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Baghdad (Arabic: بغداد) is the capital and largest city in Iraq with over 7 million people living in the city itself and over 9 million in the metropolitan area. It is one of the larger cities in the entire region of the Middle East and located along the Tigris River, people have been living here for at least 1,250 years. Unfortunately, the city is off limits for travellers since years as the war in Iraq continues. Thousands of people have been killed, both by foreign troups as well as (and mainly) bomb attacks by rivalising islamic groups like the Shi'ite and Sunni. A big wall has even been constructed around the Sunni district of Baghdad but so far this hasn't helped too much. That said, the city still has some sights to offer for the first adventurous travellers who will come here hopefully in the near future. The Hands of Victory and the National Museum are only a few sights and dozens of holy mosques complete it.
The Assyrian New Year takes place every year on April 1 in all countries where Assyrians reside. Marked by festivities, the day is celebrated with long parades in colorful outfits and ancient costumes. Students, dignitaries, men, and women alike join in the parties, dancing in the streets and parks for hours. Just like the rest of the world, Iraqis also celebrated the Georgian calendar New Year on January 1.
Established in 2005, the Iraq Short Film Festival celebrates movies made by and for Iraqis. A series of short films are shown in the Arabic or Kurdish language throughout Baghdad. The event is held August 1 through September 30.
Throughout the year, Iraqis celebrate historical milestones like Army Day (January 6), Baghdad Liberation Day (April 9), Republic Day (July 14), Ceasefire Day or End of Iran-Iraq War (August 8), and Iraqi Independence Day (October 3).
The weather in Baghdad is hot and dry during the summer, with temperatures often hitting 45 °C or more. In winter, frosts are possible and during the winter of 2007/2008 snow was recorded for the first time in tens of years.
Iraqi Airways is the national airline of Iraq. Based at Baghdad International Airport (SDA), offically it has several flights to countries in the region and to London and Frankfurt, but due to instability in the country schedules vary and may change often.
See also International Telephone Calls
as well as Hien (14%)
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