasids in Baghdad



By the 10th century, the city's population was between 1.2 million and 2 million. Baghdad's early meteoric growth eventually slowed due to troubles within the Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

, including relocations of the capital to Samarra
Samarra
Sāmarrā is a city in Iraq. It stands on the east bank of the Tigris in the Salah ad-Din Governorate, north of Baghdad and, in 2003, had an estimated population of 348,700....

 (during 808–819 and 836–892), the loss of the western and easternmost provinces, and periods of political domination by the Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

ian Buwayhid
Buwayhid
The Buyid dynasty, also known as the Buyid Empire or the Buyids , also known as Buwaihids, Buyahids, or Buyyids, were a Shī‘ah Persian dynasty that originated from Daylaman in Gilan...

s (945–1055) and Seljuk Turks (1055–1135).

The Seljuks were a clan of the Oghuz Turks
Oghuz Turks
The Turkomen also known as Oghuz Turks were a historical Turkic tribal confederation in Central Asia during the early medieval Turkic expansion....

 from the Siberian steppes that converted to the Sunni branch of Islam. In 1040, they destroyed the Ghaznavids, taking over their land and in 1055, Tughril Beg, the leader of the Seljuks, took over Baghdad. The Seljuks expelled the Buyids dynasty of Shiites that ruled for some time and took over power and control of Baghdad. They ruled as Sultans in the name of the Abbasid caliphs (they saw themselves as being part of the Abbasid regime) Tughril Beg saw himself as the protector of the Abbasid Caliphs.

In 1058, Baghdad was captured by the Fatimids under the Turkish general Abu'l-Ḥārith Arslān al-Basasiri, an adherent of the Ismailis along with the 'Uqaylid Quraysh. Not long before the arrival of the Saljuqs in Baghdad, al-Basasiri petitioned to the Fatimid Imam-Caliph al-Mustansir to support him in conquering Baghdad on the Ismaili Imam's behalf. It has recently come to light that the famed Fatimid da'i al-Mu'ayyad al-Shirazi had a direct role in supporting al-Basasiri and helped the general to succeed in taking Mawṣil, Wāsit and Kufa
Kufa
Kufa is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000....

. Soonafter, By December 1058, a Shi'i adhān
Adhan
The adhān is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. The root of the word is meaning "to permit"; another derivative of this word is , meaning "ear"....

(call to prayer) was implemented in Baghdad and a khutba
Khutba
Khutbah serves as the primary formal occasion for public preaching in the Islamic tradition.Such sermons occur regularly, as prescribed by the teachings of all legal schools. The Islamic tradition can be formally at the dhuhr congregation prayer on Friday...

(sermon) was delivered in the name of the Fatimid Imam-Caliph. Despite his Shi'i inclinations, Al-Basasiri received support from Sunnis and Shi'is alike, for whom opposition to the Saljuq power was a common factor.

On February 10, 1258, Baghdad was captured by the Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 led by Hulegu, a grandson of Chingiz Khan (Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

) during the sack of Baghdad
Battle of Baghdad (1258)
The Siege of Baghdad, which occurred in 1258, was an invasion, siege and sacking of the city of Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate at the time and the modern-day capital of Iraq, by the Ilkhanate Mongol forces along with other allied troops under Hulagu Khan.The invasion left Baghdad in...

. Many quarters were ruined by fire, siege, or looting. The Mongols massacred most of the city's inhabitants, including the caliph Al-Musta'sim
Al-Musta'sim
Al-Musta'sim Billah was the last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad; he ruled from 1242 until his death.-Biography:...

, and destroyed large sections of the city. The canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

s and dykes forming the city's irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 system were also destroyed. The sack of Baghdad put an end to the Abbasid Caliphate, a blow from which the Islamic civilization never fully recovered.

At this point Baghdad was ruled by the Il-Khanids, the Mongol emperors of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. In 1401, Baghdad was again sacked, by Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 ("Tamerlane"). When his forces took Baghdad, he spared almost no one, and ordered that each of his soldiers bring back two severed human heads. It became a provincial capital controlled by the Jalayirid (1400–1411), Kara Koyunlu (1411–1469), Ak Koyunlu (1469–1508), and the Iranian Safavid (1508–1534) dynasties.


Ottoman era (16th to 19th centuries)


In 1534, Baghdad was captured by the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Under the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, Baghdad fell into a period of decline, partially as a result of the enmity between its rulers and Safavid Turks, which did not accept the Sunni control of the city. Between 1623 and 1638
Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–1639)
The Ottoman–Safavid War of 1623–1639 was the last of a series of conflicts fought between the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Persia, then the two major powers of the Near East, over control of Mesopotamia...

, it returned briefly to Iranian rule before falling back into Ottoman hands.

Baghdad has suffered severely from visitations of the plague and cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

, and sometimes two-thirds of its population has been wiped out.

