alternative words: Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim
keywords: cleric, statesman
related topics: Baqir al-Hakim , Iraqi Governing Council , Najaf
related web sites: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2954277.stm
explanation: Born in 1959 as a son of the late Grand Ayatollah, Muhsin al-Hakim at Najaf. He fled to Iran with his brother, Baqr al-Hakim to avoid Saddam's persecution. He has been return from Iran after 23 years of exiles and participates now to American appointed Iraqi interim governing council. After the assassination of his brother in August 2003 at Najaf, he became the president of Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, an organisation founded in Iran by his brother against Saddam's regime.
alternative words: Abu Ghurayb, Abu Ghraib prison
related topics: Baghdad , Saddam Hussein
related web sites: http://www.antiwar.com/news/?articleid=2444 , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_(prison)
explanation: Located 32km west of Baghdad near International airport and covering 1.15 km2, Abu Ghraib prison was built in 60's by British contractors and notorious for tortures and summary executions of Saddam's political opponents. Amnesty international estimates several hundreds inmates were executed without judgments. In 2004, the Western media revealed the same facility continued to be used by the coalition force to torture their opponents, too. Now it is closed and planed to be destroyed.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
alternative words: al-Zarqawi, Ahmed al-Khalayleh
keywords: famous person
related topics: Baqir al-Hakim
related web sites: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/18/opinion/main618114.shtml
explanation: Born in 1966 to a Palestinian-Jordanian family with the original name of Ahmed al-Khalayleh and grew up at Zarqawi near Amman. Contrary to bin-Laden, his family was modest and little is known about his youth. In 80's, he participated to Jihad against Soviet union in Afghanistan. He was jailed for 5 years in Jordan by plotting against the monarchy. Many think he should mastermind the assassination of Baqir al-Hakim in 2003 and Madrid train bombing in 2004. He is also behind the beheading of hostages in Iraq.
alternative words: Ahmed al-Chalabi, Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi
keywords: famous person, statesman
related topics: Iraqi Governing Council
related web sites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Chalabi , http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/not_in_website/syndication/monitoring/media_reports/2291649.stm
explanation: Born in 1944 to a wealthy baking family of Baghdad. He left Iraq in 1956 and lived mostly in USA since then. He was one of the leaders of INC (Iraqi National Congress), an organisation supported by Americans to topple Saddam Hussein. During 1995, he tried to organized a resistance in the northern Kurdish region but failed. After the fall of Saddam's regime in 2003, he has been appointed member of the Iraqi governing council, but he is now at odds with Americans because of Iranian espionage affairs.
alternative words: Ali Sistani, Ali Husaini Sistani, Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Sistani
keywords: cleric, famous person
related web sites: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3033306.stm
explanation: Born in 1930 into a religious family near the city of Mashad in Iran and began to study Koran very young. In 1951, he move to the Iranian holy city of Qom, then to Najaf, one year later. There, he deepened his knowledge with prominent Shia clerics such as Abul Qassim al-Khoei. In 1992, after the assassination of the latter, he has been elected to head of Hawza to succeed him. During Saddam's reign, he kept a low profile to remain outside politics.
related topics: Kurd
related web sites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansar_al-Islam , http://www.iraqinews.com/org_ansar_al-islam.shtml
explanation: Radical Islamic group established in northern Iraq near Iranian border before Iraqi war. They were accused to give a logistic supports for al-Qaeda members. For this reason, it was massively bombarded by Americans during Iraqi war, though relatively tiny group (700 members). They were founded in 2001 by a merger of 2 Islamic groups, Jund al-Islam and Islamic Movement in Kurdistan. Ansar al-Islam means "supporters of Islam".
alternative words: Assyria
keywords: ethnic group
related topics: Ottoman empire , Mosul
related web sites: http://www.atour.com , http://www.nineveh.com
explanation: Aramaic speaking Iraqi minority, Assyrians are considered as the founder of Assyrian empire which dominated the middle east between the 8th and 7th century BC. After a dislocation of Ottoman empire in 1918, Turks expelled Christian minorities such as Assyrians and Armenians from their remaining territory to Iraq and Syria if not massacred, considering their presence might cause its further shrinking. Assyrian population is now about 1.5 million and represents the majority of Iraqi Christians.
Pocket Electronic Dictionary