Iraq Children’s Encyclopedia

By | December 19, 2021

Rivers of water and oil

Two great rivers – the Euphrates to the west, the Tigris with its tributaries to the east, such as the two Zabs and the Diala – cut through the desert: the “land between rivers” (ancient Mesopotamia) was made arable by overflows and 8,000 years of plumbing. Here agriculture, urban civilization, the idea of ​​the state, grandiose and refined civilizations were born. At the beginning of the 21st century, after twenty-five years of wars, little remains of Iraq

Like a great oasis

The territory of Iraq corresponds to a depressed area in which the Tigris and Euphrates flow, limited to the south by the Persian Gulf and to the east and north by mountainous reliefs. The northern part (ancient Assyria) is a plateau, the southern part (ancient Babylon) a low plain formed by debris carried by rivers. To the west of the Euphrates the extremely arid plateau of the Syriac Desert; to the east of the Tigris the slopes of the Zagros Mountains; to the north, the mountains of south-eastern Anatolia: the humid air does not reach Iraq, which has a continental and almost desert climate. Except on the Zagros, the spontaneous vegetation is steppe or completely absent; along the rivers dominates the date palm.

It is in the Mesopotamian region that the population is concentrated, which before the occupation that began in 2003 following the second Gulf War lived for a quarter in Baghdad, the capital. Other cities (such as Mosul, Basra, Irbil) welcomed strong immigration from the countryside: three out of four Iraqis lived in the city, prior to the first Gulf War (1991). The majority is Arab, but there are many minorities – the Kurdish one (23%) is the largest. Almost all of them are Muslims: Sunnis prevail in the north and south; in the center of the country the Shiites. As in other regions, the modernization imposed by colonization it caused the number of residents to suddenly increase in the second half of the twentieth century; the growth rate is still very high and makes development difficult. However, the whole set of living conditions of the population (income, education, work, nutrition, disease, infant mortality and so on) has seriously worsened as a result of wars and employment.

The oil

The agricultural economy, cared for and productive already millennia ago, had made Mesopotamia a kind of ‘island’ in the deserts of the Near East. Grains (wheat and barley in the north, rice in the south), vegetables and fruit produced in Iraq were exported. The situation changed with the increase in population and now Iraq has to import food. Cultivations for industrial purposes (cotton) are also widespread. Many hydraulic works (canals, dams, artificial lakes, irrigation systems, reclamation) have been carried out to increase arable land and production.

But the wealth of Iraq is in oil, extracted from gigantic fields (one tenth of the reserves of the whole Earth) present in the Kirkuk region, in Kurdistan, near Baghdad and in the southern regions. The oil had allowed to start an organization of the territory and the economy that was bringing positive results for the population. Industries (fertilizers, steel, textiles) and infrastructure – roads, pipelines, canals – improved the economy and daily life. But oil also offered the means for a policy of force and attracted the attention of industrialized countries, which consume enormous amounts of oil, to Iraq. For Iraq 2019, please check philosophynearby.com.

History

A serious loss for the young state, which has recently entered an independent life, was the sudden death of King Faiṣal (Bern, 8 September 1933), who had been able to guide it with great skill for over a decade of difficult internal and international life. Having succeeded his son Ghāzī in Faiṣal (born March 21, 1912), Iraq has had to face a whole series of crises, due to the collision of conflicting political trends (from pro-British currents to a strong Anglophobic nationalism and advocating close support with Kemalist Turkey), to the presence in its bosom of ethnic and religious minorities, to the great economic interests that dispute the exploitation of its wealth (oil). In 1933 itself, an insurrection of the so-called Assyrian-Chaldeans of upper Mesopotamia had to be fought, which ended with the expulsion of those populations, to whom the League of Nations had to worry about providing new seats in the Syrian hinterland. On 31 October 1936, following a coup in which the Minister of War Gia‛far Askarī was killed, the Ḥikmat Sulaimān ministry took over, with General Bekir Ṣidqī as chief of staff of the army (pro-Turkish policy) ; but on 11 August 1937 Bekir Ṣidqī was in turn assassinated in Mossul, together with the head of the aviation Moḥammed‛Alī Gewād, and the whole cabinet Hikmat Sulaimān was forced to resign. He was replaced (August 17) by the new ministry of Gemīl Bey al Midfa‛ī. following a coup in which the war minister Gia‛far Askarī was killed, the Ḥikmat Sulaimān ministry took over, with General Bekir Ṣidqī as chief of staff of the army (pro-Turkish policy); but on 11 August 1937 Bekir Ṣidqī was in turn assassinated in Mossul, together with the head of the aviation Moḥammed‛Alī Gewād, and the whole cabinet Hikmat Sulaimān was forced to resign. He was replaced (August 17) by the new ministry of Gemīl Bey al Midfa‛ī. following a coup in which the war minister Gia‛far Askarī was killed, the Ḥikmat Sulaimān ministry took over, with General Bekir Ṣidqī as chief of staff of the army (pro-Turkish policy); but on 11 August 1937 Bekir Ṣidqī was in turn assassinated in Mossul, together with the head of the aviation Moḥammed‛Alī Gewād, and the whole cabinet Hikmat Sulaimān was forced to resign. He was replaced (August 17) by the new ministry of Gemīl Bey al Midfa‛ī. and the entire Hikmat Sulaimān cabinet was obliged to resign. He was replaced (August 17) by the new ministry of Gemīl Bey al Midfa‛ī. and the entire Hikmat Sulaimān cabinet was obliged to resign. He was replaced (August 17) by the new ministry of Gemīl Bey al Midfa‛ī.

Finance (p. 536). – We give below the balance sheet figures since 1932 (in millions of dinars).

At 31 December 1937, the public debt, all foreign, was the million dinars.

As of November 30, 1937, notes in circulation amounted to 4.3 million dinars, and the reserve in British securities (especially war loans) was approximately 4 million.

The credit is provided by the Eastern Bank Ltd. (which is the government bank), the Imperial Bank of Persia, the Ottoman Bank and the newly formed National Agricultural and Industrial Bank.

Iraq 2019