For a time, Baghdad had been the largest city in the Middle East. The city saw relative revival in the latter part of the 18th century under a Mamluk
Mamluk rule in Iraq
The Mamluks who ruled Iraq in the 18th century were freed Georgian slaves converted to Islam, trained in a special school, and then assigned to military and administrative duties. They presided, with short intermissions, over more than a century in the history of Ottoman Iraq, from 1704 to 1831...

 government. Direct Ottoman rule was reimposed by Ali Ridha Pasha
Ali Ridha Pasha
Ali Ridha Pasha led the Ottoman army in 1831 against the mamluk governor in Baghdad after Da’ud Pasha refused to relinquish his office. Ali Riza Pasha captured the city and mamluk leader Da’ud Pasha ending the mamluk rule in Baghdad...

 in 1831. From 1851-1852 and from 1861–1867, Baghdad was governed, under the Ottoman Empire by Mehmed Namık Pasha
Mehmed Namik Pasha
Mushir Mehmed Emin Namık Pasha was a major Ottoman statesman of the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire. He served under five sultans and acted as counsellor to at least four of them...

. The Nuttall Encyclopedia reports the 1907 population of Baghdad as 185,000. Aside from ethnically Arab Iraqis, the city was also home to a substantial ancient Jewish community, which comprised over a quarter of the city's population (this proportion would grow in later years).

20th century


Baghdad and southern Iraq remained under Ottoman rule until 1917, when captured by the British during World War I. From 1920, Baghdad became the capital of the British Mandate of Mesopotamia and, after 1932, Baghdad was the capital of the Kingdom of Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
The Kingdom of Iraq was the sovereign state of Iraq during and after the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The League of Nations mandate started in 1920. The kingdom began in August 1921 with the coronation of Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi as King Faisal I...

. Iraq was given formal independence in 1932 and increased autonomy in 1946. The city's population grew from an estimated 145,000 in 1900 to 580,000 in 1950 of which 140,000 (nearly a quarter) were Jewish. In the 1920s, Baghdad was 40 percent Jewish. Jews made up the largest single community in the city and controlled up to 95 percent of business. Baghdad was also home to many prominent Jewish figures, such as Sassoon Eskell
Sassoon Eskell
Sir Sassoon Eskell, KBE was an Iraqi statesman and financier. Also known as Sassoon Effendi . Regarded in Iraq as the Father of Parliament, Sir Sassoon was the first Minister of Finance in the Kingdom and a permanent Member of Parliament until his death...

.

On 1 April 1941 members of the "Golden Square" and Rashid Ali staged a coup in Baghdad. Rashid Ali installed a pro-German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and pro-Italian
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 government to replace the pro-British government of Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 Abdul Ilah
'Abd al-Ilah
Crown Prince Abd al-Ilāh of Hejaz, GCB, GCMG, GCVO was a cousin and brother-in-law of King Ghazi of the Kingdom of Iraq. Abdul Ilah served as Regent for King Faisal II from April 4, 1939 to May 2, 1953, when Faisal came of age...

. On 31 May, after the resulting Anglo-Iraqi War
Anglo-Iraqi War
The Anglo-Iraqi War was the name of the British campaign against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq during the Second World War. The war lasted from 2 May to 31 May 1941. The campaign resulted in the re-occupation of Iraq by British armed forces and the return to power of the...

 and after Rashid Ali and his government had fled, the Mayor of Baghdad surrendered to British and Commonwealth forces. After the collapse, a pogrom
Pogrom
A pogrom is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres...

 (Farhud
Farhud
Farhud refers to the pogrom or "violent dispossession" carried out against the Jewish population of Baghdad, Iraq, on June 1-2, 1941 during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. The riots occurred in a power vacuum following the collapse of the pro-Nazi government of Rashid Ali while the city was in a...

) took place against the Jewish population of Baghdad, where around 175 Jews had been killed, one thousand injured, and 900 Jewish homes were destroyed.

On 14 July 1958, members of the Iraqi Army
Iraqi Army
The Iraqi Army is the land component of the Iraqi military, active in various forms since being formed by the British during their mandate over the country after World War I....

 under Abdul Karim Kassem staged a coup to topple the Kingdom of Iraq
14 July Revolution
The 14 July Revolution was a coup which took place on 14 July 1958 in Iraq, marking the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy established by King Faisal I in 1932 under the auspices of the British. In 1958, the coup overthrew King Faisal II, the regent and Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, and Prime...

. King Faisal II, former Prime Minister Nuri al-Said, former Regent Prince
Prince
Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

 Abdul Ilah, members of the royal family, and others were brutally killed during the coup. Many of the victim's bodies were then dragged through the streets of Baghdad.

During the 1970s, Baghdad experienced a period of prosperity and growth because of a sharp increase in the price of petroleum
Price of petroleum
The price of petroleum as quoted in news generally refers to the spot price per barrel of either WTI/light crude as traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange for delivery at Cushing, Oklahoma, or of Brent as traded on the Intercontinental Exchange for delivery at Sullom Voe.The price...

, Iraq's main export. New infrastructure including modern sewerage, water, and highway facilities were built during this period. However, the Iran–Iraq War of the 1980s was a difficult time for the city, as money was diverted by Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 to the army and thousands of residents were killed. Iran launched a number of missile attacks against Baghdad.

In 1991 and 2003, the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 caused significant damage to Baghdad's transportation, power
Electricity generation
Electricity generation is the process of generating electric energy from other forms of energy.The fundamental principles of electricity generation were discovered during the 1820s and early 1830s by the British scientist Michael Faraday...

, and sanitary infrastructure as the US-led coalition forces launched massive aerial assaults in the city in the two wars.

Main sights



Points of interest include the National Museum of Iraq
National Museum of Iraq
The National Museum of Iraq is a museum located in Baghdad, Iraq. It contains precious relics from Mesopotamian civilization.-Foundation:...

 whose priceless collection of artifacts was looted during the 2003 invasion, and the iconic Hands of Victory arches. Multiple Iraqi parties are in discussions as to whether the arches should remain as historical monuments or be dismantled. Thousands of ancient manuscripts in the National Library
Iraq National Library and Archive
The Iraq National Library and Archive , is the national library and national archives of Iraq and is in the capital of Iraq, Baghdad...

 were destroyed when it was set alight by the library staff and looters before and during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The Al Kadhimain Shrine in the northwest of Baghdad (in al-Kāżimiyyah) is one of the most important Shi'ite religious sites in Iraq. It was finished in 1515 and the 7th (Musa ibn Jafar al-Kathim) and the 9th Imams
Imamah (Shi'a doctrine)
Imāmah is the Shia doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shīa believe that the A'immah are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muḥammad, and further that Imams are possessed of divine knowledge and authority as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt,...

 (Mohammed Al-Jawad
Muhammad al-Taqi
Muhammad al-Taqī or Muhammad al-Jawād was the ninth of the Twelve Imams of Twelver Shi'ism. His given name was Muhammad ibn ‘Alī ibn Mūsā, and among his titles, al-Taqī and al-Jawād are the most renowned...

) were buried there. One of the oldest buildings is the 12th century or 13th century Abbasid Palace. The palace is part of the central historical area of the city and close to other historically important buildings such as the Saray Building and Al-Mustansiriyah School (From the Abbasid Period). Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport, originally Saddam International Airport, , BIAP is Iraq's largest airport, located in a suburb about west of downtown Baghdad in the Baghdad Governorate...

 (BIAP) is Iraq's largest airport located 16 km from Baghdad's central business district. It is the home of Iraq's national airline, Iraqi Airways
Iraqi Airways
Iraqi Airways Company, operating as Iraqi Airways , is the national carrier of Iraq, headquartered on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad. One of the oldest airlines in the Middle East, Iraqi Airways operates domestic and regional service...

.

Other sights include:
  • Baghdad Tower, now the Ma'amoon Telecommunication Center tower. The tower after extensive renovations has been re-opened. It features a revolving restaurant with panoramic views from the top.
  • The Two Level Bridge in Jadriyah (Jisr Abul Tabqain). Even though planning for this bridge began before the Gulf War takeover, the bridge was not built until 1995. It connects Al-Doura area with the rest of Baghdad and compliments the 14th of July Bridge.
  • The National Museum of Iraq
    National Museum of Iraq
    The National Museum of Iraq is a museum located in Baghdad, Iraq. It contains precious relics from Mesopotamian civilization.-Foundation:...

  • The Khan Murjan
  • Sahat Al Tahrir (Liberation Square) in central Baghdad.
  • Souq Saray (Saray Market)
  • Baghdadi Museum (wax museum)
  • Mustansiriya School
    Mustansiriya School
    Mustansiriya Madrasah is a historical building in Baghdad, Iraq. It was the premises of one of the oldest Islamic universities in the world, established in 1227 as a Madrasah by the Abbasid Caliph al-Mustansir. Located on the left bank of the Tigris River, the building survived the Mongol...

    , a 13th century Abbasid structure
  • Al-Zawra'a Park in Al-Mansour Area and almost in a central location of Baghdad.
  • Kahramana and the 40 Thieves Square.
  • Al Jundi Al Majhool Monument (The Monument to the Unknown Soldier
    The Monument to the Unknown Soldier
    The Monument to the Unknown Soldier is said to be inspired by the glorification of a martyr from the Iran–Iraq War. The Monument represents a traditional shield dropping from the dying grasp of an Iraqi warrior. The monument also houses an underground museum.The artificial hill is shaped like a...

    ).
  • Al Shaheed Monument. Monument to the Iraqi soldiers killed in the Iran–Iraq War, located on the east bank of the Tigris.
  • A wide road built under Saddam as a parade route, and across it is the Hands of Victory
    Hands of Victory
    The Arc of Triumph; , also called the Swords of Qādisīyah، and Hands of Victory in some Western sources, are a pair of triumphal arches in central Baghdad, Iraq. Each arch consists of a pair of hands holding crossed swords...

    , a pair of enormous crossed sword
    Sword
    A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

    s cast from weapons of soldiers who died in the Iran–Iraq War under Saddam
    Saddam
    –Saddam is an Arabic name which means "One who confronts", other meanings include: "One who frequently causes collisions", "Powerful collider", "One who causes a collision that had bad results", "Powerful confronter", "One who frequently crashes", or "Powerful commander"...

    's command.

Baghdad Zoo


The Baghdad Zoo
Baghdad zoo
The Baghdad Zoo is a zoo originally opened in 1971 and located in Baghdad, Iraq, in the al-Zawraa' Gardens area along with the Zawraa Amusement Park and Zawraa' Tower. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the zoo housed 650 animals...

 was the largest zoo in the Middle East. Within eight days following the 2003 invasion, however, only 35 of the 650 animals in the facility survived. This was a result of theft of some animals for human food, and starvation of caged animals that had no food or water. Survivors included larger animals like lion
Lion
The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

s, tiger
Tiger
The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to and weighing up to . Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts...

s, and bear
Bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

s. Notwithstanding the chaos brought by the invasion, South African Lawrence Anthony
Lawrence Anthony
Lawrence Anthony and raised in rural Rhodesia , Zambia, and Malawi, is an international conservationist, environmentalist, explorer, and bestselling author....

 and some of the zoo keepers cared for the animals and fed the carnivores with donkey
Donkey
The donkey or ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African Wild Ass, E...

s they had bought locally. Eventually, L. Paul Bremer
L. Paul Bremer
Lewis Paul "Jerry" Bremer III is an American diplomat. He is most notable for being the U.S. Administrator to Iraq charged with overseeing the country's occupation after the 2003 invasion. In his role as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, he reported primarily to the U.S. Secretary of...

, Director of the Coalition Provisional Authority
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

 in Iraq from May 11, 2003 to June 28, 2004 ordered protection of the zoo and U.S. engineers helped to reopen the facility.

Geography and climate


The city is located on a vast plain bisected by the River Tigris. The Tigris splits Baghdad in half, with the eastern half being called 'Risafa' and the Western half known as 'Karkh
Karkh
Karkh or Al-Karkh is historically the name of the western half of Baghdad, Iraq, or alternatively, the western shore of the river Tigris as it ran through Baghdad. The eastern shore is known as Al-Rasafa....

'. The land on which the city is built is almost entirely flat and low-lying, being of alluvial
Alluvium
Alluvium is loose, unconsolidated soil or sediments, eroded, deposited, and reshaped by water in some form in a non-marine setting. Alluvium is typically made up of a variety of materials, including fine particles of silt and clay and larger particles of sand and gravel...

 origin due to the periodic large floods which have occurred on the river.

Baghdad has a Subtropical Arid
Arid
A region is said to be arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or even preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life...

 climate (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 BWh) and is, in terms of maximum temperatures, one of the hottest cities in the world. In the summer from June to August, the average maximum temperature is as high as 44 °C (111.2 °F) accompanied by blazing sunshine: rainfall is almost completely unknown at this time of year. Temperatures exceeding 50 °C (122 °F) in the shade are by no means unheard of, and even at night temperatures in summer are seldom below 24 °C (75.2 °F). Because the humidity
Humidity
Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture,...

 is very low (usually under 10%) due to Baghdad's distance from the marshy Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, dust storm
Dust storm
A dust / sand storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil to move from one place and deposition...

s from the deserts to the west are a normal occurrence during the summer.

Winters boast mild to warm days and variable nights. From December to February, Baghdad has maximum temperatures averaging 15.5 to 18.5 °C (59.9 to 65.3 F), though highs above 70 °F (21.1 °C) are not unheard of. Low temperatures can be chilly: the average January low is 3.8 °C (38.8 °F) but lows below freezing only occur a couple of times per year.

Annual rainfall, almost entirely confined to the period from November to March, averages around 120 mm (4.72 in), but has been as high as 575 mm (22.64 in) and as low as 23 mm (0.905511811023622 in). On January 11, 2008, light snow fell across Baghdad for the first time in memory.

Administrative divisions


The city of Baghdad has 89 official neighbourhoods within 9 districts. These official subdivisions of the city served as administrative centres for the delivery of municipal services but until 2003 had no political function. Beginning in April 2003, the U.S. controlled Coalition Provisional Authority
Coalition Provisional Authority
The Coalition Provisional Authority was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies, members of the Multi-National Force – Iraq which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003...

 (CPA) began the process of creating new functions for these. The process initially focused on the election of neighbourhood councils in the official neighbourhoods, elected by neighbourhood caucuses.

The CPA convened a series of meetings in each neighbourhood to explain local government, to describe the caucus election process and to encourage participants to spread the word and bring friends, relatives and neighbours to subsequent meetings. Each neighbourhood process ultimately ended with a final meeting where candidates for the new neighbourhood councils identified themselves and asked their neighbours to vote for them.

Once all 88 (later increased to 89) neighbourhood councils were in place, each neighbourhood council elected representatives from among their members to serve on one of the city's nine district councils. The number of neighbourhood representatives on a district council is based upon the neighbourhood's population. The next step was to have each of the nine district councils elect representatives from their membership to serve on the 37 member Baghdad City Council. This three tier system of local government connected the people of Baghdad to the central government through their representatives from the neighbourhood, through the district, and up to the city council.

The same process was used to provide representative councils for the other communities in Baghdad Province outside of the city itself. There, local councils were elected from 20 neighbourhoods (Nahia) and these councils elected representatives from their members to serve on six district councils (Qada). As within the city, the district councils then elected representatives from among their members to serve on the 35 member Baghdad Regional Council.

The first step in the establishment of the system of local government for Baghdad Province was the election of the Baghdad Provincial Council. As before, the representatives to the Provincial Council were elected by their peers from the lower councils in numbers proportional to the population of the districts they represent. The 41 member Provincial Council took office in February, 2004 and served until national elections held in January 2005, when a new Provincial Council was elected.

This system of 127 separate councils may seem overly cumbersome but Baghdad Province is home to approximately seven million people. At the lowest level, the neighbourhood councils, each council represents an average of 75,000 people.

