IRAQ TRAVEL GUIDE
Iraq is the birthplace of many of the Earth's oldest civilisations, including the Babylonians and the Assyrians. Officially the Republic of Iraq, it is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad.
The political situation in Iraq remains extremely unstable, even though the war was officially declared as over in December 2017. Travelling there remains extremely dangerous and strongly discouraged. All foreigners are still in danger of kidnapping, murder, and general armed violence. Although the northeast provinces which comprise Iraqi Kurdistan can be considered relatively safe for foreigners, the margins for errors are small. Sporadic violence can occur anywhere in the country. Tensions have risen especially at the beginning of 2020, with many Western countries recommending its citizens leave immediately due to the threat of a war breaking out or spilling over at any moment.
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IRAQ QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Baghdad
- Currency: Iraqi dinar (IQD)
- Area: 437,072 km
- Population: 38,43 million (2018)
- Language: Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Turkmen, Assyrian, Armenian, English (spoken)
- Religion: Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%
- Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
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IRAQ PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 Jan New Year’s Day.
- 6 Jan Army Day.
- 9 Apr Baghdad Liberation Day.
- 17 Apr FAO Day.
- 1 May Labor Day.
- 14 Jul Republic Day.
- 8 Aug Ceasefire Day (End of Iran-Iraq War).
- 3 Oct Iraqi Independence Day (National Day).
(Also, Maulid an-Nabi,Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Al Hijrah, Ashura)
IRAQ WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Iraq's climate is mainly of the continental and subtropical semi-arid type, except for the north and northeastern mountainous regions that have a Mediterranean climate. The country generally experiences winters that vary between cool and cold, and summers are dry with variations between hot and extremely hot temperatures. Rainfall is seasonal and occurs mostly during the winter season during December through February for most of the country except in the north and northeast, where the rainy season is from November to April. The climate is also influenced by South and Southeasterly Sharqi, which are dry dust winds that impact the country from April to June and September to November. The North, Northwest Shamal Winds also impact the climate, leading to extensive surface heating.