Abu Ghraib

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For the prison and the torture that occurred there, see Abu Ghraib prison and Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse. For a major series of paintings entitled Abu Ghraib (2005), see Fernando Botero. For the village in Iran, see Abu Gharib, Iran.
Not to be confused with Abu Gorab. ‹See Tfd›
Abu Ghraib
مدينة أبو غريب  (Arabic)
Abu Ghraib city
Town
Map showing Abu Ghraib near Baghdad
Map showing Abu Ghraib near Baghdad
Abu Ghraib is located in Iraq
Abu Ghraib
Abu Ghraib
Abu Ghraib location inside Iraq
Coordinates: 33°17′31″N 44°3′56″E / 33.29194°N 44.06556°E / 33.29194; 44.06556Coordinates: 33°17′31″N 44°3′56″E / 33.29194°N 44.06556°E / 33.29194; 44.06556
Country Iraq
Governorate Al Anbar Governorate
Population (2003)
 • Total 189,000

Abu Ghraib (Listeni/ˈɑːb ˈɡrɛb, ˈɡrb/; Arabic: أبو غريب‎, Abū Ghurayb) is a city in the Al Anbar Governorate of Iraq, located just west of Baghdad's city center, or northwest of Baghdad International Airport. It has a population of 189,000 (2003). The old road to Jordan passes through Abu Ghraib. The government of Iraq created the city and Abu Ghraib District in 1944.

The placename has been translated as "father of little crows" (in the sense of "place abundant in small crows"), but this translation has been suspected of being an "eggcorn", and the name may be related to gharb "west" instead,[1] (see also etymology of the word Arab).

Abu Ghraib was known for the Abu Ghraib Infant Formula Plant, which Western intelligence agencies perennially claimed to be a biological weapons production facility.[citation needed] The plant was built in 1980 and painted with a dappled camouflage pattern during the Iran–Iraq War. It was bombed during the Gulf War, and the Iraqi government allowed CNN reporter Peter Arnett to film the destroyed building along with a conspicuous hand-painted sign that read, "baby milk factory". Iraq partially rebuilt the facility afterward, and US Secretary of State Colin Powell cited it again as a weapons production plant in the run-up to the Iraq War. An examination of suspected weapons facilities by the Iraq Survey Group later determined that the plant, in disuse for some time, housed discarded infant formula, but found no evidence of weapons production.

The city is also the site of Abu Ghraib prison, which was one of the sites where political dissidents were incarcerated under former ruler Saddam Hussein. Thousands of these dissidents were tortured and executed. After Saddam Hussein's fall, the Abu Ghraib prison was used by American forces in Iraq. In 2003, Abu Ghraib prison earned international notoriety for the torture and abuses by members of the United States Army during the post-invasion period.


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Abu Ghraib is not about ravens after all (?)...". Language Log. February 14, 2005. 

External links[edit]