Whenever people think about Iraq, they instantly associate it with negative connotations of conflict and terrorism. However, this country is home to some of the most diverse ethnic groups you will find. These fun facts about Iraq will help give you a glimpse into its cultural and fun side that travelers can enjoy.
Of course, the country is still recovering from conflict, and you should double-check any travel advisory before visiting. But don’t let that put you off from learning about the country
Here are some of the interesting Iraq facts that show you the different sides of the country.
Historical Facts About Iraq
Unfortunately, the history of Iraq is filled with conflict and war. However, we will focus on another side of Iraq that will give you a glimpse into its rich culture. So, here are the historical facts about Iraq you need to know.
The Cradle Of Civilization Was In Iraq
Many people don’t know this, but Mesopotamia used to be situated in what we now know as Iraq. That is because it was located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and it was home to the first farmers in the world. At that time, it also used to be known as the Fertile Crescent because of the land.
An Extreme Drought Uncovered An Ancient City
Iraq has been going through an extreme drought, and this led to an uncovering of an ancient city in the Bronze Age. The city dates back to the Mittani Empire and is said to be more than 3,000 years old. It got covered because of a flood that took place in the 80s.
The Oldest Writing Existed In Iraq
A lot of old things have come from Iraq, such as writing. That is because Southern Mesopotamia was the home of the cuneiform script, and it was created to record the Sumerian language.
Keep in mind that this language came even before the hieroglyphics you see in Egypt. These are some of the fascinating historical facts about Iraq that are often overlooked.
Baghdad Used To Have Many Underground Tunnels
Yes, you read that right, as Baghdad used to have many underground tunnels that stretched for a lot of kilometers. These were built for Saddam Hussein to include bunkers and be indestructible if there was a threat. These tunnels also came with a pool, gourmet kitchen, recreation room, and much more.
Cultural Facts About Iraq
While Iraq may have gone through a lot of hard times, it has not hardened the hearts of the people. You will still find some of the most hospitable people. Here are some fun facts about Iraq and its culture that will help you understand the people and society.
The Black Cat Superstition Might Have Originated In This Country
Many people say that the superstition about black cats bringing bad luck originated in Iraq. However, other sources say that it came about because of the ancient Greeks or even the Germanic people. But, everywhere you go in Iraq, a lot of people still believe in this superstition.
The People Will Not Let You Leave On An Empty Stomach
The people of Iraq are highly hospitable, which means they will never let you leave on an empty stomach. Food is an important part of the culture, and if you visit someone’s house, they will serve you something. So, even when you visit, we recommend that you indulge in this hospitality, or it will be considered rude not to accept their kindness.
Masgouf Is One Of The Best Iraqi Dishes
If there is one dish you need to try while you are in Iraq, it is Masgouf. It is one of the most popular dishes that include slow-grilled fish. It takes a long time to cook the dish, and creating it is also complicated, which is why you will love the taste.
Traditional Iraqi food has its own unique take and spin influenced by the country’s years of history. You should definitely sample the different dishes if you get the chance.
Interesting Facts About Iraq For Kids
Here are some fun and simple facts about Iraq you can teach kids for them to learn more the country; other than just the conflicts part of it.
The Only Nobel Prize Winner Of Iraq Is Nadia Murad
The only Nobel Prize winner of Iraq is Nadia Murad, she won it in 2018. That is because she has been trying to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon during armed conflict and in war. Her efforts have saved a lot of lives, which is why she was awarded this Nobel Prize.
It Is One Of The Largest Oil Producers Worldwide
Yes, Iraq is also one of the largest producers of oil in the world. That is because it has the 5th largest oil reserves in the world, which came to close to 150 million barrels back in 2018. No wonder it has been a target for a lot of conflict throughout history.
Six Countries Share A Border With Iraq
One of the interesting facts about Iraq is that it shares a border with as many as six countries. These include Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Iran. The country is located in Asia and the Middle East. If you plan on visiting Iraq, you can also make your way to some of these countries.
Useful Iraq Facts For Travelers
Many people that plan to travel to Iraq might not have an immediate idea of what there is to do. Here are some of the top Iraq fun facts that will help you discover some of the things Iraq is famous for.
The Most Recognizable Landmarks In Iraq Commemorate The Iran-Iraq War
Almost everyone knows about the Iran-Iraq war, and the most recognizable landmarks in the country are from this war. This includes the Victory Arch and the Martyr’s Monument. Both of these are located in Baghdad, and you can easily visit them when you are in the country.
There Are Six UNESCO Sites You Can Visit
The country has a total of six UNESCO sites that you can visit. This includes Babylon, Ashur, Samarra Archaeological City, Hatra, Ahwar, and the Erbil Citadel. Make sure that you at least visit some of these sites in the country to get a glimpse of its history and culture.
The Samarra Archaeological City Is Home To The Largest Mosques
The Samarra Archaeological City is a UNESCO site that you shouldn’t miss because it is home to the two largest mosques in the country with unique minarets. On the other hand, it also has the biggest palaces you will find in the Islamic world. All of these sites will take your breath away once you witness them.
Common Facts About Iraq
There are some facts about Iraq that a lot of people already know. Here are some general facts about the country that will refresh your memory.
Most Of The Population In Iraq Is Muslim
Islam is the most common religion that you will find here, as most people are Muslim. In fact, it is estimated that between 95% and 98% of people in Iraq are Muslim. Both Sunni and Shia Muslims live here in peace.
The Iraqi Desert Is Home To Many Unique Scorpions
Iraq harbors some of the most unique scorpion species that live in the Iraqi desert. Some of these scorpions can grow more than eight inches long. If you are ever in the desert, make sure to stay safe even if you are trying to spot some wildlife.
Iraq Is Still Recovering From Conflict
Unfortunately, Iraq is still recovering from the conflict that destroyed a lot of the country, especially the infrastructure. Besides that, there is a lack of employment opportunities for many people. These are some unfortunate facts about Iraq; we hope that they recover soon to resume their trade and regular operations.
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Other Interesting Facts About Iraq
Now that you are familiar with the most important Iraq facts, here are some others to boost your knowledge.
The Name Of The Country Means Fertile
Of course, even the name Iraq connects to the Fertile Crescent. The name means well-watered and deep-rooted fertile. However, that is not the case right now, as Iraq faces droughts and climate change.
The Silk Road Also Ran Through Iraq
The Silk Road ran through a lot of places, including Baghdad. Therefore, the city used to be an important trading center, thanks to its advantageous position.
The Epic Of Gilgamesh Comes From Mesopotamia
The world’s oldest long poem is the Epic of Gilgamesh, which comes from Mesopotamia. It was written between 2,150 and 1,400 BC. You can still read it if you want to know what it is about.
Iraq Has Been The Target Of Many Conflicts
Unfortunately, Iraq has faced a long history of conflict, and it is currently recovering from all of it. The country has seen dictators, coalitions, wars, and much more. However, all of this still hasn’t deterred the generous and loving spirit of the people.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Iraq
These are some of the fun and interesting facts about Iraq that you needed to know to boost your knowledge about this beautiful country. One of the best things to try in the country is the local cuisine, as it is packed with flavor and spices.
Of course, there is also a lot to do that you can experience. If you ever get a chance to visit, you are sure to discover more fascinating facts about Iraq, its culture, and traditions.