Arabic : بغداد, (_ listen )) is the capital of
Iraq . The population of Baghdad, as of 2016 , is approximately
8,765,000, making it the largest city in Iraq, the second largest
city in the
Arab world (after
Egypt ), and the second largest
Western Asia (after
Located along the
Tigris River , the city was founded in the 8th
century and became the capital of the
Abbasid Caliphate . Within a
short time of its inception,
Baghdad evolved into a significant
cultural, commercial, and intellectual center for the
Islamic world .
This, in addition to housing several key academic institutions (e.g.,
House of Wisdom ), garnered the city a worldwide reputation as the
"Centre of Learning".
For five centuries from its founding
Baghdad was the largest city of
Middle Ages , peaking at a population of more than a million, The
city was largely destroyed at the hands of the
Mongol Empire in 1258,
resulting in a decline that would linger through many centuries due to
frequent plagues and multiple successive empires. With the recognition
Iraq as an independent state (formerly the British Mandate of
Mesopotamia ) in 1938,
Baghdad gradually regained some of its former
prominence as a significant center of
Arab culture .
In contemporary times, the city has often faced severe
infrastructural damage, most recently due to the 2003 invasion of Iraq
, and the subsequent
Iraq War that lasted until December 2011. In
recent years, the city has been frequently subjected to insurgency
attacks. As of 2012 ,
Baghdad was listed as one of the least
hospitable places in the world to live, and was ranked by Mercer as
the worst of 221 major cities as measured by quality-of-life.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Foundation
* 2.2 Surrounding walls
* 2.2.1 Golden Gate Palace
* 2.2.2 Abbasids and the round city
* 2.3 Center of learning (8th to 13th centuries)
* 2.3.1 End of the Abbasids in
* 2.4 Ottoman era (16th to 19th centuries)
* 2.5 20th and 21st centuries
* 3 Main sights
Mosque of the Kadhimain
Mosque of Abu Hanifah
* 4 Geography
* 4.1 Climate
* 5 Administrative divisions
* 6 Demographics
* 7 Economy
* 7.1 Reconstruction efforts
* 7.2 Retails
* 7.3 Stadiums
* 7.4 Housing
* 7.5 Education
* 7.6 Universities
* 8 Culture
* 8.1 Institutions
* 9 Sport
* 10 Major streets
* 11 Twin towns/Sister cities
* 12 See also
* 13 Notes
* 14 References
* 15 Further reading
* 16 External links
Baghdad is pre-Islamic. The site where the city of Baghdad
developed has been populated for millennia. By the 8th century AD,
several villages had developed there, including a Persian hamlet
called _Baghdad,_ the name which would come to be used for the Abbasid
The name is commonly thought to be of Indo-European origin,
Middle Persian compound of _Bagh_ (_ ) "god"
and dād_ (_ ) "given by", translating to "Bestowed by God" or "God's
Old Persian the first element can be traced to boghu_ and is
related to Slavic _bog_ "god", while the second can be traced to
_dadāti_. A similar term in
Middle Persian is the name _Mithradāt_
(_Mihrdād_ in New Persian), known in English by its Hellenistic form
Mithridates , meaning "gift of
Mithra " (_dāt_ is the more archaic
form of _dād_, related to Latin _dat_ and English _donor_ ). There
are a number of other locations in the wider region whose names are
compounds of the word _bagh_, including
Afghanistan or a village called Bagh-šan in Iran. The name of the
Baghdati in Georgia shares the same etymological origins.
A few authors have suggested older origins for the name; In
particular, the names "Hudadu" and "Baghdadu" that existed in Old
Babylonian, and the Babylonian Talmudic name of a place called
"Baghdatha", which in turn has a close resemblance to the name Agade
, the capital city of Sargon I .
When the Abbasid caliph, al-Mansur , founded a completely new city
for his capital, he chose the name Madinat al-Salaam or _City of
Peace_. This was the official name on coins, weights, and other
official usage, although the common people continued to use the old
name. By the 11th century, "Baghdad" became almost the exclusive
name for the world-renowned metropolis.
