Republic of Iraq

Al-Jumhuriyah al-'Iraqiyah

CAPITAL : Baghdad

FLAG : The national flag is a tricolor of red, white, and black horizontal stripes, with three five-pointed stars in green in the center of the white stripe. In 1991 the phrase Allahu Akbar ("God is Great") in green Arabic script was added between the stars.

ANTHEM : Al-Salaam al-Jumhuri (Salute of the Republic).

MONETARY UNIT : The Iraqi dinar ( ID ) is a paper currency of 1,000 fils. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 250 fils, and notes of 250 and 500 fils and 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 dinars. As of May 2003, 1 ID = $.0008547 (or $1 = ID 1,170) as of May 2003.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard, but weights and measures in general use vary, especially in domestic transactions. The unit of land is the dunam, which is equivalent to approximately 0.25 hectare (0.62 acre).

HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Army Day, 6 January; 14th Ramadan Revolution Day, 8 February; Declaration of the Republic, 14 July; and Peaceful Revolution Day, 17 July. Muslim religious holidays include 'Id al-Fitr, 'Id al-'Adha', Milad an-Nabi, and Islamic New Year.

TIME : 3 PM = noon GMT.


Arabic is the national language and is the mother tongue of an estimated 79% of the population. Kurdish—the official language in Kurdish regions—or a dialect of it, is spoken by the Kurds and Yazidis. Aranaic, the ancient Syriac dialect, is retained by the Assyrians. Another Syriac dialect, Mandaean, is the liturgical language of the Sabaeans. The Turkomans speak a Turkic dialect. Armenian is also spoken.


Animal husbandry is widespread. Sheep raising is most important, with wool used domestically for weaving carpets and cloaks. In 2001, Iraq had an estimated 6.1 million sheep; 1.6 million goats; 1.4 million head of cattle, and numerous donkeys, camels, mules, buffaloes, and poultry. In 2001, of the 300,000 tons of milk produced by all livestock, 58% came from cows, 28% from sheep, 10% from goats, and 4% from buffaloes.


Centuries of overfishing without restocking reduced the formerly plentiful supply of river fish, but the fishing industry has rebounded since the early 1970s. The 2000 fish catch (including salmon and, especially in the Tigris, carp) was 20,766 tons. Since the 1990/91 war, and the closure of Iraq's ports because of fighting, the Iraqi fishing fleet has been dispersed around the world and does not operate in the Persian Gulf.


The insurance industry was nationalized in 1964. The State Insurance Organization supervises and maintains three companies: the National Life Insurance Co., the Iraqi Life Insurance Co., and the Iraqi Reinsurance Co. Third-party motor vehicle liability insurance is compulsory. In 1999, Iraqis spent $42 million on insurance.


UN sanctions have effectively frozen all of Iraq's foreign transactions for the near future. In October 1992, the UN Security Council permitted these frozen assets, including Iraqi oil in storage in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, to be sold without the permission of the Iraqi government. About $1 billion of frozen assets were to pay for compensation to Kuwaiti victims of the invasion and to cover UN operations inside Iraq.


Iraq has no territories or colonies.


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