Iraqi people

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Iraqi people
العراقيون Irāqīyūn
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[[File:|border|60x80px|||]]
Total population
37,000,000+
Regions with significant populations
 Iraq 31,234,000[1]
 Syria 2 million+[2]
 Jordan 500,000, or less[3]{{{1}}}
 Iran 500,000+[4]
 Turkey 500,000+[5]
 United Kingdom 450,000+[6]
 Israel 400,000+[7]
 Egypt 150,000+[8]
 Germany 150,000+[9]
 UAE 150,000+[10]
 United States 140,000+[11]
 Sweden 120,000+[12]
 Kuwait 100,000+[13]
 Lebanon 100,000+[14]
 Yemen 100,000+[15]
 Australia 80,000+[16]
 Netherlands 60,000+
 Greece 5,000–40,000+[17]
. more countries
Languages
Arabic (79%); Kurdish (17%)
Aramaic (Assyrian & Chaldean) (2%); Turkmen (2%)
Religion
Islam (97%)
Others
Christianity, Mandaeism, Judaism and others
The Iraqis leads here. For The Iraqis political part, refer to The Iraqis (party)

The Iraqi people (Arabic: العراقيون ʿIrāqīyūn, Kurdish: گه‌لی عیراق Îraqîyan, Aramaic: ܥܡܐ ܥܝܪܩܝܐʿIrāqāyā, Turkish: Iraklılar) are the citizens of the modern country of Iraq.[18]

Arabs have been the majority in Mesopotamia since the Sassanid Empire (224-637 AD).[19] Arabic was spoken by the majority in the Iraqi Kingdom of Araba in the 1st and 2nd centuries,[20] and by Arabs in Al-Hirah from the 3rd century.[21] Arabs were common in Mesopotamia at the time of the Seleucids (3rd century BC).[22] The first Arab kingdom outside of Arabia was established in Iraq's Al-Hirah in the 3rd century.[19] Arabic was a minority language in northern Iraq in the 8th century BC,[23] from the 8th century following the Muslim conquest of Persia it became the dominant language of Iraqi Muslims, due to Arabic being the language of the Qur'an and the Caliphate.[24][25]

Kurdish Iraqi citizens live in the mountainous Zagros region of northeast Iraq to the east of the upper Tigris. Modern genetic studies indicate that Iraqi Arabs and Kurds are distantly related.[26][27] Arabic and Kurdish are Iraq's national languages.

Cultural history[edit]

Main articles: History of Iraq and Culture of Iraq

The Iraqi people have an ancient cultural history and civilization.[28][29]In ancient and medieval times Mesopotamia was the political and cultural centre of many great empires. The ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer is the oldest known civilization in the world,[30] and thus Iraq is widely known as the cradle of civilization.[28] Iraq remained an important centre of civilization for millennia, up until the Abbasid Caliphate (of which Baghdad was the capital), which was the most advanced empire of the medieval world (see Islamic Golden Age).

Genetics[edit]

One study found that Y-DNA Haplogroup J2 originated in northern Iraq.[31] In spite of the importance of this region, genetic studies on the Iraqi people are limited and generally restricted to analysis of classical markers due to Iraq's modern political instability,[31] although there have been several published studies displaying the genealogical connection between all Iraqi people and the neighbouring countries, across religious and linguistic barriers.

Iraqi mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup distribution is similar to that of Iran, Kuwait,[32] Georgia, and Armenia, whereas it substantially differs from that observed in Yemen.[31] Iraqi Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) haplogroup distribution is similar to that of Kuwait,[33] Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria.[31] No significant differences in Y-DNA variation were observed among Iraqi Arabs, Assyrians, or Kurds.[31]

For both mtDNA and Y-DNA variation, the large majority of the haplogroups observed in the Iraqi population (H, J, T, and U for the mtDNA, J2 and J1 for the Y-DNA) are those considered to have originated in Western Asia and to have later spread mainly in Western Eurasia.[31] The Eurasian haplogroups R1b and R1a represent the second most frequent component of the Iraqi Y-chromosome gene pool, the latter suggests that the population movements from Central Asia into modern Iran also influenced Iraq.[31]

Many historians and anthropologists provide strong circumstantial evidence to posit that Iraq's Maʻdān people share very strong links to the ancient Sumerians[30][34] - the most ancient inhabitants of southern Iraq,[30] and that Iraq's Mandaeans share the strongest links to the Babylonians.[35]

The Assyrian Christian population is related to other Iraqis,[27][30] and also to Jordanians, yet due to religious endogamy have a distinct genetic profile that distinguishes their population.[36] "The Assyrians are a fairly homogeneous group of people, believed to originate from the land of old Assyria in northern Iraq [..] they are Christians and are bona fide descendants of their namesakes."[37] Some Iraqis who today speak Arabic are originally of Assyrian roots.[38][39] In a 2011 study focusing on the genetics of the Maʻdān people of Iraq, researchers identified Y chromosome haplotypes shared by Marsh Arabs, Iraqis, and Assyrians, "supporting a common local background."[30]

