1. The Biggest City in the World: Baghdad
In the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, Baghdad was a bustling metropolis, renowned for its size and grandeur. At its peak, it was the largest city in the world, with an estimated population of over one million people. This made it the first city to reach such a milestone, and it was a major center of trade, culture, and learning. It was also the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate, and was home to a diverse range of people from all over the world.
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2. The Capital of the Middle East
In 1920, Baghdad was chosen as the capital of the British Mandate of Mesopotamia, marking the beginning of its long history as a political center. After 1932, it became the capital of the newly formed Kingdom of Iraq, and has since been the seat of government for the country. As a result, Baghdad has been a major hub of political activity for the past century, and continues to be a major player in the region today.
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3. Iraq's Baghdad Zoo Rebuilding After 2003 Invasion
The Baghdad Zoo, located in Iraq, is the largest zoo in the Middle East. It was once home to an impressive 650 animals, but after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, only 35 animals remained. This devastating event left the zoo in ruins, and it has since been rebuilt and restored to its former glory. Today, the zoo is home to over 500 animals, including lions, tigers, elephants, and giraffes, and is a popular tourist attraction.
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4. The City of Scorching Temperatures
Baghdad is renowned for its scorching temperatures, with its subtropical climate making it one of the hottest cities in the world. During the summer months, the maximum temperature can reach a sweltering 50°C, making it an incredibly uncomfortable place to be. Despite this, Baghdad is still a popular tourist destination, with its rich history and culture drawing in visitors from all over the world.
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5. A Cultural & Economic Hub
Baghdad is the largest city in Iraq, with a population of over 7 million people as of 2011. This bustling metropolis is a major cultural and economic hub in the Middle East, and is home to a diverse population of people from all walks of life. It is a city of great historical significance, having been the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate and the center of the Islamic Golden Age. Today, Baghdad is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage, and is a major center for trade and commerce in the region.
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6. World's Least Hospitable City in 2012
In 2012, Baghdad was listed as one of the least hospitable places in the world to live, with a high crime rate, poor infrastructure, and limited access to basic services such as healthcare and education. The city has been plagued by violence and instability for decades, making it a difficult place to live for its citizens. Despite efforts to improve the situation, the city remains one of the least hospitable places in the world, with a lack of security and basic services that make it difficult for residents to live a safe and comfortable life.
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7. Baghdad's Unique Circular City Design
Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, was originally designed to be two large semicircles, but was eventually constructed as a single circular city, famously known as the 'Round City'. This design was chosen to represent the city's importance and grandeur, and was surrounded by a wall with twelve gates, each of which was named after a tribe of the Arabian Peninsula. The city was also home to a number of impressive monuments, including the Great Mosque of al-Kadhim, the House of Wisdom, and the Caliph's Palace.
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8. Baghdad's Plague and Cholera Years
In the Ottoman era, Baghdad was plagued by two devastating diseases: the plague and cholera. These illnesses caused a catastrophic loss of life, with estimates suggesting that at least two-thirds of the city's population were wiped out. This was a devastating blow to the city, leaving it in a state of disrepair and despair.
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9. University of The Second Largest in the Arab World
The University of Baghdad is the largest university in Iraq and the second largest in the Arab world. Established in 1957, it is a public university located in the capital city of Baghdad and is home to over 60,000 students. It is one of the most prestigious universities in the region, offering a wide range of courses in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, and humanities. It is also renowned for its research and development activities, and has produced some of the most influential figures in the Middle East.
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10. Iraq's First Independent Talk Radio Station Launched in Baghdad
In 2004, Iraq saw the launch of its first independent talk radio station, 'Dijlah', which was a major milestone for the country. Located in Baghdad, the station was the first of its kind in the region, and provided a platform for Iraqis to discuss and debate the issues that mattered to them. It was a major step forward in terms of freedom of expression and media freedom in Iraq, and was a sign of the progress that was being made in the country.