Iraq Culture Facts: You Must Read This Fascinating Article

Gincy Alphonse
Oct 07, 2022 By Gincy Alphonse
Originally Published on Mar 31, 2022
Edited by Sarah Nyamekye
Fact-checked by Niyati Parab
If you are interested in learning about Iraq culture facts, then be sure to read on!

Did you know that the Iraqi culture is one of the oldest in the world?

Or that Iraqis are considered to be some of the most hospitable people on Earth? If you're interested in learning more about this fascinating country and its culture, then you must read this article.

We'll discuss everything from food to religion to customs and traditions. So whether you're planning a trip to Iraq or just want to learn more about this amazing place, read on!

Ethnicity, Language, And Religion In Iraq

The Sumerian civilization's religious works and other conventional legends were preserved in considerable part by the succeeding Akkadian and Babylonian Empires, making Sumerian literature the earliest known corpus of recorded literature.

During the Middle Bronze Age, these records were recorded in the Sumerian language. By 3000 BCE, the Sumerians had devised one of the first writing systems, Sumerian cuneiform writing, which evolved from earlier proto-writing systems.

Even after the spoken language vanished from the populace, the Sumerian language remained in official and literary usage in the Akkadian and Babylonian Empires; literacy was widespread, and the Sumerian books that students copied profoundly affected later Babylonian literature.

The Sumerian language is the first written language that has been discovered. Iraq's official language is Arabic.

A wide range of ethnic groups speaks a variety of other languages, the most prominent of which is Kurdish. Iraqi Arabic (also known as, Baghdadi Arabic, Mesopotamian Qeltu Arabic, Mesopotamian Arabic, North Syrian Arabic, and Mesopotamian Gelet Arabic) is an Arabic dialect spoken in Iraq's Mesopotamian basin, south of Baghdad, as well as Iran and eastern Syria.

Modern Iraq is one of the most culturally varied countries in the Middle East. Arabs, Assyrians, Turkmen, Armenians, Mandaeans, and Kurds, for example, all speak their own languages and maintain their cultural and religious identities.

Iraqi schools and colleges used to be among the best in the Arab world.

The majority of Iraqis in the urban areas dress in Western-style apparel, while the majority of Iraqis in the rural areas dress in traditional attire. Women in Iraq traditionally wear a veil and a dark robe called an abaya (which they start wearing after their first menstrual period).

The abaya is a cloak that extends from the head to the ankles. In Iraqi society, a woman's mistake or lack of control is sometimes viewed as the patriarch of the family failing to safeguard her.

Furthermore, Iraqi society supports men inheriting twice as much as women due to the assumption that it is a man's responsibility to protect and provide for his female family members.

Children in the traditional Arab world often live with their parents until they marry or are ready to have a family of their own. As a result, the parental authority continues beyond the age of 18.

The various ethnic groups that make up the country speak their respective languages. The state's official religion is Islam. Shia Muslims make up about 69% of Iraqi Muslims, while Sunnis make up the balance.

Christians make up less than 1% of the population. Iraqi cuisine is one of the world's oldest cuisines, commonly known as Mesopotamian cuisine. Iraq developed the first cookbooks in the world.

Regardless of nationality, the majority of Iraqis are Muslims. Iraq, which had previously been a reasonably secular state, became a religious state under the tenure of Saddam Hussein.

Islam was effectively used to justify Saddam Hussein and his government. The words 'Allahu Akbar' (Allah is Greatest) were added to the Iraqi flag during Saddam's reign. Only Sunni Muslims wielded real influence under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship.

However, after his rule was overthrown, the Shia majority gained more power and influence. The Iraqi people have received greater freedom to display their religious identities, in addition to the power shift between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

The Shia and Sunnis are nearly identical in many ways, and the distinctions aren't as significant as one may believe. Following the passing away of the Prophet Muhammad and the discussion over his successor, the Shia/Sunni schism arose.

Major distinctions between the two routes can be seen in jurisprudence (i.e. prayer practices, marriage, inheritance, and so on) as well as minor aspects of faith.

Islam prescribes a way of life and rules political, legal, and social behavior regardless of one's orientation. It organizes one's day-to-day activities and provides moral guidance to both society and individuals. The Quran and the Prophet Muhammad's sayings (known as 'hadith') form the basis of Islam's principles.

Foreign visitors to Iraq should be aware of the major role religion plays in the country. People's opinions, identities, and behaviors are shaped by Islam.

Literature And Art In Iraq

Iraq is home to some of the oldest Islamic art in the world. The country has a long and rich history of literature, poetry, and music.

And Iraqi artists are well-known for their intricate calligraphy and beautiful Iraqi art. If you're interested in learning more about Iraq's culture and history through its art, then be sure to visit one of the many museums in the country.