Studies have reported that most Irish and Britons are descendants of farmers who left modern day Iraq and Syria 10,000 years ago.[40] Genetic researchers say they have found compelling evidence that four out of five (80% of) white Europeans can trace their roots to the Near East.[40] In another study, scientists analysed DNA from the 8,000 year-old remains of early farmers found at an ancient graveyard in Germany. They compared the genetic signatures to those of modern populations and found similarities with the DNA of people living in today's Turkey and Iraq.[41]

Identity[edit]

Main article: Iraqi nationalism

Iraqis have historically been a multilingual people, conversant in several languages but having a Semitic lingua franca. Iraqi identity transcends language boundaries and is more associated with geography; the TigrisEuphrates alluvial plain and its environs.[citation needed]

While Iraqis are often thought of as comprising several ethnic groups, most Iraqis, as a people with an ancient civic culture and tradition of multilingualism, have historically engaged in healthy inter-communal relations,[42] and favoured a common identity,[42] and due to this Iraqis as a whole can be seen to bear some characteristics of an ethnic group.[42]

The single identity and culture of the Iraqi people is most commonly seen in the Iraqi cuisine. Mesopotamian cuisine has changed and evolved since the time of the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Abbasids; however several traditional Iraqi dishes have already been traced back to antiquity[43] such as Iraq's national dish Masgouf and Iraq's national cookie Kleicha, which can be traced back to Sumerian times.[44]

Nowadays, the demonym "Iraqi" includes all minorities in the country, such as the Kurds and Turkmen (although these groups often specify their ethnicity by adding a suffix such as "Iraqi Kurdish" or "Iraqi Turkmen").

Iraqis trace their ancestry back to the ancient people of the land,[29][45] and are proud of their ancient Mesopotamian roots and legacy,[28][29] which contributed so much to the world.[29]

Language[edit]

Iraq's national languages are Arabic and Kurdish. Arabic is spoken as a first language by around 79 percent of Iraqi people, and Kurdish by around 17 percent. The two main regional dialects of Arabic spoken by the Iraqi people are Mesopotamian Arabic (spoken in the Babylonian alluvial plain and Middle Euphrates valley) and North Mesopotamian Arabic (spoken in the Assyrian highlands).[46] The two main dialects of Kurdish spoken by Kurdish Iraqis are Soranî (spoken in the provinces of Arbil and Sulaymaniyah)[47] and Kurmanji (spoken in the province of Dohuk).[47] In addition to Arabic, most Assyrians and some Mandaean Iraqis speak Neo-Aramaic dialect. Iraqi Arabic has an Aramaic substratum.[48]

The vast majority of Kurdish and Aramaic–speaking Iraqis also speak Iraqi Arabic.[47]

Religion[edit]

Iraq has many devout followers of its religions. In 1968 the Iraqi constitution established Islam as the official religion of the state as the majority of Iraqis (97%) are Muslim (predominantly Shīʻah but also including minority Sunni).

In addition to Islam, many Iraqi people are Christians belonging to various Christian denominations. Assyrians belong to the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church. Their numbers inside Iraq have dwindled considerably to around 300,000.

Other religious groups include Mandaeans, Shabaks, Yazidis and followers of other minority religions. Furthermore, Jews had also been present in Iraq in significant numbers historically, but their population dwindled, after virtually all of them migrated to Israel between 1949 to 1952.[49][50]

Diaspora[edit]

