Iraq Vacation Trips
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An April 2009 estimate of the total Iraqi population is 31,234,000.
Around 75%-80% of Iraq's population is Arab; the other major ethnic groups are the Kurds at 15%-20%, the Assyrians, the Iraqi Turkmen and others, who mostly live in the north and northeast of the country. Around 20,000 indigenous Maʻdān people live in southern Iraq. The Iraqi population includes a community of around 20,000 Armenians, a small community of Circassians,and a community of 2500 Chechens. In southern Iraq there is a community of Iraqis of African descent, a legacy of the slavery practiced in the Islamic Caliphate beginning before the Zanj Rebellion of the 9th century AD, and Basra's role as a key port.
Arabic and Kurdish are official languages. Assyrian and Turkmen are official languages in areas where the Assyrians and Iraqi Turkmen are located respectively. Armenian and Persian are also spoken but to a lesser extent. English is the most commonly-spoken European language.
No official figures exist, due to the politically sensitive nature of the subject, recent violence, and Ba'athist views on information and religion. Religious composition includes:
* Islam, 97%; Christianity or other, 3%.
Two estimates of the Muslim proportions of the population are:
* Shi'a up to 60%, Sunni about 40%.
* Shi'a 60%–65%, Sunni 32%–37%.
Linguistically, the adherents of Shia Islam in Iraq predominantly speak Arabic and a bilingual minority speak Persian, while the Iraqi Turkmen speak Turkmeni and the Feyli Kurds speak Feyli, a dialect of Kurdish, almost all belong to the Twelver school. Adherents of Sunni Islam include Arabic speakers, Iraqi Turkmen, and Kurds.
It is estimated that around 60%–65% of Iraqis follow Shia Islam, and around 35%–40% follow Sunni Islam, however the question of religious demographics is controversial and some Iraqis who follow Sunni Islam dispute these figures, including an ex-Iraqi ambassador, referring to American sources. claiming that many reports only include Arab Sunnis as "Sunni", missing out the Kurdish and Turkmen Sunnis. Most Kurds are Sunnis, although the Feyli Kurds are largely Shi'a.
Ethnic Assyrians account for most of Iraq's Christian population, along with Armenians. Estimates for the numbers of Christians suggest a decline from 8–10% in the mid-20th century to 5% at the turn of the century, to 3% in 2008. About 600,000 Iraqi Christians have fled to Syria, Jordan or other countries or relocated to Kurdish-controlled areas. There are also small populations of Bahá'ís, Mandaeans, Shabaks, and Yezidis. The Iraqi Jewish community, numbering around 150,000 in 1941, almost entirely left the country.
In November 2006, the UNHCR estimated that 1.8 million Iraqis had been displaced to neighboring countries, with nearly 100,000 Iraqis fleeing to Syria and Jordan each month, while another 1.6 million were displaced internally. A May 2007 article noted that in the previous seven months, only 69 people from Iraq had been granted refugee status in the United States.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust
Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. Mary Ritter Beard