Featured Country: Iraq

Iraq is the land where great ancient civilizations lived and prospered, hence the name "The Cradle of Civilizations". Most of Iraq's population is Arab. Other ethnicities include the Kurds and the Assyrians. Islam is the country's dominant religion (96%). Among other religions practiced in Iraq are Christianity and Sufism. Iraqis have lived in in harmony throughout history despite the mozaic formation of its society. Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, was established over 1,000 years ago at the hands of Abu Ja'far AlMansour at the banks of the Tigris river. One of the other major cities in Iraq is Basra, in the south, where the early schools of science and religion flourished. In modern Iraq, Iraq has given birth to prominent writers and poets who have greatly shaped the cultural panorama across the Middle East. Among them are Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahiri and Badr Shakir al-Sayyab ("Iraq," 2004). Iraq is not only rich with its highly-educated people, but also with natural resources. Iraq has gone through difficult times in the last decades, but it is the hope of Iraqis to build a prosperous Iraq and restore the important role Iraq played in the early decades of last century. Work Cited "Iraq," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2004 http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.