By Dale Lightfoot

ISBN-10: 0791069281

ISBN-13: 9780791069288

ISBN-10: 079109247X

ISBN-13: 9780791092477

ISBN-10: 1438105134

ISBN-13: 9781438105130

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The route to India was critically important to Britain, because the British needed India’s resources to fuel the vast British Empire. Germany had strong interest in the region as well, and announced plans to build a railroad from Berlin to Baghdad. British opposition to the project was ignored and the Ottoman government gave permissionto the Germans to build a railroad from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf. The Germans continued to aid the Ottomans in other ways, and for the next several decades German influence in the Ottoman Empire continued to grow.

In the western desert of Iraq, the Najdi dialect of Arabic is more common, especially among the Bedouin communities. In the southeast around Basra, Gulf Arabic is spoken by a small number of Iraqis. Kurds The Kurds (from the Persian word gurd, or hero) inhabit an isolated, mountainous frontier, where they have lived for more than 3,000 years. Ever since European powers carved up the Ottoman Empire to create the boundaries of new Middle Eastern countries, the Kurds have been trying to get their own Kurdish state—Kurdistan—with their own boundaries to surround Kurdish territory.

In 1055, the Seljuks, a Turkish Sunni clan, conquered the Buwayhids and reestablished Sunni rule in Baghdad. By the end of the eleventh century, Seljuk power started to decline. Hulagu, a grandson of the great Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan, took control of Baghdad in 1258. He killed all of the scholars and erected a pyramid from their skulls. The sophisticated irrigation system constructed by the Abbasids was destroyed. Iraq became a neglected frontier area ruled from the Mongol capital of Tabriz in Iran.

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Iraq (Modern World Nations) by Dale Lightfoot

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