Iraq - Glossary Index
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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 ton.
- 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 1958.
- 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 (sharia).
- 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 (IMF)
- 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 countries.
- