14 Uniquely Fun Facts About Iraq

fun facts about iraq

Iraq is a country known for being the home to the oldest civilization. One amazing thing about Iraq you must know is that it is the country that introduced the first writing system to this world. 

Moreover, Iraq is bordered by six countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. There are more to these facts that can amaze you.

So, wait for the ones yet to be unveiled further in this article.

1. Iraq Is Home To The Oldest Civilization Of The World

The region between the two major rivers of Iraq, Euphrates, and Tigris, namely Mesopotamia, is considered the oldest civilization in the world, alongside Ancient Egypt. Research shows that this historical region dates between 3300 BC and 750 BC. 

Mesopotamia also gave rise to some of the world’s earliest civilizations, including Akkad, Sumer, Babylon, and Assyria. 

2. Iraq Introduced The First Writing System To This World

Cuneiform Script, the oldest form of writing, originated in Iraq before 3200 BC. However, history states that Sumerians invented this writing system.

The different wedge-shaped symbols and marks carry out this writing form on the clay tablets. 

Tablet with proto-cuneiform pictographic characters (end of 4th millennium BC)
Tablet with proto-cuneiform pictographic characters (end of 4th millennium BC)

3. The Mythological Story Of Noah’s Ark

Prophet Nuh or Noah built Noah’s Ark in the Iraqi City of Kufa. The story in the Quran says that God asked Noah to build a boat, namely ‘Ark,’ and fill it with pairs of animals, a group of believers of God, and Noah’s family. 

The Quran mentions that people who didn’t believe Noah’s preaching drowned in the great flood. One of Noah’s sons was also among the drowned people. 

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4. Eating Food Without Utensils Is Fine In Iraq, But Not When You Eat With Your Left Hand

Iraqis do not mind eating food without utensils. They believe that it indicates that you liked the dish made by the host or hostess.

But, at the same time, just like many middle-eastern countries, the people of Iraq do not like the habit of eating food with their left hand. 

5. Iraq Was Once Ruled By Alexander The Great

Alexander The Great conquered Iraq in the 4th century and ruled it with a magnificent vision. He planned to make the conquered city one of the largest empires in the world under his rule.

The Seleucid empire of the Hellenistic culture commanded the country for 200 years until the Parthians arrived. 

Alexander Mosaic (detail), House of the Faun, Pompeii
Alexander Mosaic (detail), House of the Faun, Pompeii (100 BC)

6. Iraq Was Once The Land Of Christianity

Before Iraq became a Muslim country, it was once a hub for Christianity. When Romans arrived in the land of Iraq, Christianity boomed in Ancient Iraq, especially in the region of Assyria. 

It is said that Christianity ruled between the 1st and 3rd centuries, as the Mesopotamian religion also favored it. There is evidence of the same in the ‘Church of the East.’ It is now a ruin as it was destroyed during an ISIS attack in 2014. 

7. Nadia Murad, The Only Nobel Prize Winner Of Iraq

Iraq has records of only one Nobel Prize winner, Nadia Murad. She won the Nobel Peace Prize 2018, alongside her partner, for proposing efforts to put a halt to the use of sexual violence as a weapon in armed and war conflicts.

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She was a victim of sexual violence and raised her voice for the cause. 

Murad in 2018
Murad in 2018

8. Iraq Is One Among The World’s Largest Oil Producers

As per the ranking order, Iraq stands fifth in the list of countries having large oil reserves. According to the records, their oil reserves had 148 billion barrels in 2018. 

9. Iraq Has Six UNESCO Heritage Sites

Iraq has six UNESCO heritage sites, which include the ancient Ashur, Hatra, Babylon, and Samarra Archaeological City.

Along with that, Ahwar in Southern Iraq and Erbil Citadel is also part of UNESCO sites in the country. 

10. The World’s Oldest Long Poem Was Written In Iraq

The ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ is a loved poem that dates back to ancient Mesopotamia. It was written between the years c.2150 and 1400 BC.

It is globally regarded as the world’s oldest long poem. 

11. Baghdad, The Capital Of Iraq, Was A Multicultural City In The Middle Ages

Baghdad was founded in 762 and was proposed as the Abbasid Dynasty’s capital. For the next 500 years, Baghdad was the multicultural city center of all Islamic and Arab civilizations. It was termed to be one of the greatest cities in the world. 

The importance faded after the city was conquered by Hulegu, the Mongol leader, in 1258. Then, Baghdad returned to prominence only after it became the official capital of Iraq in the year 1920. 

Baghdad cityscape
Baghdad cityscape

12. Iraq Is Home To The Venomous Saw-Scaled Viper

If you are afraid of snakes, you should look out for the Saw-Scaled viper while wandering in Iraq’s lands and deserts.

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They are considered one of the most dangerous snakes worldwide, and they will strike you without any hesitation. Reports show it chases enemies with rage, and its bite can lead to death. 

saw-scaled viper
Saw-scaled viper

13. Iraqi Desert Also Has Different Species Of Scorpions

Scorpions of various species are found in the Iraqi desert. The names of two scorpion species that hold medical significance are Hemiscorpius Lepturus and Androctonous Australis.

Many other species, including a few, can grow up to 8 inches in length. 

14. Iraq Was Once Home To The Best Schools And Colleges In The Whole Arab World

Iraq previously supported quality education and had some of the best schools and colleges. Back then, the literacy rate was considerably high, but after the Gulf War of 1991 and sanctions by the United Nations, the education system started to struggle. 

As a result, there are limitations on learning opportunities for the youth, and schools are still struggling to keep up with the education system.


Since discovering how much fun and learning are to be had traveling, Alex has made it a point to tour his home country and continent while still in his heydays. His ultimate desire is to travel farther afield to see the wonders of Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. When he isn’t traveling, he takes his time to write about various places to share his experiences with other global citizens.

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