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By: James Macy

Major History • • •

• • • •

Mesopotamia became Iraq in 1932 under British rule Iraqi army officers overthrew the British government in the 1950’s A Baath (BAHTH) leader named Saddam Hussein became president in 1979 – Hussein was very controlling – He assassinated all political enemies Hussein invaded Iran in 1980 – The war lasted 8 years Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 UN forced Iraq out in 1991 The U.S crushed Hussein’s army two years after 9/11

Saddam Hussein wearing interrogation T-shirt

Geography • Syrian Desert located at south-west corner of Iraq • This country is very small •Contains two rivers: • Tigris • Euphrates • Both empty into the Persian Gulf • The Zagros mountains are located in the far north corner • contains two lakes : • Lake Hammar • Lake Tharthar •The land area is 168,869 miles²

Main religions 

The main religion in Iraq is Islam  Islam is practiced by 97% Iraq’s population Other religions include Christianity, Yazdanism, Mandaeism, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism.  Zoroastrianism is based on the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster. Zoroaster was an ancient Iranian religious poet and prophet.  Mandaeism lacks a “big book” (ex.: Bible, Koran). It is based on a common heritage, not a set of beliefs  Judaism and Christianity are almost identical, but Judaism does believe in the teachings of the New Testament, and Jews do not believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, prophesied by the Old Testament.  Yazdanism is the belief in seven divine entities that defend us from their counterparts, the seven evil entities.  Christianity is the belief in a God who is holy, just, righteous, infinite, loving, and the Creator. It is also the belief in heaven, the eternal dwelling place of the righteous, and hell, the eternal dwelling place of the unjust or those who deny Christ, or those who simply don’t care when they have been warned.

Culture: ethnic groups 

The main ethnicities in Iraq include: 

Arabs  They make up about 75% of Iraq’s population  Their main religion is Islam  The main belief is that there is one God

Kurds  The Kurds mostly inhabit a territory called Kurdistan; but they also live in Armenia, Israel, Georgia, and several other countries.  Their main language is Kurdish  Kurds make up 15-20% of the population in Iraq

Iraqi customs     

Generosity is highly valued; it would be considered rude to refuse to loan money It is common to see shop owners quietly drinking a cup of tea in the afternoon; they have little else to do. On Christmas Eve, every Iraqi Christian family makes a bonfire of thorn bushes. If the thorns burn to ashes; good luck will be granted for the following year. If not; then the luck will vary throughout. On Christmas Day, they hold a church service. Afterwards, the bishop blesses on person with a touch. That person blesses another, and soon the whole congregation will have felt “the touch of peace”

Christmas Eve

Iraqi Cuisine Popular dish is the kebab  The kebab is commonly seasoned with: Lemon Garlic Spices Commonly grilled Appetizers and salads are known as Mezze Other traditional foods include:  Shawarma: a grilled meat sandwich wrap  Bamia: a stew consisting of: lamb  Okra (a type of vegetable)  Tomatoes  Quzi: Lamb served with:  Almonds  Rice  Raisins  Other spices 

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a report on Iraqi culture, traditions, religion, and more