The nine District Advisory Councils (DAC) are as follows:



  • Adhamiyah
    Adhamiyah
    Al-Adhamiyah , also Azamiya, is a neighborhood and east-central district of the city of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Karkh
    Karkh
    Karkh or Al-Karkh is historically the name of the western half of Baghdad, Iraq, or alternatively, the western shore of the river Tigris as it ran through Baghdad. The eastern shore is known as Al-Rasafa....

  • Karadah
  • Kadhimyah
  • Mansour
    Mansour district
    Al Mansour district is one of nine administrative districts in Baghdad, Iraq. It is named after Abu Ja'far al-Mansur, the second Abbasid Caliph and founder of Baghdad....

  • Sadr City
    Sadr City
    Sadr City is a suburb district of the city of Baghdad, Iraq. It was built in 1959 by Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qassim and later unofficially renamed Sadr City after deceased Shia leader Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr....

     (Thawra)
  • Al Rashid
  • Rusafa
    Rusafa
    Al Rusafa or Rasafa is the east-bank settlement of Baghdad, Iraq, or the eastern shore of the river Tigris. It is also one of nine administrative districts in Baghdad...

  • New Baghdad
    New Baghdad
    New Baghdad or Baghdad Al-Jidida is one of nine administrative districts in Baghdad, Iraq. This district has nine Neighborhood Advisory Councils and a District Advisory Council. It is located east of the city center...

     (Tisaa Nissan) (9 April)


The nine districts are subdivided into 89 smaller neighborhoods which may make up sectors of any of the districts above. The following is a selection (rather than a complete list) of these neighborhoods:
  • Al-Ghazaliya
    Ghazaliya
    Ghazaliya is a neighborhood in West Baghdad, Iraq.It is believed the area was named after the Muslim scholar Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī, and it is surrounded by various other districts, such as Al sheoala, Albakrea, Alkadraa and al Aadel.Originally patrolled by elements of the...

  • Al-A'amiriya
    Al-A'amiriya
    Al-A'amiriya is a western neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq. It is an upper-class Sunni neighborhood in the west of the city on the way to Anbar Province.-History:...

  • Dora
    Dora (Baghdad)
    Dora is a neighborhood in Al Rashid administrative district, southern Baghdad, Iraq. Although this was a majority Christian neighborhood, it became controlled by Sunni Muslim Extremists during the Iraq War...

  • Karrada
    Karrada
    Karrada is a major affluent district of the city Baghdad, Iraq. It is of a mixed population but it is noted for having majority of Shia population. The presence of Christians are notable in the area...

  • Al-Jadriya
    Al-Jadriya
    Al-Jadriya is a neighborhood in Baghdad, Iraq along the Tigris river. Al-Jadriya shares a significant but comparatively smaller part of the peninsula with Karrada. Al-Jadriya lies at the south tip of the peninsula where Tigris river makes its major turn and heads to the north-east. Its...

  • Zayouna
    Zayouna
    Zayouna is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq.Zayouna a beautiful residential area in Baghdad, Iraq's capital city located on the side of the Rusafa city of Baghdad, surrounded by the Army Channel from the north to the south by the rapid and Muhammad al-Qasim al-Ghadeer is located between the east...

  • Al-Saydiya
    Al-Saydiya
    Al-Saydiya is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq. A once middle-class district in southwest Baghdad, much of it was built within the last three decades on prime real estate between Baghdad Airport Road and the main highway where it forks into central Baghdad and south to Basra. Al-Saydiya is one of...

  • Hurriya
    Hurriya
    Hurriya is a neighborhood in Baghdad. It is the location of the Jamil Hussein controversy....

     City
  • Al-Sa'adoon
    Al-Sa'adoon
    Al-Sa'adoon is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Al-Shu'ala
    Al-Shu'ala
    Al-Shu'ala is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Al-Mahmudiyah
    Al-Mahmudiyah
    Al-Mahmudiyah is a southern neighborhood and a suburb district of the city of Baghdad, Iraq.* Known as the “Gateway to Baghdad,”...

  • Bab Al-Moatham
    Bab Al-Moatham
    Bab Al-Moatham is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

    • Al-Baya'
      Baiyaa
      Baiyaa is a middle-class district in western Baghdad, Iraq along the Baghdad Airport Road. It contains separate Sunni and Shiite enclaves within it...

  • Al-Za'franiya
    Al-Za'franiya
    Al-Za'franiya is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Hayy Ur
  • Sha'ab
    Sha'ab, Baghdad
    Sha'ab is a neighborhood of Adhamiyah district, Baghdad, Iraq, It is subdivided to Sha'ab east , Sha'ab south , Sha'ab north ....

  • Hayy Al-Jami'a
    Jamia
    Jamia is the Arabic word for gathering . It can also refer to a mosque, or more generally, a community or association....

  • Al-Adel
    Al-Adel
    Al-Adel is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Al Khadhraa
    Al Khadhraa
    Al Khadhraa is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Hayy Al-Jihad
    Hayy Al-Jihad
    Hayy Al-Jihad is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq.Jihad district is located along the Avenue area of Baghdad Airport, near Ameriya. The neighborhood is one of the most important sites where Iraqi families are educated. Numerous doctors have their practices located in the district....

