Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
On the heels of my posts 20 Must Know Facts about Iran + Map, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at neighboring Iraq as I continue on my journey to investigate the countries on this list of countries in Asia.
So, what facts about Iraq do we know?
1. Iraq is about the same size as California OR Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky combined. In size, it is between Morocco and Paraguay.
2. The population of Iraq is about 28 million = Ohio + Indiana + Illinois, and a little bit less than California. Baghdad has about 6 million people = the population of the Bay Area of California
3. The average age of an Iraqi is 20 years. The average age of an American is 37.
4. Iraq borders Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 240 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 352 km(1.62km – 1 mile)
5. Iraq has just 58km of coastline (Persian Gulf.)
6. Iraq claims petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur as its natural resources.
7. Next to war, Iraqis fear dust storms, sandstorms, floods most.
8. About one in 20 Iraqis die at birth.
9. There are less than 500 cases of HIV/AIDS in Iraq.
10. Bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever are the major infectious diseases
11. Three of four Iraqis are Arab; one in five are Kurd. All but 3% are Muslim (Shia – 60%, Sunni 35%)
12. Four out of five males over 15 can read and write; two out of three females can do so.
13. The oil sector provides about 95% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. Iraq has over 115 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. The country exports no natural gas despite having 3.17 trillion cubic meters of proven reserves. Only Saudi Arabia has more oil.
14. Iraq’s major export partners are – US 36.8%, Italy 12.6%, South Korea 9.5%, Taiwan 6.3%, Spain 5.2%, Canada 4.7%, France 4.4%, Netherlands 4.2%
15. Iraq’s major import partners are – Syria 30.5%, Turkey 19.8%, US 11.1%, Jordan 5%, China 4.8%.
16. There is one mobile phone for every two Iraqis.
17. Barely one in every 500 Iraqis is online.
18. Iraq has 110 airports, 34 unpaved.
19. Iraq is home to ancient Mesopotamia (land between rivers). Perhaps the Garden of Eden was somewhere near the area where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers join together. Ur, home to Abraham of the Bible was excavated in 1922 and 1934 by Leonard Woolley of Britain.
20. Ancient temples in Iraq were called ziggurats. The tower of Babel may have been a ziggurat.
21. To hear news related to Iraq – Voices of Iraq – is a pooled news service launched by Reuters Foundation and UN Development Program, English-language pages.
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