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 ... More 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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