Main articles: Iraqi diaspora and Refugees of Iraq

Iraqis form one of the largest diasporas in the world. The Iraqi diaspora is not a sudden exodus but one that has grown rapidly through the 20th century as each generation faced some form of radical transition or political conflict. From 1950 to 1952 Iraq saw a great exodus of roughly ,000 - 130,000 of its Jewish population under the Israel-led "Operation Ezra and Nehemiah". There were at least two large waves of expatriation of both Christians and Muslims alike. A great number of Iraqis left the country during the regime of Saddam Hussein and large numbers have left during the Second Gulf War and its aftermath. The United Nations estimates that roughly 40% of Iraq's remaining and formerly strong middle-class have fled the country following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Iraq". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  2. ^ "NGO's claim Iraqis have hit 2 million in Syria". Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  3. ^ "UNHCR". 
  4. ^ "500,000 Iraqis in Iran". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  5. ^ "Ethnic groups of Turkey". Joshua Project. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  6. ^ "The Iraqi Embassy estimates that the Iraqi population is around 350,000-450,000". International Organization for Migration. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  7. ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-73357609.html About 600,000 Iraqi Jews left the country after Israel was established.
  8. ^ "Iraqis In Egypt". HRW. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  9. ^ "Population pressures". ECRE. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  10. ^ Constantine, Zoi (28 August 2008). "UAE Iraqis restricted by passport delays". The National. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Arab American Demographics". Arab American Institute. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  12. ^ "Statistics Sweden". Statistics Sweden. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  13. ^ "Ethnic groups of Kuwait". Joshua Project. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  14. ^ "Iraqis in Lebanon". aina.org. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  15. ^ "Iraqis In Yemen". HRW. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  16. ^ "Australian Iraqi population estimated to be as high as 80,000". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2005-01-22. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  17. ^ "Iraqi community in Greece". UNHCR. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  18. ^ "Iraqi – a native or inhabitant of Iraq". Reference.com. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  19. ^ a b Ramirez-Faria, Carlos (2007). Concise Encyclopaedia of World History. p. 33. 
  20. ^ "Araba (ancient state, Iraq)". Britannica. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  21. ^ "Lakhmid Dynasty (Arabian dynasty)". Britannica. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  22. ^ Ramirez-Faria, 2007, p. 33.
  23. ^ Blázquez Martínez, José María (2006). "Arabia, the Arabs and the Persian Gulf. A Dissertation of Ancient Sources". Gerión (Complutense University of Madrid) 24 (2): 7–20. ISSN 0213-0181. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  24. ^ Roberts, John Morris (1993). History of the World. Oxford University Press. p. 265. 
  25. ^ Rodinson, Maxime (1981). The Arabs. Routledge. p. 56. ISBN 0-7099-0377-4. 
  26. ^ Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, Alberto Piazza, The History and Geography of Human Genes, p. 242
  27. ^ a b "Cavalli-Sforza et al. Genetic tree of West Asia". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  28. ^ a b c McIntosh, Jane (2005). Ancient Mesopotamia: New Perspectives. ABC-CLIO. p. 313. ISBN 978-1-57607-965-2. "Iraqis have always been proud of their heritage and of their unique position as guardians of the Cradle of Civilization." 
  29. ^ a b c d Spencer, William (2000). Iraq: Old Land, New Nation in Conflict. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-7613-1356-4. "The Iraqi heritage is a proud one. Iraqi ancestors made such contributions to our modern world as a written language, agriculture and the growing of food crops, the building of cities and the urban environment, basic systems of government, and a religious structure centered on gods and goddesses guiding human affairs." 
  30. ^ a b c d e Al-Zahery et al. (Oct 2011). "In search of the genetic footprints of Sumerians: a survey of Y-chromosome and mtDNA variation in the Marsh Arabs of Iraq". BMC Evolutionary Biology 11: 288. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-288. PMC 3215667. PMID 21970613. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g "N. Al-Zahery et al. "Y-chromosome and mtDNA polymorphisms in Iraq, a crossroad of the early human dispersal and of post-Neolithic migrations" (2003)". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  32. ^ "The Genetic Structure of the Kuwaiti Population: Mitochondrial DNA Markers". Retrieved 2013-07-31. 
  33. ^ "Geographical Structure of the Y-chromosomal Genetic Landscape of the Levant: A coastal-inland contrast". Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  34. ^ Spencer, William (2000). Iraq: Old Land, New Nation in Conflict. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7613-1356-4. "But one writer has suggested after a visit to the marshes near the site of ancient Sumer that "some Iraqis still have a touch of the Sumerian in them."" 
  35. ^ "Iraq's Marsh Arabs". Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  36. ^ Dr. Joel J. Elias, Emeritus, University of California, The Genetics of Modern Assyrians and their Relationship to Other People of the Middle East
  37. ^ Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, Alberto Piazza, The History and Geography of Human Genes, p. 243
  38. ^ Kjeilen, Tore. "Assyrians". LookLex Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  39. ^ Kjeilen, Tore. "Iraq / Peoples". LookLex Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  40. ^ a b Derbyshire, David (2010-01-20). "Most Britons descended from male farmers who left Iraq and Syria 10,000 years ago". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  41. ^ "Migrants from the Near East 'brought farming to Europe'". BBC. 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  42. ^ a b c Marr, Phebe (2003). Iraqi identity. 
  43. ^ Nasrallah, Nawal (2003). Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine. 1stBooks. ISBN 1-4033-4793-X. 
  44. ^ Marks, Gil (2010). Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. John Wiley & Sons. p. 317. ISBN 0-470-39130-8. 
  45. ^ Mili, Amel (2009). Exploring The Relation Between Gender Politics and Representative Government in the Maghreb. ProQuest. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-109-20412-4. 
  46. ^ "Country Profile: Iraq". Mongabay. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  47. ^ a b c "The Kurdish language". KRG. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  48. ^ Muller-Kessler, Christa (Jul–Sep 2003). "Aramaic 'K', Lyk' and Iraqi Arabic 'Aku, Maku: The Mesopotamian Particles of Existence.". The Journal of the American Oriental Society 123 (3): 641–646. 
  49. ^ Farrell, Stephen (2008-06-01). "Baghdad Jews Have Become a Fearful Few". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  50. ^ Van Biema, David (2007-07-27). "The Last Jews of Baghdad". Time. Retrieved 2010-12-15.