Glossary -- Iraq
- Autonomous Region
- Governorates of As Sulaymaniyah, Dahuk, and Irbil, the Kurdish
majority area. In this region--popularly known as Kurdistan--Kurdish
has status of official language, and residents enjoy limited
autonomy from central government.
- Turkish word that during the period of the Ottoman Empire meant
governor of a province.
- barrels per day
- Production of crude oil and petroleum products is frequently
measured in barrels per day, often abbreviated bpd or bd. A barrel
is a volume measure of forty-two United States gallons. Conversion
of barrels to metric tons depends on the density of a specific
product. About 7.3 barrels of average crude oil, or about 7 barrels
of heavy crude oil, weigh 1 metric ton. Light products, such as
gasoline and kerosene, average close to eight barrels per metric
- See dinar.
- dinar (ID)
- Currency unit consisting of 1,000 fils or 20 dirhams. When
officially introduced at the end of the British mandate (1932), the
dinar was equal to, and was linked to, the British pound sterling,
which at that time was equal to US$4.86. Iraqi dinar (ID) equaled
US$4.86 between 1932 and 1949 and after devaluation in 1949, equaled
US$2.80 between 1949 and 1971. Iraq officially uncoupled the dinar
from the pound sterling as a gesture of independence in 1959, but
the dinar remained at parity with the pound until the British unit
of currency was again devalued in 1967. One Iraqi dinar remained
equal to US$2.80 until December 1971, when major realignments of
world currencies began. Upon the devaluation of the United States
dollar in 1973, the Iraqi dinar appreciated to US$3.39. It remained
at this level until the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War in 1980. In
1982 Iraq devalued the dinar by 5 percent, to a value equal to
US$3.22, and sustained this official exchange rate without
additional devaluation despite mounting debt. In early 1988, the
official dinar-dollar exchange rate was still ID1 to US$3.22;
however, with estimates of the nation's inflation rate ranging from
25 percent to 50 percent per year in 1985 and 1986, the dinar's real
transaction value, or black market exchange rate, was far lower--
only about half the 1986 official rate.
- Free Officers
- Term applied retroactively to the group of young military
officers that planned and carried out the July 14 Revolution in
- GDP (gross domestic product)
- A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services
produced by an economy over a period of time, such as a year. Only
output values of goods for final consumption and for intermediate
production are assumed to be included in final prices. GDP is
sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning that
indirect taxes and subsidies are included; when these have been
eliminated, the result is GDP at factor cost. The word gross
indicates that deductions for depreciation of physical assets have
not been made.
- GNP (gross national product)
- GDP (q.v.) plus the net income or loss stemming from
transactions with foreign countries. GNP is the broadest measurement
of the output of goods and services by an economy. It can be
calculated at market prices, which include indirect taxes and
subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies are only transfer
payments, GNP is often calculated at factor cost, removing indirect
taxes and subsidies.
- Tradition based on the precedent of Muhammad's nondivinely
revealed words that serves as one of the sources of Islamic law
- Literally to migrate, to sever relations, to leave one's tribe.
Throughout the Muslim world hijra refers to the migration of
Muhammad and his followers to Medina. In this sense the word has
come into European languages as hegira, and it is usually, and
somewhat misleadingly, translated as flight.
- Iraqi dinar. See dinar.
- A word used in several senses. In general use and in lower case,
it means the leader of congregational prayers; as such it implies no
ordination or special spiritual powers beyond sufficient education
to carry out this function. It is also used figuratively by many
Sunni (q.v.) Muslims to mean the leader of the Islamic
community. Among Shias (q.v.) the word takes on many
complex meanings; in general, it indicates that particular
descendent of the House of Ali ibn Abu Talib, who is believed to
have been God's designated repository of the spiritual authority
inherent in that line. The identity of this individual and the means
of ascertaining his identity have been major issues causing
divisions among Shias.
- International Monetary Fund
- Established along with the World Bank in 1945, the IMF is a
specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and is
responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and
payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to
its members (including industrialized and developing countries) when
they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans
frequently carry conditions that require substantial internal
economic adjustments by the recipients, most of which are developing
- Historically, the countries along the eastern shores of the
- Leader or chief. Word of Arabic origin used to mean either a
political leader or a learned religious leader. Also used as an
- Shia, from Shiat Ali, the Party of Ali
- A member of the smaller of the two great divisions of Islam. The
Shias supported the claims of Ali and his line to presumptive right
to the caliphate and to leadership of the Muslim community, and on
this issue they divided from the Sunni (q.v.) in the great
schism within Islam. Later schisms have produced further divisions
among the Shias over the identity and the number of Imams
(q.v.). Shias revere Twelve Imams, the last of whom is
believed to be in hiding.
- See Shia.
- Sunni (from sunna, orthodox)
- A member of the larger of the two great divisions of Islam. The
Sunnis supported the traditional method of election to the
caliphate, and they accepted the Umayyad line that began with caliph
Muawiyah in 661. On this issue they divided from the Shias
(q.v.) in the great schism within Islam.