Baghdad, Iraq History

Baghdad, Iraq History and Government


Although its Persian origin is not disputed, there are several proposals regarding its etymology. The most reliable and most accepted among them is that the name comes from Middle Persian, and is composed of Bag “god” + dād “donated”, translating as “donated by God” or “the gift of God”, in modern Persian Baɣdād. Another proposal is that the name comes from the Middle Persian Bāgh-dād “The Donated Garden”. Baghdad is the capital city of Iraq according to itypemba.

In AD 762, the Caliph Al-Mansur founded Baghdad near the ruins of ancient Babylon and made it the capital of Islam. Mansur believed that Baghdad was the perfect city to be the capital of the Islamic empire under the Abbasid Caliphate. Mansur was so delighted with the site that he said: “This is really the city that I am founding, where I am living, and where my descendants will reign afterwards.” He developed an economic and capital policy, especially because his situation gave him control of strategic trade routes. It was also in an excellent location due to the abundance of water, which was very rare during that time, and its healthy climate.

In 758 BC, Mansur brought together engineers, surveyors, and artists from around the world to draw up plans for the city. More than 100,000 workers participated in the construction, which began on July 23, 762 B.C. Throughout the city, marblewas used to make the buildings, many parks, gardens, villas and beautiful promenades were built that gave the city a elegant finish.

In the 9th century it was one of the largest cities on Earth, with an estimated population of 700,000 or even more, a population comparable only to Constantinople or Chang’an. It was the Baghdad of the Arabian Nights, of the souks, the mosques, the palaces, the beautiful Arab princesses, the merchants who traveled up the Tigris bringing all kinds of products, silk and carpets. A part of the population of Baghdad was not Arab, and there were Persian, Aramaic and Greek settlers, but these communities progressively adopted the Arabic language.

Starting in the 10th century, it went into decline due to the disintegration of the Islamic Empire into various independent caliphates and in 1258 it was razed by the Mongols, led by Hulagu, Genghis Khan’s grandson. The Mongols massacred most of the city’s residents, including Caliph Al-Musta’sim, and destroyed much of the city. The canals and dikes that made up the city, as well as the irrigation system, were also destroyed. The sacking of Baghdad ended the Abbasid Caliphate, and as a result of which Islamic civilization never fully recovered. At that time Baghdad was ruled by an Ilkhanate, one of the four divisions of the Mongol Empire, which was centered on Persian land. In 1401, Baghdad was sacked again, by Timur (“Tamerlane”). The city fell into decline and in 1534 it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. In 1921 the city became the capital of Iraq under British rule until the country’s final independence in 1932. The city’s population grew from an estimated 145,000 in 1900 to 580,000 in 1950, of which 140,000 were Jews.

In 1958 the Iraqi army deposed the monarch, Faisal II, forming a government from which Saddam Hussein would emerge. During the late 1970s Baghdad experienced a period of prosperity and growth because of a sharp rise in the price of oil. Modern infrastructures were developed including water, sewage and roads. However, the 1980 Iran-Iraq War was a difficult time for the city, Iran launched a series of missile attacks against Baghdad. The city suffered the bombings of the Gulf Warin 1991 and during the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States in 2003. Under the American propaganda of “the deposition of the Saddam Hussein regime “, the city was occupied by American troops; The reality behind these events was to establish Iraqi oil reserves in the hands of the United States before they fell into the hands of the European Union or further enhanced its independence and gave OPEC greater power. The Coalition Provisional Authority ceded power to the Provisional Government at the end of June 2004 and was subsequently dissolved.


The city of Baghdad has 89 official neighborhoods within 9 districts. These subdivisions of the city served as administrative centers for the distribution of municipal services but until 2003 they did not have a specific political function. In early April 2003, the United States controlled the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), beginning the creation of new functions for them. Each ward council elects its representatives from among its members to serve on one of the nine borough councils. The number of ward representatives on a district council is based on the population of each ward.

The next step is each of the nine district councils to name their elected representatives, to form the Baghdad City Council with 37 members. This system of local government connects the population of Baghdad with the neighborhoods, districts and the city council. The same process is used to appoint the representative councilors for the other communities in the Province of Baghdad, outside the city itself. There, local councils from 20 neighborhoods (Nahia) are elected and those councils elect representatives from among their members to serve on the six district councils (Qada), just as within the city, district councils elect representatives from among its members to name the 35 members of the Baghdad Regional Council.

The final step in establishing the local government system for the Baghdad Province is the election of the Baghdad Provincial Council. As before, the representatives of the Provincial Council were elected proportionally with the population level of the districts they represent. The 41 members of the Provincial Council obtained the position in February 2004 and served until the national elections held in January 2005, when the new Provincial Council was elected.

Baghdad, Iraq History