In ancient times, Iraq was called ‘Mesopotamia’ – the land between the two rivers. This ancient land had a far more advanced and developed civilisation than neighbouring regions. The country's inhabitants invented and innovated as early as the 10th millennium BC.
Around this time, Iraqis began to adopt agriculture as a chief economic activity and established stable residential areas.
Naturally, agricultural activity led to the rise of commercial enterprises in order to market produce and facilitate communication between cities and villages. These activities spurred even more creativity.
Uruk, the oldest city in history, was founded by the Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia. It flourished between 6500 and 4000 BC, and became a center of culture, trade, and politics. Uruk was located near the Euphrates river in what is now southern Iraq. pic.twitter.com/RWMDyK4D5C— News Man (@TheMAN32687357) September 12, 2023
In addition, historians have stated that Iraqis invented writing, known as cuneiform writing, more than 3,000 years ago. Some historians believe the wheel was invented by Mesopotamians about 3,500 years ago.
In Mesopotamia, well-populated areas became cities, which differed from villages in terms of their advantages and role in human life.
Between yesterday and today
Iraq has undergone various periods and transitions to reach its current state.
After the Islamic conquest, it came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, followed by the Abbasid Caliphate, and finally, the Ottomans for a long time.
After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the British colonised the country for a limited period and subjected it to colonial administration, which paved the way for independence. Before British control of Iraq in March 1917, they had established economic ties with Iraq during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods; the British East India Company operated in Basra.
The British described their presence in Iraq as a mandate after the defeat of the Ottoman forces. They sent advisers to organise legal and administrative affairs and implement economic reforms.
The British succeeded in establishing modern Iraq and declared a monarchical system, installing King Faisal I as the king of Iraq in 1921.