History of Baghdad and
Timeline of Baghdad
Al Khulafa historical mosque in
After the fall of the
Umayyads , the first Muslim dynasty, the
victorious Abbasid rulers wanted their own capital from which they
could rule. They chose a site north of the
Sassanid capital of
Ctesiphon (and also just north of where ancient
Babylon had once
stood), and on 30 July 762 the caliph
Al-Mansur commissioned the
construction of the city. It was built under the supervision of the
Barmakids . Mansur believed that
Baghdad was the perfect city to be
the capital of the Islamic empire under the Abbasids. Mansur loved the
site so much he is quoted saying: "This is indeed the city that I am
to found, where I am to live, and where my descendants will reign
The city's growth was helped by its excellent location, based on at
least two factors: it had control over strategic and trading routes
Tigris , and it had an abundance of water in a dry climate.
Water exists on both the north and south ends of the city, allowing
all households to have a plentiful supply, which was very uncommon
during this time.
Baghdad eclipsed Ctesiphon, the capital of the Persian Empire , which
was located some 30 km (19 mi) to the southeast. Today, all that
Ctesiphon is the shrine town of
Salman Pak , just to the
south of Greater Baghdad.
Ctesiphon itself had replaced and absorbed
Seleucia , the first capital of the
Seleucid Empire , which had
earlier replaced the city of
In its early years, the city was known as a deliberate reminder of an
expression in the Qur\'an , when it refers to
Paradise . It took four
years to build (764–768). Mansur assembled engineers, surveyors, and
art constructionists from around the world to come together and draw
up plans for the city. Over 100,000 construction workers came to
survey the plans; many were distributed salaries to start the building
of the city. July was chosen as the starting time because two
Naubakht Ahvazi and Mashallah , believed that the city
should be built under the sign of the lion , Leo . Leo is associated
with fire and symbolises productivity, pride, and expansion.
The bricks used to make the city were 18 inches (460 mm) on all four
sides. Abu Hanifah was the counter of the bricks and he developed a
canal, which brought water to the work site for the use of both human
consumption and the manufacturing of the bricks. Marble was also used
to make buildings throughout the city, and marble steps led down to
the river's edge.
The basic framework of the city consists of two large semicircles
about 19 km (12 mi) in diameter. The city was designed as a circle
about 2 km (1.2 mi) in diameter, leading it to be known as the "Round
City". The original design shows a single ring of residential and
commercial structures along the inside of the city walls, but the
final construction added another ring inside the first. Within the
city there were many parks, gardens, villas, and promenades. In the
center of the city lay the mosque , as well as headquarters for
guards. The purpose or use of the remaining space in the center is
unknown. The circular design of the city was a direct reflection of
the traditional Persian Sasanian urban design . The Sasanian city of
Gur in Fars , built 500 years before Baghdad, is nearly identical in
its general circular design, radiating avenues, and the government
buildings and temples at the centre of the city. This style of urban
planning contrasted with Ancient Greek and Roman urban planning, in
which cities are designed as squares or rectangles with streets
intersecting each other at right angles. Panoramic view over
the ancient city of
Babylon , located 85 km (53 mi) south of Baghdad.
The four surrounding walls of
Baghdad were named
Khurasan , and
Syria ; named because their gates pointed in the
directions of these destinations. The distance between these gates was
a little less than 2.4 km (1.5 mi). Each gate had double doors that
were made of iron; the doors were so heavy it took several men to open
and close them. The wall itself was about 44 m thick at the base and
about 12 m thick at the top. Also, the wall was 30 m high, which
included merlons , a solid part of an embattled parapet usually
pierced by embrasures . This wall was surrounded by another wall with
a thickness of 50 m. The second wall had towers and rounded merlons,
which surrounded the towers. This outer wall was protected by a solid
glacis , which is made out of bricks and quicklime . Beyond the outer
wall was a water-filled moat.
Golden Gate Palace
The Golden Gate Palace, the residence of the caliph and his family,
was in the middle of Baghdad, in the central square. In the central
part of the building, there was a green dome that was 39 m high.
Surrounding the palace was an esplanade , a waterside building, in
which only the caliph could come riding on horseback. In addition, the
palace was near other mansions and officer's residences. Near the Gate
of Syria, a building served as the home for the guards. It was made of
brick and marble. The palace governor lived in the latter part of the
building and the commander of the guards in the front. In 813, after
the death of caliph
Al-Amin , the palace was no longer used as the
home for the caliph and his family. The roundness points to the fact
that it was based on
Arabic script . The two designers who were hired
Al-Mansur to plan the city's design were
Naubakht , a Zoroastrian
who also determined that the date of the foundation of the city would
be astrologically auspicious, and Mashallah , a Jew from Khorasan ,
Abbasids And The Round City
Round city of Baghdad
Round city of Baghdad between 767 and 912 AD
Abbasid Caliphate was based on their being the descendants of the
Muhammad and being part of the Quraysh tribe. They used
Shi\'a resentment, Khorasanian movement, and appeals to the ambitions
and traditions of the newly conquered Persian aristocracy to overthrow
Umayyads . The Abbasids sought to combine the hegemony of the
Arab tribes with the imperial, court, ceremonial, and administrative
structures of the Persians. The Abbasids considered themselves the
inherittures and the need of Mansur to place the capital in a place
that was representative of Arab-Islamic identity by building the House
of Wisdom , where ancient texts were translated from their original
language, such as Greek, to Arabic. Mansur is credited with the
Translation Movement " for this. Further,
Baghdad is also near the
Sassanid imperial seat of
Ctesiphon on the
CENTER OF LEARNING (8TH TO 13TH CENTURIES)
Islamic Golden Age
Within a generation of its founding,
Baghdad became a hub of learning
and commerce . The
House of Wisdom was an establishment dedicated to
the translation of Greek ,
Middle Persian and Syriac works. Scholars
Baghdad from all over the
Abbasid Caliphate , facilitating
the introduction of Persian, Greek and Indian science into the Arabic
Islamic world at that time.
Baghdad was likely the largest city in
the world from shortly after its foundation until the 930s, when it
was tied by Córdoba . Several estimates suggest that the city
contained over a million inhabitants at its peak. Many of the _One
Thousand and One Nights _ tales are set in
Baghdad during this period.
Among the notable features of
Baghdad during this period were its
exceptional libraries. Many of the Abbasid caliphs were patrons of
learning and enjoyed collecting both ancient and contemporary
literature. Although some of the princes of the previous Umayyad
dynasty had begun to gather and translate Greek scientific literature,
the Abbasids were the first to foster Greek learning on a large scale.
Many of these libraries were private collections intended only for the
use of the owners and their immediate friends, but the libraries of
the caliphs and other officials soon took on a public or a semi-public
character. Four great libraries were established in
this period. The earliest was that of the famous Al Mamun, who was
caliph from 813 to 833. Another was established by Sabur Ibn Ardashir
in 991 or 993 for the literary men and scholars who frequented his
academy. Unfortunately, this second library was plundered and burned
Seljuks only seventy years after it was established. This was a
good example of the sort of library built up out of the needs and
interests of a literary society. The last two were examples of
_madrasa_ or theological college libraries. The Nizamiyah was founded
by the Persian Nizam al Mulk, who was vizier of two early Seljuk
sultans. It continued to operate even after the coming of the Mongols
in 1258. The Mustansiriyah _madrasa_, which owned an exceedingly rich
library, was founded by Al Mustansir, the second last Abbasid caliph,
who died in 1242. This would prove to be the last great library built
by the caliphs of Baghdad.
End Of The Abbasids In Baghdad
Suq al-Ghazel (The Yarn Bazaar)
Minaret in Baghdad, Mesopotamia
Iraq ). This is the oldest minaret in Baghdad. It belonged to the
Mosque , built by
Caliph Muktafi 901–907 AD. Zumurrud
Khaton tomb in
Baghdad (built in 1202 AD), photo of 1932.
By the 10th century, the city's population was between 1.2 million
and 2 million. Baghdad's early meteoric growth eventually slowed due
to troubles within the
Caliphate , including relocations of the
Samarra (during 808–819 and 836–892), the loss of the
western and easternmost provinces, and periods of political domination
by the Iranian Buwayhids (945–1055) and
Seljuk Turks (1055–1135).
Seljuks were a clan of the
Oghuz Turks from the Central Asia that
converted to the
Sunni branch of Islam. In 1040, they destroyed the
Ghaznavids , taking over their land and in 1055,
Tughril Beg , the
leader of the Seljuks, took over Baghdad. The
Seljuks expelled the
Buyid dynasty of Shiites that ruled for some time and took over power
and control of Baghdad. They ruled as
Sultans in the name of the
Abbasid caliphs (they saw themselves as being part of the Abbasid
Tughril Beg saw himself as the protector of the Abbasid
Wars in which
Baghdad was involved are listed below:
Siege of Baghdad (812–813) , Fourth Fitna (Islamic Civil War)
* Siege of
Caliphal Civil War (865–866)
Battle of Baghdad (946) , Buyid–Hamdanid War
Siege of Baghdad (1157) , Abbasid–Seljuq Wars
Siege of Baghdad (1258) , Mongol conquest of Baghdad
* Siege of
Baghdad (1401) , by Tamerlane
Capture of Baghdad (1534)
Capture of Baghdad (1534) , Ottoman–
Capture of Baghdad (1623) , Ottoman–
* Siege of
Baghdad (1625) , Ottoman–
Capture of Baghdad (1638) , Ottoman–
Fall of Baghdad (1917) , World War I
* 1941 Iraqi coup d\'état , World War II
Battle of Baghdad (2003) ,
United States invasion of Iraq
Baghdad was captured by the
Fatimids under the Turkish
general Abu\'l-Ḥārith Arslān al-Basasiri , an adherent of the
Ismailis along with the 'Uqaylid Quraysh. Not long before the arrival
of the Saljuqs in Baghdad, al-Basasiri petitioned to the Fatimid
Caliph al-Mustansir to support him in conquering
Baghdad on the
Ismaili Imam's behalf. It has recently come to light that the famed
Fatimid _da\'i _, al-Mu\'ayyad al-Shirazi , had a direct role in
supporting al-Basasiri and helped the general to succeed in taking
Mawṣil , Wāsit and
Kufa . Soon after, by December 1058, a Shi'i
_adhān _ (call to prayer) was implemented in
Baghdad and a _khutbah _
(sermon) was delivered in the name of the Fatimid Imam-Caliph.
Despite his Shi'i inclinations, Al-Basasiri received support from
Sunnis and Shi'is alike, for whom opposition to the Saljuq power was a
common factor. Conquest of
Baghdad by the
Mongols in 1258
On 10 February 1258,
Baghdad was captured by the
Mongols led by
Hulegu , a grandson of Chingiz Khan (
Genghis Khan ), during the siege
Baghdad . Many quarters were ruined by fire, siege, or looting.
Mongols massacred most of the city's inhabitants, including the
caliph Al-Musta\'sim , and destroyed large sections of the city. The
canals and dykes forming the city's irrigation system were also
destroyed. During this time, in Baghdad, Christians and Shia were
tolerated, while Sunnis were treated as enemies. The sack of Baghdad
put an end to the Abbasid Caliphate, a blow from which the Islamic
civilization never fully recovered.
At this point,
Baghdad was ruled by the
Ilkhanate , a breakaway state
of the Mongol Empire, ruling from Iran. In 1401,
Baghdad was again
sacked, by the Central Asian Turkic conqueror
When his forces took Baghdad, he spared almost no one, and ordered
that each of his soldiers bring back two severed human heads. It
became a provincial capital controlled by the Mongol Jalayirid
Kara Koyunlu (1411–1469), Turkic Ak Koyunlu
(1469–1508), and the Iranian
Safavid (1508–1534) dynasties.
OTTOMAN ERA (16TH TO 19TH CENTURIES)
Baghdad Eyalet and
Baghdad Vilayet Souk in Baghdad,
Baghdad was captured by the Ottoman Turks . Under the
Baghdad continued into a period of decline, partially as a
result of the enmity between its rulers and Iranian Safavids, which
did not accept the
Sunni control of the city. Between 1623 and 1638 ,
it returned to Iranian rule before falling back into Ottoman hands.
Baghdad has suffered severely from visitations of the plague and
cholera , and sometimes two-thirds of its population has been wiped
For a time,
Baghdad had been the largest city in the Middle East. The
city saw relative revival in the latter part of the 18th century under
a Mamluk government. Direct Ottoman rule was reimposed by Ali Rıza
Pasha in 1831. From 1851 to 1852 and from 1861 to 1867,
governed, under the
Ottoman Empire by
Mehmed Namık Pasha . The
Nuttall Encyclopedia reports the 1907 population of
20TH AND 21ST CENTURIES
See also: Mandatory
Iraq and Kingdom of
Iraq The Shabandar
Café in Baghdad, 1923
Baghdad and southern
Iraq remained under Ottoman rule until 1917,
when captured by the British during World War I. In 1920, Baghdad
became the capital of the
British Mandate of Mesopotamia
British Mandate of Mesopotamia and after
receiving independence in 1932, the capital of the Kingdom of
The city's population grew from an estimated 145,000 in 1900 to
580,000 in 1950. During the Mandate, Baghdad's substantial Jewish
community comprised a quarter of the city's population.
On 1 April 1941, members of the "Golden Square" and
Rashid Ali staged
a coup in
Rashid Ali installed a pro-German and pro-Italian
government to replace the pro-British government of
Regent Abdul Ilah
. On 31 May, after the resulting
Anglo-Iraqi War and after Rashid Ali
and his government had fled, the Mayor of
Baghdad surrendered to
British and Commonwealth forces.
On 14 July 1958, members of the
Iraqi Army , under Abd al-Karim Qasim
, staged a coup to topple the Kingdom of
Iraq . King
Faisal II ,
former Prime Minister
Nuri as-Said , former
Regent Prince \'Abd
al-Ilah , members of the royal family, and others were brutally killed
during the coup. Many of the victim's bodies were then dragged through
the streets of Baghdad.
Mosque in 1935
During the 1970s,
Baghdad experienced a period of prosperity and
growth because of a sharp increase in the price of petroleum , Iraq's
main export. New infrastructure including modern sewerage, water, and
highway facilities were built during this period. The masterplans of
the city (1967, 1973) were delivered by the Polish planning office
Miastoprojekt-Kraków, mediated by Polservice. However, the
Iraq War of the 1980s was a difficult time for the city, as
money was diverted by
Saddam Hussein to the army and thousands of
residents were killed.
Iran launched a number of missile attacks
Baghdad in retaliation for
Saddam Hussein's continuous
bombardments of Tehran's residential districts.
In 1991 and 2003, the
Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of
significant damage to Baghdad's transportation, power , and sanitary
infrastructure as the US-led coalition forces launched massive aerial
assaults in the city in the two wars. Also in 2003, the minor riot in
the city (which took place on 21 July) caused some disturbance in the
The historic "Assyrian Quarter" of the city, Dora, which boasted a
population of 150,000 Assyrians in 2003, made up over 3% of the
capital's Assyrian population then. The community has been subject to
kidnappings, death threats, vandalism, and house burnings by Alqaida
and other insurgent groups. As of the end of 2014, only 1,500
Assyrians remained in Dora.
Al-Mutanabbi Statue at the end of
Mutanabbi Street beside the
Points of interest include the
National Museum of Iraq whose
priceless collection of artifacts was looted during the 2003 invasion,
and the iconic Hands of Victory arches. Multiple Iraqi parties are in
discussions as to whether the arches should remain as historical
monuments or be dismantled. Thousands of ancient manuscripts in the
National Library were destroyed under
Saddam 's command.
Mutanabbi Street (Arabic: شارع المتنبي) is located near
the old quarter of Baghdad; at Al Rasheed Street. It is the historic
center of Baghdadi book-selling, a street filled with bookstores and
outdoor book stalls. It was named after the 10th-century classical
Al-Mutanabbi . This street is well established for
bookselling and has often been referred to as the heart and soul of
Baghdad literacy and intellectual community.
The zoological park used to be the largest in the
Middle East .
Within eight days following the 2003 invasion, however, only 35 of the
650 animals in the facility survived. This was a result of theft of
some animals for human food, and starvation of caged animals that had
Lawrence Anthony and some of the zoo keepers
cared for the animals and fed the carnivores with donkeys they had
bought locally. Eventually,
L. Paul Bremer , Director of the
Coalition Provisional Authority in
Iraq from 11 May 2003 to 28 June
2004 ordered protection of the zoo and U.S. engineers helped to reopen
MOSQUE OF THE KADHIMAIN
Mosque is a shrine that is located in the Kādhimayn
suburb of Baghdad. It contains the tombs of the seventh and ninth
Twelver Shi\'ite Imams ,
Musa al-Kadhim and
respectively, upon whom the title of _Kāẓimayn_ (
كَـاظِـمَـيـن, "Two who swallow their anger") was
bestowed. Many Shi'ites travel to the mosque from far away places
MOSQUE OF ABU HANIFAH
Kadhimiyyah is a predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood with a
Mosque that is associated with Shi'ite Imams , A\'dhamiyyah is a
Sunni area with a
Mosque that is associated with the
Imam Abu Hanifah. The name of _Al-A‘ẓamiyyah_ (
الأَعـظَـمِـيَّـة) is derived from Abu
Hanifah's title, _al-Imām al-A‘ẓam_ (
Arabic : الإِمَـام
الأَعـظَـم, the Great Imam).
Orbital view of
The city is located on a vast plain bisected by the River
Baghdad in half, with the eastern half being called
"Risafa " and the Western half known as "
Karkh ". The land on which
the city is built is almost entirely flat and low-lying, being of
alluvial origin due to the periodic large floods which have occurred
on the river.
Baghdad has a subtropical desert climate (Köppen climate
classification _BWh_) and is one of the hottest cities in the world.
In the summer from June to August, the average maximum temperature is
as high as 44 °C (111 °F) accompanied by blazing sunshine: rainfall
has in fact been recorded on fewer than half a dozen occasions at this
time of year and has never exceeded 1 millimetre (0.04 in). Even at
night temperatures in summer are seldom below 24 °C (75 °F).
Baghdad's record highest temperature of 124 degrees Fahrenheit (51
degrees Celsius) was reached in July 2015. The humidity is typically
very low (under 10%) due to Baghdad's distance from the marshy
Iraq and the coasts of
Persian Gulf , and dust storms from
the deserts to the west are a normal occurrence during the summer.
Winters boast mild days and chilly nights. From December to February,
Baghdad has maximum temperatures averaging 15.5 to 18.5 °C (59.9 to
65.3 °F), though highs above 70 °F (21 °C) are not unheard of.
Morning temperatures can be chilly: the average January low is 3.8 °C
(38.8 °F) but lows below freezing only occur a couple of times per
Annual rainfall, almost entirely confined to the period from November
to March, averages around 150 mm (5.91 in), but has been as high as
338 mm (13.31 in) and as low as 37 mm (1.46 in). On 11 January 2008,
light snow fell across
Baghdad for the first time in memory.
CLIMATE DATA FOR BAGHDAD
RECORD HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
RECORD LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE RAINFALL MM (INCHES)
AVERAGE RAINY DAYS (≥ 0.001 MM)
AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
World Meteorological Organization
World Meteorological Organization (UN )
Source #2: Climate ">
Baghdad as seen from the International
Baghdad Governorate is divided into districts which
are further divided into sub-districts . Municipally, the governorate
is divided into 9 municipalities, which have responsibility for local
issues. Regional services, however, are coordinated and carried out by
a mayor who oversees the municipalities. There is no single city
council that singularly governs
Baghdad at a municipal level. The
governorate council is responsible for the governorate-wide policy.
These official subdivisions of the city served as administrative
centres for the delivery of municipal services but until 2003 had no
political function. Beginning in April 2003, the U.S. controlled
Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) began the process of creating
new functions for these. The process initially focused on the election
of neighbourhood councils in the official neighbourhoods, elected by
The CPA convened a series of meetings in each neighbourhood to
explain local government, to describe the caucus election process and
to encourage participants to spread the word and bring friends,
relatives and neighbours to subsequent meetings. Each neighbourhood
process ultimately ended with a final meeting where candidates for the
new neighbourhood councils identified themselves and asked their
neighbours to vote for them.
Once all 88 (later increased to 89) neighbourhood councils were in
place, each neighbourhood council elected representatives from among
their members to serve on one of the city's nine district councils.
The number of neighbourhood representatives on a district council is
based upon the neighbourhood's population. The next step was to have
each of the nine district councils elect representatives from their
membership to serve on the 37 member
Baghdad City Council. This three
tier system of local government connected the people of
Baghdad to the
central government through their representatives from the
neighbourhood, through the district, and up to the city council.
The same process was used to provide representative councils for the
other communities in
Baghdad Province outside of the city itself.
There, local councils were elected from 20 neighbourhoods (Nahia) and
these councils elected representatives from their members to serve on
six district councils (Qada). As within the city, the district
councils then elected representatives from among their members to
serve on the 35 member
Baghdad Regional Council.
The first step in the establishment of the system of local government
Baghdad Province was the election of the
Council. As before, the representatives to the Provincial Council were
elected by their peers from the lower councils in numbers proportional
to the population of the districts they represent. The 41 member
Provincial Council took office in February 2004 and served until
national elections held in January 2005, when a new Provincial Council
This system of 127 separate councils may seem overly cumbersome;
Baghdad Province is home to approximately seven million
people. At the lowest level, the neighbourhood councils, each council
represents an average of 75,000 people. The Sindbad Hotel Complex
and Conference Center Al-Ma'mun's Telecommunication Center in
The nine District Advisory Councils (DAC) are as follows:
Sadr City (Thawra)
* Al Rashid
New Baghdad (Tisaa Nissan) (9 April)
The nine districts are subdivided into 89 smaller neighborhoods which
may make up sectors of any of the districts above. The following is a
_selection_ (rather than a complete list) of these neighborhoods:
* Hayy Al-Jami\'a
* Hayy Al-A\'amel
Baghdad's population was estimated at 7.22 million in 2015. The city
historically had a predominantly
Sunni population, by the early 21st
century around 82% of the city's population were Iraqi Shia . At the
beginning of the 21st century, some 1.5 million people migrated to
Baghdad, most of them Shiites and a few Sunnis.
As early as 2003, about 20 percent of the population of the city was
the result of mixed marriages between Shi'ites and Sunnis: they are
often referred to as "Sushis". Following ethnic cleansing campaigns
Sunni and then Shia militia groups during the U.S. occupation of
Iraq the city's population became overwhelmingly Shia and despite the
government's promise to resettle Sunnis displaced by the violence,
little has been done to bring this about. The Iraqi Civil War
following ISIS\' invasion in 2014 caused hundreds of thousands of
Iraqi internally displaced people to flee to the city. The city
currently has Shia, Sunni,
Assyrian Christian and mixed neighborhoods
but is the world's second largest Shia city after
THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it .
Baghdad accounts for 22.2 per cent of Iraq's population and 40 per
cent of the country's gross domestic product (PPP).
Iraqi Airways ,
the national airline of Iraq, has its headquarters on the grounds of
Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad.
Al-Naser Airlines has its
head office in
Karrada , Baghdad.
Further information: Investment in post-invasion
Most Iraqi reconstruction efforts have been devoted to the
restoration and repair of badly damaged urban infrastructure. More
visible efforts at reconstruction through private development, like
architect and urban designer
Hisham N. Ashkouri 's
Plan and the
Sindbad Hotel Complex and Conference Center have also
been made. A plan was proposed by a Government agency to rebuild a
tourist island in 2008. In late 2009, a construction plan was
proposed to rebuild the heart of Baghdad, but the plan was never
realized because corruption was involved in it.
Baghdad Eye, a 198 m (650 ft) tall
Ferris wheel , was proposed
Baghdad in August 2008. At that time, three possible locations had
been identified, but no estimates of cost or completion date were
given. In October 2008, it was reported that Al-Zawraa Park was
expected to be the site, and a 55 m (180 ft) wheel was installed
there in March 2011.
Iraq's Tourism Board is also seeking investors to develop a
"romantic" island on the River
Baghdad that was once a
popular honeymoon spot for newlywed Iraqis. The project would include
a six-star hotel, spa, an 18-hole golf course and a country club. In
addition, the go-ahead has been given to build numerous
architecturally unique skyscrapers along the
Tigris that would develop
the city's financial centre in Kadhehemiah.
In October 2008, the
Baghdad Metro resumed service. It connects the
center to the southern neighborhood of Dora . In May 2010, a new
residential and commercial project nicknamed
Baghdad Gate was
announced. This project not only addresses the urgent need for new
residential units in
Baghdad but also acts as a real symbol of
progress in the war torn city, as
Baghdad has not seen projects of
this scale for decades.
Baghdad Mall (4 floors) +
Baghdad Rayhan Hotel by Rotana
+ offices (30 floors) (105 metres) + offices (7 floors)
Baghdad Taji 60,000 seats Stadium.
Baghdad Bismayah New City 100,000 housing units.
Baghdad Zuhour 5400 units (100 apartments)
Baghdad Ibn Firnas Residential Project 2016 housing Units
Baghdad Al Ayadi Residential Project 1335 housing Units
Riyadh Apartments 8 floors
THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (March
Mustansiriya Madrasah was established in 1227 by the Abbasid
Caliph al-Mustansir. The name was changed to Al-Mustansiriya
University in 1963. The
University of Baghdad is the largest
Iraq and the second largest in the
Prior to the
Gulf War multiple international schools operated in
* École française de Bagdad
* Deutsche Schule Bagdad
Baghdad Japanese School (バグダッド日本人学校), a
University of Baghdad
* University of Technology,
Baghdad Arabic and Culture of
Iraq The Iraqi National
Symphony Orchestra , officially founded in 1959, performing a concert
Iraq in July 2007.
Baghdad has always played a significant role in the broader Arab
cultural sphere , contributing several significant writers, musicians
and visual artists. Famous
Arab poets and singers such as Nizar
Umm Kulthum ,
Salah Al-Hamdani , Ilham al-Madfai
and others have performed for the city.
The dialect of
Arabic spoken in
Baghdad today differs from that of
other large urban centres in Iraq, having features more characteristic
Arabic dialects (Verseegh, _The
Arabic Language_). It is
possible that this was caused by the repopulating of the city with
rural residents after the multiple sacks of the late
Middle Ages .
For poetry written about Baghdad, see
Reuven Snir (ed.), _Baghdad:
The City in Verse_ (Harvard, 2013)
Two ballet dancers of the Iraqi National
Ballet (which is based
in Baghdad) performing a ballet show in
Iraq in 2007. Many
events are hosted at the
Baghdad Convention Center
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
* National Theater – The theatre was looted during the 2003
Iraq , but efforts are underway to restore the theatre.
The live theatre scene received a boost during the 1990s, when UN
sanctions limited the import of foreign films. As many as 30 movie
theatres were reported to have been converted to live stages,
producing a wide range of comedies and dramatic productions.
Institutions offering cultural education in
Baghdad include The Music
Ballet School of
Baghdad and the Institute of Fine Arts
Baghdad is also home to a number of museums which housed artifacts and
relics of ancient civilization ; many of these were stolen, and the
museums looted, during the widespread chaos immediately after United
States forces entered the city.
During the 2003 occupation of
Iraq , AFN
Iraq ("Freedom Radio")
broadcast news and entertainment within Baghdad, among other
locations. There is also a private radio station called "Dijlah"
(named after the
Arabic word for the
Tigris River) that was created in
2004 as Iraq's first independent talk radio station. Radio Dijlah
offices, in the
Jamia neighborhood of Baghdad, have been attacked on
Baghdad is home to some of the most successful football (soccer)
teams in Iraq, the biggest being Al-Shorta (Police), Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
(Airforce club), Al-Zawra\'a , and Talaba (Students). The largest
Al-Shaab Stadium , which was opened in 1966.
Another, but much larger stadium, is still in the opening stages of
The city has also had a strong tradition of horse racing ever since
World War I
World War I , known to Baghdadis simply as 'Races'. There are reports
of pressures by the Islamists to stop this tradition due to the
Haifa Street , as seen from the Medical City Hospital across the
Tigris River Palestine Meridian hotel and Ishtar Sheraton
hotel A street in Baghdad, 2015
* Salihiya Residential area - situated off Al Sinak bridge in
central Baghdad, surrounded by Al- Mansur Hotel in the north and
Al-Rasheed hotel in the south
* Hilla Road – Runs from the south into
Baghdad via Yarmouk
* Caliphs Street – site of historical mosques and churches
* Sadoun Street – stretching from Liberation Square to Masbah
* Mohammed Al-Qassim highway near
* Abu Nuwas Street – runs along the
Tigris from the Jumhouriya
Bridge to 14 July Suspended Bridge
Damascus Street – goes from
Damascus Square to the Baghdad
Mutanabbi Street – A street with numerous books, named after the
10th century Iraqi poet
* Rabia Street
* Arbataash Tamuz (14th July) Street (
Mosul Road )
* Muthana al-Shaibani Street
* Bor Saeed (Port Said) Street
* Thawra Street
* Al Qanat Street – runs through
* Al Khat al Sare'a – Mohammed al Qasim (high speed lane) – runs
through Bagdhad, north-south
* Al Sinaa Street (Industry Street) runs by the University of
Technology – centre of computers trade in Baghdad
* Al Nidhal Street
Al Rasheed Street
Al Rasheed Street – city centre Baghdad
* Al Jamhuriah Street – city centre Baghdad
* Tariq el Muaskar – (Al Rasheed Camp Road)
* Aakhrot street
Baghdad Airport Road
TWIN TOWNS/SISTER CITIES
Arab world portal
1950–51 Baghdad bombings
Round city of Baghdad
Round city of Baghdad
* List of places in
Firdos Square - is a public open space in
Baghdad and the location
of two of the best-known hotels, the Palestine Hotel and the Sheraton
Ishtar, which are both also the tallest buildings in Baghdad. The
square was the site of the statue of
Saddam Hussein that was pulled
down by U.S. coalition forces in a widely televised event during the
2003 invasion of Iraq.
Operation Imposing Law
Baghdad Security Plan
* Anti-Zionist League in
Iraq - founded in
Baghdad in 1945
* Fall of
* Battle of
* Battle of
* Siege of
* Siege of
* Siege of
* Siege of
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* Amanat/Mayoralty of Baghdad
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* Envisioning Reconstruction In