  • Hayy Al-A'amel
    Hayy Al-A'amel
    Hayy Al-A'amel is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Hayy Aoor
    Hayy Aoor
    Hayy Aoor is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Al-Horaya
    Al-Horaya
    Al-Horaya is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Hayy Al-Shurtta
    Hayy Al-Shurtta
    Hayy Al-Shurtta is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Yarmouk
  • Jesr Diyala
    Jesr Diyala
    Jesr Diyala is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Abu Disher
    Abu Disher
    Abu Disher is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Raghiba Khatoun
    Raghiba Khatoun
    Raghiba Khatoun is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Arab Jijur
  • Al-Awashosh
  • Al-Fathel
    Al-Fathel
    Al-Fathel is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Al-Ubedy
    Al-Ubedy
    Al-Ubedy is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Al-Wazireya
    Al-Wazireya
    Al-Wazireya is a neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq.The neighborhood has a turbulent history. On August 27, 2006 a Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Devise exploded on the street outside of the Al Sabah newspaper office. It destroyed more than 20 cars, killing two people and wounding as many as 30....


Economy



Iraqi Airways
Iraqi Airways
Iraqi Airways Company, operating as Iraqi Airways , is the national carrier of Iraq, headquartered on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad. One of the oldest airlines in the Middle East, Iraqi Airways operates domestic and regional service...

, the national airline of Iraq, has its headquarters on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport, originally Saddam International Airport, , BIAP is Iraq's largest airport, located in a suburb about west of downtown Baghdad in the Baghdad Governorate...

 in Baghdad. Al-Naser Airlines
Al-Naser Airlines
Al-Naser Airlines is a charter airline based in Karrada, Baghdad, Iraq. Its main base is Baghdad International Airport.-History:Al-Naser Airlines is registered with the Iraqi Cilvil aviation authority to hold a AOC...

 has its head office in Karrada
Karrada
Karrada is a major affluent district of the city Baghdad, Iraq. It is of a mixed population but it is noted for having majority of Shia population. The presence of Christians are notable in the area...

, Baghdad.

Reconstruction efforts


Most Iraqi reconstruction
Reconstruction of Iraq
Investment in post-2003 Iraq refers to international efforts to rebuild the infrastructure of Iraq since the Iraq War in 2003.Along with the economic reform of Iraq, international projects have been implemented to repair and upgrade Iraqi water and sewage treatment plants, electricity production,...

 efforts have been devoted to the restoration and repair of badly damaged urban infrastructure. More visible efforts at reconstruction through private development, like architect and urban designer Hisham N. Ashkouri
Hisham N. Ashkouri
Hisham N. Ashkouri is a Boston and New York-based architect.Dr. Ashkouri graduated first in class in 1970 with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Baghdad and continued for his Masters of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania under the late Louis I. Kahn in 1973...

's Baghdad Renaissance Plan and the Sindbad Hotel Complex and Conference Center
Sindbad Hotel Complex and Conference Center
The Sindbad Hotel Complex and Conference Center was designed by architect Hisham N. Ashkouri in 2004 to be the first new high-rise hotel, conference center and movie theater complex in modern Baghdad, as a symbol of the reconstruction of Iraq...

 have also been made.
There are also plans to build a giant Ferris wheel
Ferris wheel
A Ferris wheel is a nonbuilding structure consisting of a rotating upright wheel with passenger cars attached to the rim in such a way that as the wheel turns, the cars are kept upright, usually by gravity.Some of the largest and most modern Ferris wheels have cars mounted on...

 akin to the London Eye
London Eye
The London Eye is a tall giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England.It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually...

. Iraq's Tourism Board also is seeking investors to develop a "romantic" island on the River Tigris in Baghdad that was once a popular honeymoon spot for newlywed Iraqis. The project would include a six-star hotel, spa, an 18-hole golf course and a country club. In addition, the go-ahead has been given to build numerous architecturally unique skyscrapers along the Tigris that would develop the city's financial centre in Kadhehemiah.

In October, 2008, the Baghdad Metro
Baghdad Metro
The Baghdad Metro is a surface commuter train that operates in the Iraqi city of Baghdad. It is operated by the state owned Iraqi Republic Railways. It resumed operation in October, 2008. The train runs about between Baghdad Central Station and the southern neighborhood of Dora. It operates...

 resumed service. It connects the center to the southern neighborhood of Dora
Dora (Baghdad)
Dora is a neighborhood in Al Rashid administrative district, southern Baghdad, Iraq. Although this was a majority Christian neighborhood, it became controlled by Sunni Muslim Extremists during the Iraq War...

.
In 2010, a new residential and commercial project nicknamed Baghdad Gate was announced. This project not only addresses the urgent need for new residential units in Baghdad but also acts as a real symbol of progress in the war torn city, as Baghdad has not seen projects of this scale for decades.

Culture



Baghdad has always played an important role in Arab cultural life and has been the home of noted writers, musicians and visual artists. Famous Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 poets and singers such as Nizar Qabbani
Nizar Qabbani
Nizar Tawfiq Qabbani was a Syrian diplomat, poet and publisher. His poetic style combines simplicity and elegance in exploring themes of love, eroticism, feminism, religion, and Arab nationalism...

, Umm Kulthum, Fairuz
Fairuz
Nouhad Wadi Haddad , famously known as Fairuz is a Lebanese singer who is widely considered to be the most famous living singer in the Arab world and one of the best known of all time...

