lesser-known facts about Iraq
Cradle of Civilization: Iraq is considered the cradle of civilization, as it is home to ancient Mesopotamia, where some of the earliest known human civilizations emerged, including the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians.
Diverse Ethnic and Religious Makeup: Iraq is a diverse country with various ethnic and religious groups. Arabs constitute the majority, but there are also significant Kurdish, Turkmen, Assyrian, and Yazidi populations. Islam is the dominant religion, with a majority of Muslims being Shia Arabs, followed by Sunni Arabs, and other minority sects.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, were believed to have been located in the ancient city of Babylon, which is present-day Iraq. However, their existence and exact location remain uncertain.
Marshes of Mesopotamia: Southern Iraq is home to the Mesopotamian Marshes, an extensive wetland ecosystem known as the “Garden of Eden” and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These marshes provide a habitat for unique flora and fauna, including the endangered Iraqi Marsh Arab communities.
Birthplace of Arabic Calligraphy: Iraq has a rich artistic heritage and is considered the birthplace of Arabic calligraphy. The art of beautiful writing and decorative script has been practiced in Iraq for centuries and has influenced calligraphy styles across the Arab world.
Oldest Known Legal Code: The Code of Hammurabi, dating back to 1754 BCE, is one of the earliest known legal codes in human history. It was created during the reign of Babylonian King Hammurabi and is displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
World’s Largest Date Producer: Iraq is one of the world’s largest producers of dates, with a long history of date cultivation. The country’s fertile land and favorable climate make it an ideal environment for growing various types of dates.
Diverse Cuisine: Iraqi cuisine is a delicious fusion of various culinary traditions, influenced by Persian, Turkish, and Arab flavors. Traditional dishes include kebabs, biryanis, dolmas (stuffed vegetables), and various rice-based dishes.
Cultural Contributions: Iraq has a rich cultural heritage, known for its contributions to literature, poetry, music, and architecture. Famous literary figures such as Al-Mutanabbi and Ibn al-Haytham, renowned mathematician and scientist, hail from Iraq.
Marsh Arab Communities: The Marsh Arabs, also known as the Ma’dan, are indigenous people who have inhabited the Mesopotamian Marshes for thousands of years. They have a unique way of life, relying on fishing, reed harvesting, and building their houses on artificial islands made from reeds.