Baghdad is home to the Iraq Museum (established in 1923), which has an antiquities collection, and the National Library (formed in 1920). The city also boasts some beautiful buildings from the Abbasid Empire's Golden Age in the eighth and ninth centuries, as well as from various Ottoman periods.

The government attempted, with limited success, to renovate some of Baghdad's old structures and even entire streets in the '70s.

Iraq is home to a variety of well-known archaeological sites, with objects from these sites on exhibit in excellent museums such as the Iraq Museum and the Mosul Museum (1951).

Following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Iraq Museum was heavily stolen. Thousands of the estimated 15,000 objects taken from the museum's collection have been recovered since then.

More than a million tourists visit Iraq each year in less turbulent times, many of them visiting the famous shrines of Karbala and Najaf. After the international embargo was imposed in 1991, tourism was severely restricted.

Iranian pilgrims were permitted back into Shia holy cities after 1998, and since 2003, nearly all restrictions on such travel have been lifted.

The Ba'ath Party was founded by a group of young government activists who favored Arab nationalism and socialism. According to legend, King Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BCE) created the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in Iraq for his wife, Amytis, to alleviate her homesickness for mountainous northern Persia (Iran).

Iraq's media is well-developed, however, it has always been conservative and conformist in nature.

There is a national television service as well as a number of regional television stations, one of which is in Kurdish.

The newspaper Al-Thawrah ('The Revolution') served as the official mouthpiece during the Baath dictatorship. Following the start of the Iraq War in 2003, there was an explosion of new publications of all kinds, with a wide range of political viewpoints being expressed.

Architecture, writing, music, art, painting, embroidery, pottery, calligraphy, masonry, and metalwork are among Iraq's oldest literary traditions.

Business Culture and Etiquette in Iraq

Iraqi business culture is hierarchical, based on age and position, and individuals defer all decision-making to the company's top manager. This person accepts full responsibility for the company's actions and the repercussions of those decisions. Iraqi Women are underrepresented in management roles, and their opinions are frequently dismissed.

Do not lose your cool. It is unlikely to lead to further talks, and it may make Iraqis wary of doing business with you.

Any hesitation or criticism should be expressed gently, tactfully, or in a one-on-one context. People in Iraq prefer to agree on contracts and follow through on them based on trust.

Iraqis are known for keeping word-of-mouth promises, so make sure what they say is what they mean. 'Inshallah', which loosely translates to 'If God wills/allows it to happen', is another option for an Arab. Inshallah is a means of expressing yes without committing to anything.

'I'll do my best', it implies, 'but in the end, it'll be up to God to make it happen'. As a result, if you are unable to do what you agreed to, it is not your fault or anybody else's, but God's will.


What is Iraq famous for?

Iraq is home to a wide range of ethnic groups and has a long and illustrious history. Poets, architects, painters, and sculptors from the country are among the greatest in the region, with some of them being world-class. Iraq is known for creating high-quality handicrafts, such as rugs and carpets, among other items.

What was the former name of Iraq?

The former name of Iraq is Mesopotamia.

What did Iraq invent?

The wheel, the first (exact) calendar, maps, the 60 second minute and 60 minute hour, the first schools, the first sailboats, and much more. Iraq has a long and fascinating history that continues to this day!

What language do they speak in Iraq?

While Arabic is the main language, some minority groups speak foreign languages, such as a large Kurdish-speaking population in the north.

What are five interesting facts about Iraq?

The Iraqi population is 41 million as of 2021.

Iraq's land area is 169,235.1 sq mi (438,317 sq km).

Iraq's capital city is Baghdad.

Arabic, Kurdish, Turkoman, Assyrian, and Armenian are spoken in Iraq.

In Iraq, the majority of the population is Muslim.

What is Iraq's religion?

Iraq's official state religion is Islam. Muslims make up about 97% of the population.

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Written by Gincy Alphonse

Bachelor of Computer Application

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Gincy AlphonseBachelor of Computer Application

As a skilled visual storyteller, Gincy's passion lies in bringing ideas to life through creative design. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Application from New Horizon College and has perfected her expertise with a PG Diploma in Graphic Design from Arena Animation. Gincy's talent shines in the realm of branding design, digital imaging, layout design, and print and digital content writing. She believes that content creation and clear communication are art forms in themselves, and is constantly striving to refine her craft.

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Fact-checked by Niyati Parab

Bachelor of Commerce

Niyati Parab picture

Niyati ParabBachelor of Commerce

With a background in digital marketing, Niyati brings her expertise to ensure accuracy and authenticity in every piece of content. She has previously written articles for MuseumFacts, a history web magazine, while also handling its digital marketing. In addition to her marketing skills, Niyati is fluent in six languages and has a Commerce degree from Savitribai Phule Pune University. She has also been recognized for her public speaking abilities, holding the position of Vice President of Education at the Toastmasters Club of Pune, where she won several awards and represented the club in writing and speech contests at the area level.

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