, Salah Al-Hamdani
Salah Al-Hamdani
Salah Al-Hamdani , born in 1951 in Baghdad, is a contemporary Iraqi poet, actor and playwright.Imprisoned as a political dissident in the 1970s, he began writing in prison. Some of his writing was published in clandestine journals. He has continued to write, in Arabic and in French, since moving to...

, Ilham al-Madfai
Ilham al-Madfai
Ilham al-Madfai is an Iraqi guitarist, singer and composer. al-Madfai's synthesis of Western guitar stylings with traditional Iraqi music has made him a revered and popular artist in his native country and throughout the Middle East...

 and others wrote beautiful poems and sang for Baghdad.

The dialect of Arabic spoken in Baghdad today
Baghdad Arabic
Baghdad Arabic or the Baghdadi Arabic is the Arabic variety spoken in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. During the last century, Baghdad Arabic has become the lingua franca of Iraq, and the language of commerce and education...

 differs from that of other large urban centres in Iraq, having features more characteristic of nomadic Arabic dialects (Verseegh, The Arabic Language). It is possible that this was caused by the repopulating of the city with rural residents after the multiple sacks of the late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

.

Institutions


Some of the important cultural institutions in the city include:
  • Iraqi National Orchestra– Rehearsals and performances were briefly interrupted during the Second Gulf War, but have since returned to normal.
  • National Theatre of Iraq– The theatre was looted during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq
    2003 invasion of Iraq
    The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

    , but efforts are underway to restore the theatre.


The live theatre scene received a boost during the 1990s when UN sanctions
Economic sanctions
Economic sanctions are domestic penalties applied by one country on another for a variety of reasons. Economic sanctions include, but are not limited to, tariffs, trade barriers, import duties, and import or export quotas...

 limited the import of foreign films. As many as 30 movie theatres were reported to have been converted to live stages, producing a wide range of comedies
Comedy
Comedy , as a popular meaning, is any humorous discourse or work generally intended to amuse by creating laughter, especially in television, film, and stand-up comedy. This must be carefully distinguished from its academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins are found in...

 and drama
Drama
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" , which is derived from "to do","to act" . The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a...

tic productions.

Institutions offering cultural education in Baghdad include the Academy of Music, Institute of Fine Arts and the Music and Ballet school Baghdad. Baghdad is also home to a number of museums which housed artifacts
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

 and relics of ancient civilizations; many of these were stolen, and the museums looted, during the widespread chaos immediately after United States forces entered the city.

During the 2003 occupation of Iraq, AFN Iraq
AFN Iraq
AFN Iraq was the American Forces Network of radio stations within Iraq. The network, nicknamed Freedom Radio, broadcasted news, information, and entertainment programs, including adult contemporary music. Its mission was to "sustain and improve the morale and readiness" of U.S...

 ("Freedom Radio") broadcast news and entertainment within Baghdad, among other locations. There is also a private radio station called "Dijlah" (named after the Arabic word for the Tigris River) that was created in 2004 as Iraq's first independent talk radio station. Radio Dijlah offices, in the Jamia
Jamia
Jamia is the Arabic word for gathering . It can also refer to a mosque, or more generally, a community or association....

 neighborhood of Baghdad, have been attacked on several occasions.

Sport


Baghdad is home to some of the most successful football (soccer) teams in Iraq, the biggest being Al Quwa Al Jawiya (Airforce club), Al Zawra, Al Shurta (Police) and Al Talaba
Al Talaba
Talaba Sport Club is an Iraqi football club based in Baghdad. The word Talaba means Students in the Arabic language...

 (Students). The largest stadium in Baghdad is Al Shaab Stadium
Al Shaab Stadium
Al Shaab Stadium also known as The People's Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Baghdad, Iraq. It is used mostly for football matches and is the home of the Iraq national football team. The stadium has seating for 40,000 fans...

 which was opened in 1966. Another, but much larger stadium, is still in the opening stages of construction.

The city has also had a strong tradition of horseracing ever since World War I, known to Baghdadis simply as 'Races'. There are reports of pressures by the Islamists to stop this tradition due to the associated gambling.

Major streets


Source: stripes.com

  • Haifa Street
    Haifa Street
    Haifa Street is a two mile long street in Baghdad, Iraq. Along with Yafa Street , it runs southeast to the Assassin's Gate, an archway that served as the main entrance to the American-run Green Zone during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, paralleling the Tigris river...

  • Salihiya Residential area - situated off Al Sinak bridge in central Baghdad,surrounded by Al- Mansur Hotel in the north and Al-Rasheed hotel in the south.
  • Hilla Road – Runs from the south into Baghdad via Yarmouk (Baghdad)
    Yarmouk (Baghdad)
    Yarmouk is an upmarket neighborhood located within Mansour district in Baghdad, Iraq. It is adjacent to ‎Baghdad Airport Road. Is was once home to members of high-ranking officials from Saddam Hussein's regime. Yarmouk is considered a mirror image of east Baghdad's Shiite- dominated Sadr City i.e...

  • Caliphs Street  – site of historical mosques and churches.
  • Sadoun Street – stretching from Liberation Square to Masbah
  • Mohammed Al-Qassim highway near Adhamiyah
    Adhamiyah
    Al-Adhamiyah , also Azamiya, is a neighborhood and east-central district of the city of Baghdad, Iraq....

