Baghdad is the capital of Iraq and the Baghdad province. It is situated on
the River Tigris at a position where the Tigris is about 50 kilometres from
the Euphrates River.
It is the second largest city in south west Asia after Theran with an estimated population in 2003 of about 5.772.000 inhabitants. The city is rather flat, the western side of Baghdad has wide boulevards, more expensive homes and more government buildings, the low-income housing is in general situated in the east.
Historically Baghdad was a great importance to international trade, commerce routes from Persia, India and Europe met at the city. The town is still well connected by rail, road and air.
Baghdad was under Ottoman rule until the establishment of the kingdom of Iraq
under British control in 1921, reached a formal independence in 1932 and a complete
independence in 1946. the population of the city increased from 145.000 in 1900
to 580.000 in 1950. During the 1970s Baghdad went through a period of growth
and prosperity because the petroleum’s price (Iraq’s main export)
increased a lot. During this period new infrastructures were built.
The Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s instead signed a difficult time for Baghdad, much money was spent into the army and thousands of people lost their life.
Also the Persian Gulf War of 1991 caused serious damage to the city, especially in transportation, power and sanitary infrastructure.
In March and April 2003 in the invasion of Iraq, Baghdad was bombed violently
and fell under US control. During the occupation by US troops the city had to
go through additional damage and the loss of further people and essential services
such as electricity. The city became dangers for its citizens at night and crime
increased heavily. Unfortunately also Baghdad’s most important cultural
institutions and historical values were damaged during the different periods
of attack and occupation.
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