Posted by Vishva News Reporter on March 7, 2003

As you read the above headline, the City of Baghdad in Iraq is in fear of destruction once more in history..

..this should not happen to a place which gave western world first glimpse of mathematics, science, astronomy, writing...some 3000 years ago when the peoples inhabiting what is now known as Europe where still in "uncivilized" state..

..but we are living in this kli-yug time era and hence it is very difficult for most of the peoples on this planet earth to live by DHARm...practice of DHARm is the only way every body can co-exist harmoniously on this planet earth without hurting one another in thought, words and actions..

..we all PVAF pray that DHARm WILL PREVAIL and Baghdad will not face destruction once more in this kli-yug....

Learn the past and the present of Baghdad from CBC NEWS by clicking on the preceding red highlite or by clicking on the next line.....and please say a prayer for Baghdad and its peoples....


The City of Baghdad
Martin O'Malley & Justin Thompson,
CBC NEWS Online | Feb. 18, 2003



The difference between war in Iraq in 1991 and war in Iraq in 2003 is that back then the talk was mostly of sand – as in "a line in the sand" – and in 2003 it's of streets, as in urban warfare and "taking it to the streets."

The focus now is on downtowns, city neighbourhoods, presidential palaces, rooftops, urban warfare – the city of Baghdad.

It is an ancient city, one of the world's oldest. It is the locale of much of Thousand and One Nights, the Arabian stories of Sheherazade, Ali Baba, Sinbad the Sailor, and Aladdin. Baghdad's population is nearly five million, more than twice the size of Montreal, but it's more spread out. Baghdad straddles the Tigris River, the east and west sides of the city connected by low-level bridges. Some tall buildings still have anti-aircraft weapons on the roof.

The Pentagon's plan for an attack on Iraq calls for 3,000 precision-guided bombs and missiles to hit Baghdad hard in the first two days. A New York Times article on Feb. 2, 2003, said this is intended to "stagger and isolate the Iraqi military and quickly pave the way for a ground attack to topple a government in shock." The article quoted Pentagon officials as saying the initial bombardment "would use 10 times the number of precision-guided weapons fired in the first two days of the Persian Gulf War of 1991, and the target would be air defences, communications facilities and suspected chemical and biological delivery systems…."

Baghdad has hotels, restaurants, taxis, parks and bazaars, a semblance of a transit system, but no credit cards or ATM machines or hamburger stands. There are schools, three universities. Alcohol is officially banned, though that hasn't stopped the consumption of booze, including at some after-hours dance halls. Anyone crossing the border into Iraq must take a mandatory AIDS test.

Iraq used to have one of the best health systems in the Middle East; now it has one of the worst. The dinar is the standard currency (once three times the value of a U.S. dollar, now substantially lower). Payments for hotels and taxis must be in foreign currency. The workweek runs Sunday to Thursday.

The U.S. State Department has released information for any Americans in Iraq, especially in big cities such as Baghdad, warning:


  • theft of money and jewelry is common in hotels rooms;
  • pickpockets works the bazaars;
  • travelling alone in taxis while carrying conspicuous sums of money is not advised;
  • don't visit suburbs or travel on highways alone after dark;
  • women under 45 and children must travel with an escort, either husband, father or close male family member;
  • Most doctors and hospitals demand cash in advance and evacuation home can cost more than $50,000 US;
  • Hotel rooms, phones and fax machines may be monitored;
  • Cars do not use lights at night, drivers ignore traffic signals and do not yield to pedestrians.

The City of Peace

Baghdad was founded by Abu Jafar al-Mansur, the second Abbasid caliph, in 762. The city was established in what was then Mesopotamia to be the Abbasids' military and administrative centre.

The caliph is "the chief Muslim civil and religious ruler, regarded as the successor of Mohammed," according to The Canadian Oxford Dictionary.

The original city, known as Madinat al Salam – City of Peace – took four years to build and was founded on the western bank of the Tigris River in an ecologically diverse area know as "the fertile crescent." The name Baghdad comes from two Persian words meaning "founded by God". For economic purposes, the city site was in an advantageous position on the routes connecting Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The city was constructed within a series of three concentric walls built around an administrative centre. The circles symbolized order in chaos, and roadways radiated outward to the north, south, east and west. All roads led to the Caliph's palace at the hub.

The construction of the city spawned the growth of other communities, as military and construction camps arose nearby. To the north was the military camp, al-Harbiya. To the south, al Karkh, home to thousands of construction workers, who established factories and services to provide for the growing population. Baghdad's famous bazaars, which remain beehives of activity, sprouted in the crowded alleys of al Karkh.

The administrative centre was completed in 766 and soon after additional administrative quarters and palaces were built. Baghdad rapidly expanded across the east bank of the Tigris River, the location of the present city centre.

By the ninth century, Baghdad had evolved into a fast-growing metropolis, roughly the size of present-day Halifax, with a population of between 300,000 and 500,000. For a time, it was the largest city in the Middle East before being overtaken by Constantinople in the 16th century. Baghdad was one of the largest, most cosmopolitan cities in the world, home to Muslims, Christians, Jews and pagans from across the Middle East and Central Asia.

In his book A History of Islamic Societies, Historian Ira M. Lapidus said this varied complexion made Baghdad revolutionary for its time. Under the caliphate the city was home to a new, multi-faceted, culturally integrated Middle East ruled by the Abbasids and subject to Islamic beliefs."

'Baghdad provided the wealth and manpower to govern a vast empire; it crystallized the culture which became the Islamic civilization.'

The Abbasids rejected the caste system in favour of universal equality for all Muslims, and allowed people of different walks to participate in administrative roles.

The fall of the Abbasids, a city in decline

Baghdad was, for a time, the de-facto capital of the Middle East. From Baghdad, the Abbasid central government ruled over Iraq, western Iran, Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq and Khuzistan (present-day Iran). The 600-year Abbasid reign in Baghdad came to an end in 1258 when the city was sacked and burned by Mongols led by Hulagu, the grandson of Genghis Khan. The last Abbasid caliph was killed in the attacks, and much of Baghdad's infrastructure was destroyed, plunging the city into a centuries-long tailspin of disrepair.

In the centuries following, Baghdad became caught in a 500-year-long struggle between the Turks and Persians. The Turks held the city for three centuries leading up to the British capture in 1917. Four years later, Baghdad was named capital of the newly created kingdom of Iraq.

An oil boom in the 1970s lifted the city's fortunes. Money flowed into Baghdad, paying for new sewage and water lines, as well as a broad network of highways. By 1980, however, these improvements were crippled by Iraq's eight-year war with Iran. What remained of the developing infrastructure was all but crushed by massive U.S. bombing raids during the 1991 Gulf War.


There are 1 additional comments.

#1 Posted by lucy on 5/12/2003
you should give the exact population


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