Iraq : The Heart of the World

Iraq, the Heart of the World
Mirella Galletti.


Iraq, once ancient Mesopotamia, has been in the forefront of world events for several decades. However, the image of our country often has not accurately reflected the history and reality of this region which, located at the nexus of three continents, has been a crossroad of civilizations and exchanges between different cultures since ancient times.

Mirella Galletti, with her great heart and sensitivity, has dedicated her academic career to the study and research of Iraq including the Kurdish issue. In her book, this devoted scholar consolidates and summarizes her almost forty years of experience and field work to share her immense knowledge with a wider international public.

The work is a global interview overview of Iraq and its history, cultures, languages, religions, political system, economics, cuisine and much more. Readers will no doubt find it an indispensable tool to familiarize them with our country and learn about its greatness as a nation which despite the terrible suffering it has endured has maintained its dignity and soul." H. E Saywan Barzani, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to the Italian Republic, August 8, 2011.

Author : Mirella Galletti teaches "History of Islamic Countries" at the Faculty of Political Studies of the Second University of Naples. She studied Political Science at the University of Bologna with a thesis on "Political structure and cultural values in the Kurdish society" (1974). She completed her studies in Baghdad, Cairo and Algiers. She has taught courses at the Universities of Naples "L'Orientale", Bologna and Trieste. She has held seminars at the Universities of Erbil and Sulaimanya in the Region of Kurdistan (1994). Author of 20 books and over 150 studies translated into many languages.


Foreword by H.E. Dr Saywan Barzani, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to the Italian Republic.
Preface : Mirella Galletti
Map 1 : Ancient Mesopotamia
Map 2 : Iraq today
Map 3 : Iraq in the Middle-East
Socio-economic data

Part One

1. Geography, population, resources
– Geography
– Population
– Resources

2. Ethnic and religious communities

3. The Cradle of civilization

4. Islamic Iraq

5. Iraq in the 20th century
– The making of the Iraqi state
– The British Mandate
– Independent Iraq
– The revolution of July 14, 1958
– The Ba'th in power (1968-2003)
– Saddam Hussein
– The Kurds in Iraq
– The first Gulf War (1980-1988)
– The secund Gulf War (1990-1991) and the formation of the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan
– The third Gulf War (2003) and the fall of Saddam Hussein
– Saddam's legacy : a destroyed and mutilated country

6. Iraq in the 21th century
– The Kirkuk comundrum
– Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and refugees
– The road to democracy : prospects of the new Iraq

7. Iraq and the Middle-East

Part Two

8. Economy
– Oil and natural resources
– Industry
– Agriculture
– Water
– Transport and communication
– Banking system
– Foreign trade
– Italo-Iraqi economic ties
– The law on investment in Iraq
– The law on investment in the Kurdistan Region

9. Literature
– Languages and literature of ancient Iraq
– Neo-Aramaic languages and literature
– Arabic language and literature
– Kurdish language and literature

10. Education, health and social services, sports, crafts, music, visual arts
– Education
– Health and social services
– Sport
– Crafts
– Music
– Visual arts :

11. Iraqi cuisine
– Traditional recipes

12. Tourism : cities and archælogical sites :
– Nature
– Cities
– The Archæological Museum of Iraq and the preservation of Iraqi cultural heritage
– World Heritage Sites

13. Archæology and the Bible in Iraq
– The evangelization of Iraq

14. Karbala and Najaf, the Craddle of Shiism

Afterword by H. E. Habeeb Mohammed Hadi al-Sadr, Ambassador of the Republic of iraq to the Holy See



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