Cultural Awareness Essay

Submitted By Heatherxnicole
Words: 538
Pages: 3

Class 10-002
Cultural Awareness Essay Iraq has a long history dating back to ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th – 6th century B.C. Iraq was part of the former Ottoman Empire from 1534-1916. Iraq consisted of three semi-independent provinces. The Ottoman Empire supported the Sunni to counter the influence of the Shia from Iran. Once the Ottoman Empire fell, the British Empire helped forge modern Iraq in 1921 under a Sunni King. The Kurds became a stateless ethnic group split among Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. British and Sunni forces repressed a Shia and Kurdish revolt, which caused the Sunnis to dominate the country. 1958 brought a coup for independence and republican rule. Iraq was an unstable country from 1958 to 1968 until the Ba’ath Party took over. From 1980-1988 Iran and Iraq went to war with each other. This lead to religious and ethnic tensions, which caused numerous Kurdish and Shia uprisings that were all repressed. The religious majority in Iraq is Shia. The five pillars of Islam include Shahada, Salat, Zakat, Sawn, and Hajj. There are four Islamic flags that have different meanings. Green means Islam. Red means sacrifice. White means purity and Black means Martyrdom. These flags represent various holidays of dates of personal significance. There are various religious terms as well. Koran: Islamic Holy Book, given by Allah to the Prophet Mohammad. Mosque: Muslim house of worship. Shia form majority of Muslims in Iraq, but less than 10% globally. Sunni call their religious leader Imams, but to Shia, the Imam is a supreme religious leader descended from Mohammad. Sharia: Muslim law. Fatwa: an order from a Muslim religious leader. Wahabbis: Puritanical Muslims from the Hanbali school of Sunni Islam and they never their beards. Madrassah: Islamic educational system. Mullah: local religious leader. In the Muslim world, honor and shame are very important to their way of life. Admitting “I don’t know” is shameful for an Iraqi and constructive criticism can be taken as an insult. Women will often wear head scarves as a show of respect, even