alternative words: Saddam
keywords: famous person, statesman
related topics: Tikrit , Qusay Hussein , Uday Hussein
related web sites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein , http://www.iraqfoundation.org/research/bio.html
explanation: Born in 1937 in a village near Tikrit. In 1957, he adhered Baath party. In 1959, the attempt to assassinate prime minister, Abdul Karim Qasim, failed, he fled to Egypt. In 1968, a bloodless coup brought Baath party to the power and Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakr became president. In 1979, Saddam succeeded him after having eliminated rivals and next year he entered a war against Khomeini's Iran. In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait but withdrew next year (Gulf war). Since December 2003, he is a captive of coalition.
alternative words: Samara
related topics: Baghdad , Tigris river
related web sites: http://www.dur.ac.uk/derek.kennet/samarra.htm , http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/samarra.htm
explanation: Located 125km north of Baghdad, on the east bank of Tigris river, Samarra is an old town of 200,000 inhabitants, which was the captial of Abbasid Caliphate for 56 years when the 8th Caliph, Mu'tasim left Baghdad in 836. The famous spiral minaret was built between 849 and 851. Samarra holds also the mausoleums of shia's imams, 10th Ali al-Hadi and the 11th Hasan al-Askari, as well as the shrine of the last imam, Muhammad Al-Mahdi. Though belonging to Sunni triangle, there was few resistance during Irak war.
alternative words: Al Samawa, As Samawa, Samawah
related topics: Nasiriya , Najaf , Euphrates river
related web sites: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3502471.stm , http://www.geocities.com/alsamawa/ , http://shivarei.hp.infoseek.co.jp/iraq0402b.html
explanation: Located between Nasiriya and Najaf on the Euphrates river, Samawa is the capital of Muthanna region. Japanese peace keepers of about 500 troops are stationing there since February 2004 under the Dutch commandment. The total population is about 124,000.
alternative words: Shatt al-Arab
related topics: Euphrates river , Tigris river , Ottoman empire , Basra
related web sites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shatt_Al_Arab
explanation: During the ancient Mesopotamian civilization eras, the Euphrates and the Tigris pours separately into Persian Gulf. Soils brought by the rivers have reclaimed progressively the land and nowadays they are confluent at Qurna near Basra before reaching Persian Gulf. This common section of 200km length is called Shatt al Arab, i.e. cost of Arabs and forms an Iraq-Iran border at its lower part according to a peace treaty, signed by Ottoman and Persian empires in 1639 but it was always contested by both sides.
alternative words: Shia Islam, Shiite, Shi'i
related web sites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiite , http://lexicorient.com/e.o/shii.htm , http://www.shiitecouncil.gov.lb
explanation: Though absolutely minority (only 10-15% of the world Muslim population), Shia sect represents the majority in Iraq (60% of the population). They recognise only Ali, son-in-law of Muhammed and his son Hussein, as caliphs, i.e. successors of the prophet. During the reign of Saddam Hussein, they had suffered of an under representation in politics and their revolt after the Gulf War was severely repressed. Being the majority, they claim now a direct election to control themselves the state affairs.
alternative words: Sunni Islam, Sunnite
related web sites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunni , http://i-cias.com/e.o/sunni.htm
explanation: Muslim sect which represents the absolute majority in the world faithful. Contrary to Shia sect, they consider a lineage to the prophet Muhammed not necessary to become a caliph. Though they are the minority in Iraq (20% of the population), thanks to the affiliation to Saddam Hussein, they could enjoy an over representation in Iraqi politics. The resistance to Americans comes from so called "Sunni triangle", where the Arabic Sunni Muslims are the majority.
alternative words: Tareq Aziz, Tarek Aziz, Tariq Mikhail Aziz
keywords: famous person, statesman
related topics: Mosul , Baath party , Saddam Hussein
related web sites: http://n.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariq_Aziz , http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/saddam/interviews/aziz.html , http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/aziz.htm
explanation: Born in 1936 into a Christian family near the Iraqi's northern city of Mosul. He studied English and Fine arts in Baghdad university. He met Saddam Hussein in 1960's and served for a long time as journalist to promote Baath's ideology. He was appointed information minister in 1977 then served as foreign minister from 1979 until 1991. He was also deputy prime minister from 1979 to 2003. With his fluent English, the Iraqi government tried to soften the ruthless of Saddam's regime.
alternative words: Tigris
related topics: Euphrates river , Mosul , Baghdad , Basra , Shatt al Arab
related web sites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tigris , http://lexicorient.com/e.o/tigris.htm
explanation: With the Euphrates river, the Tigris is one of the 2 largest rivers in the middle east. It takes a source from the eastern Turkish mountains, goes through Iraq by irrigating Iraqi major cities such as Mosul, Samarra and Baghdad, then pours onto Persian Gulf after merging with the Euphrates at Qurna near Basra to become Shatt al Arab. The Tigris is cited by the Bible as one of 4 rivers that flow from the garden of Eden. Its length is 1,850 km.
alternative words: Takrit, Tekrit
related topics: Saddam Hussein , Tigris river
related web sites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikrit , http://i-cias.com/e.o/tikrit.htm
explanation: Located 140km northwest of Baghdad on the road to Turkey and on the west bank of Tigris river, Tikrit was founded 10 centuries ago and flourished with wool industry and a large Christian monastery. The Islam leader, Saladin who reconquered Jerusalem from Christians was born there in 1137. It is also the birth place of Saddam Hussein and his entourage was recruited essentially among Tikritis. Its population is about 30,000.
alternative words: Turkoman, Turcoman
keywords: ethnic group
related topics: Ottoman empire , Mosul , Kirkuk
related web sites: http://www.al-bab.com/arab/background/turkoman.htm
explanation: Iraqi minority, Turkmens had arrived to Iraq since 7th century from the central Asia with successive flows of migration. During Ottoman reign, Turkmens were favored due to a linguistic affinity with Turks. On the contrary, Saddam Hussein persecuted non Arab minorities such as Turkmens and Kurds but after his fall, they have begun to dispute the control of oil rich Kirkuk region. Their total population is about 2 millions and concentrated on a narrow band which runs from Mosul to Diala by passing Kirkuk.
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