  • Abu Nuwas Street – runs along the Tigris from the from Jumhouriya Bridge to 14 July Suspended Bridge
  • Damascus Street – goes from Damascus Square to the International Airport Road
  • Mutanabbi Street
    Mutanabbi Street
    Mutanabbi Street is located in Baghdad, Iraq, near the old quarter of Baghdad; at Al Rasheed Street. It is the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, a street filled with bookstores and outdoor book stalls...

     – A street with numerous books, named after the 10th century Iraqi poet Al-Mutanabbi
  • Rabia Street
  • Arbataash Tamuz (14th July) Street (Mosul Road)
  • Muthana al-Shaibani Street
  • Bor Saeed (Port Said) Street
  • Thawra Street
  • Al Qanat Street – runs through Baghdad north-south
  • Al Khat al Sare'a – Mohammed al Qasim (high speed lane) – runs through Bagdhad, north-south
  • Al Sinaa Street (Industry Street) runs by the University of Technology – centre of computers trade in Baghdad.
  • Al Nidhal Street
  • Al Rasheed Street
    Al Rasheed Street
    Al Rasheed Street or Al Rashid Street is located in Downtown Baghdad and is one of the city's main streets, stretching from North Gate to South Gate....

     – city centre Baghdad
  • Al Jamhuriah Street
    Al Jamhuriah Street
    Al Jamhuriah Street is one of the most important streets in Baghdad. It starts from Bab al Muadhm and ends in Al Tahreer Square. It contains many important areas...

     – city centre Baghdad
  • Falastin (Palestine) Street
  • Tariq el Muaskar – (Al Rasheed Camp Road)
  • Baghdad Airport Road
    Baghdad Airport Road
    The Baghdad Airport Road is a 12 kilometer stretch of highway in Baghdad, Iraq linking the International Zone, a heavily fortified area at the center of Baghdad, to Baghdad International Airport . It also links different parts of Baghdad to the Airport and connects neighboring areas to each other...


Sister cities


Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 Sana'a
Sana'a
-Districts:*Al Wahdah District*As Sabain District*Assafi'yah District*At Tahrir District*Ath'thaorah District*Az'zal District*Bani Al Harith District*Ma'ain District*Old City District*Shu'aub District-Old City:...

, Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 Nishapur
Nishapur
Nishapur or Nishabur , is a city in the Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, situated in a fertile plain at the foot of the Binalud Mountains, near the regional capital of Mashhad...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 Pyongyang
Pyongyang
Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, and the largest city in the country. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388. The city was...

, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 (from 21 September 2011) Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....


See also


  • Round city of Baghdad
    Round city of Baghdad
    The Round city of Baghdad is an ancient city built in the western part of Baghdad between 767 and 912 AD. In its territory is included the House of Wisdom.- External links :...

  • List of places in Iraq
  • Firdos Square
    Firdos Square
    Firdaus Square, or Firdos Square , is a public open space in Baghdad, Iraq. It is named after the Arabic word Firdows, which literally means "paradise". It is the location of two of the best-known hotels, the Palestine Hotel and the Sheraton Ishtar, which are the two tallest buildings in Baghdad...

     - is a public open space in Baghdad and the location of two of the best-known hotels, the Palestine Hotel and the Sheraton Ishtar, which are both also the tallest buildings in Baghdad. The square was the site of the statue of Saddam Hussein that was pulled down by U.S. coalition forces in a widely-televised event during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
  • Operation Imposing Law
    Operation Imposing Law
    Operation Imposing Law, also known as Operation Law and Order , Operation Fardh al-Qanoon , was a joint Coalition-Iraqi security plan conducted throughout Baghdad...

     Baghdad Security Plan
  • 1950-1951 Baghdad bombings

Further reading

  • By Desert Ways to Baghdad, by Louisa Jebb (Mrs. Roland Wilkins), 1908 (1909 ed) (a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries; DjVu
    DjVu
    DjVu is a computer file format designed primarily to store scanned documents, especially those containing a combination of text, line drawings, and photographs. It uses technologies such as image layer separation of text and background/images, progressive loading, arithmetic coding, and lossy...

     & format)
  • A Dweller in Mesopotamia, being the adventures of an official artist in the Garden of Eden
    Garden of Eden
    The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

    , by Donald Maxwell, 1921 (a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia
    University of Georgia
    The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning and is one of multiple schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States...

     Libraries; DjVu
    DjVu
    DjVu is a computer file format designed primarily to store scanned documents, especially those containing a combination of text, line drawings, and photographs. It uses technologies such as image layer separation of text and background/images, progressive loading, arithmetic coding, and lossy...

    & format)


Books:

"Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-135" by Ibn Battuta.
"Gertrude Bell: the Arabian diaries,1913-1914." by Bell Gertrude Lowthian, and O'Brien, Rosemary.
"Historic cities of the Islamic world."by Bosworth, Clifford Edmund.
"Ottoman administration of Iraq, 1890-1908." by Cetinsaya, Gokhan.
"Naked in Baghdad." by Garrels, Anne, and Lawrence, Vint.
"A memoir of Major-General Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson." by Rawlinson, George.

External links