World Facts

What Continent Is Iraq In?

Iraq, a Middle Eastern country, is located in the western portion of the continent of Asia.

According to the 2005 constitution, the official name of the nation is the “Republic of Iraq”. The Arabic variation of the name, العراق al-ʿIrāq has been used since before the turn of the 6th century. The origin of the name has not yet been determined, but some theories suggest that it originates from the Sumerian city of Uruk. Arabic people believe that the origin of the name is "deeply rooted, well-watered” or “fertile.” The name of the region has been changed in the past, but most of the variations had the name Iraq.

Location of Iraq

Iraq is a state in the west of the Asian continent. Iraq is bordered by Iran to the east, to the north by Turkey, Saudi Arabia is to its south, Jordan and Kuwait to its southeast, and Syria to its west. The coordinates for the country are 33°20′N 44°26′E. The capital city of the nation is Baghdad. Arabs and Kurds are the main ethnic groups in Iraq although there are minor groups like Armenians, Mandeans, Yazidis, Turkmen, Shabakis, among others. A massive 95% of the 37 million people in Iraq is Muslim with the remaining 5% composed of Christians and other minor religions. Since the main tribes are Arabs and Kurds, the official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish. With a size of 168,754 square miles, Iraq is the 58th nation globally in terms of size. Iraq is slightly larger than Paraguay but almost the same size as the United States state of California.

Geography and History of Iraq

Iraq’s coastline measures 36 miles long along the Persian Gulf. The nation also incorporates the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the eastern portion of the Syrian Desert as well as the northwestern part of the Zagros Mountains. Only two major rivers are in Iraq; River Tigris and the River Euphrates which pass through the country into the Shatt al-Arab close to the Persian Gulf. Significant amounts of fertile land are located close to these rivers. Other parts of the country are mostly desert.

According to history, Mesopotamia, the region between rivers Euphrates and Tigris, is the cradle of civilization itself. Mesopotamia is the place where the human species first began to learn how to read and write, make laws, and live in towns under a structured government. Other impressive civilizations have also called the region home in the past like the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and the Assyrian empires. Other empires that the region was a part of include the Ottoman, Mongol, Roman, Median, Sassanid, Parthian, among other empires of old.

Politics of Iraq

Mostly, modern Iraq’s borders were delineated in the year 1920 by the League of Nations where it was placed under British rule until independence in 1932 which led to the formation of the Kingdom of Iraq. The Kingdom was overthrown in 1958 and the Iraqi Republic was formed. Under the new constitution, which was first used in 2005, Iraq is a federal parliamentary state made up of 19 governorates or provinces. Iraq is a founding member of the UN.

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