Tag: Iraq

Baghdad, Iraq

Baghdad, Iraq

According to abbreviationfinder, Baghdad is the capital of Iraq; It is the largest and most populous city in the country, with approximately 6.5 million residents, and one of the most populous in the Middle East after Cairo and Tehran. It is located on the banks of the Tigris River.

Geography

The city is situated on a vast plain divided by the Tigris River. It divides Baghdad in two, the eastern half, also known as “Rusafa”, and the western half, the “Karkh”. The land where the city itself is situated is flat and low, the product of an original flood due to the long and periodic floods caused by the river. Baghdad has a very hot and arid climate (BWh, according to the Köppen table), being one of the hottest cities in the world.

Climate

During the summer season, from June to August, the average temperature is 34.8 ° C and accompanied by a scorching sun. Rain is practically unprecedented in the area during this season. During the day, thermometers can shoot up to 60 ° C in the shade and drop to 15 ° C at night. Humidity is also very low due to the distance that separates the city from the Persian Gulf, which helps to form the common summer dust storms churning from the desert.

During winter, from December to February, temperatures are noticeably mild. The highs range between 25 and 26 ° C and the lows are usually above -6 ° C, although it is not unusual in Baghdad to experience winter temperatures below -10 ° C. The presence of the Tigris attenuates the effect of continentality. Annual rainfall is limited to the period from November to March, with averages of around 140 millimeters with maximum records of 215 and minimums of 0 mm. On January 11, 2008 there was an unusual scene in Baghdad, as the city woke up covered in a thin layer of ice, the first in 100 years.

Social development

Culture

Baghdad has always played an important role in Arab cultural life and has been home to prominent writers, musicians and artists. The dialect of Arabic spoken today in Baghdad differs from that of other large urban centers in Iraq. It is possible that this was caused by the repopulation of the city with residents of rural areas in the late Middle Ages.

Some of the important cultural institutions in the city include:

  • Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra – rehearsals and performances were briefly interrupted during the second Gulf War, but have since returned to normal.
  • Iraq National Theater – The theater was looted during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, but attempts are being made to restore
  • Academy of Music, the Institute of Fine Arts and the Baghdad School of Music and Ballet.

Baghdad is also home to a number of museums that house artifacts and relics of ancient civilizations, several of which were stolen during museum looting sparked by widespread chaos after US forces entered the city.

Religion

95% of the population of Iraq is Muslim. That is why there are many mosques in Baghdad, the most famous of which is the Abu Hanifa mosque. Before the 2003 invasion, 65% of Muslims were Sunni and 35% Shiite. See population of Iraq.

Christianity has existed in Iraq since the earliest times and the various Iraqi Christian churches have had strong roots. During the rule of Saddam Hussein (after a secular party) there was wide religious freedom. The government came to have Christian ministers such as former Chaldean Catholic Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. About half of the Christians in Iraq live in Baghdad. Their share of the total population up to March 2003, which stood at around 10%, decreased due to the crises in Iraq until 2006, to around 5%.

Since the beginning of the war, according to the Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, Andreas Abouna, around 75% of the Christian population had left the capital, seeking protection in the Kurdish north of Iraq, or in neighboring countries such as Turkey, Syria or Jordan – The Baghdad-based Patriarch of Babylon heads the religious organization of the Chaldean Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church forms the Archdiocese of Baghdad.

Baghdad is also the historic seat of the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. The bishops of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, formerly organized as the “Maphrianat of the East,” also have their headquarters in Baghdad.

Sports

Baghdad is home to some of the most important soccer teams in Iraq, the largest being Al Quwa Al Jawiya (Aviation Club), Al Zawra, Al Shurta (Police) and Al Talaba (Students). The biggest stadium in Baghdad is the Al Shaab Stadium which was inaugurated in 1966. The city has also had an important horse racing tradition since the First World War. Islamists have lobbied to end this tradition, as the sport has an important betting sequence.

Baghdad, Iraq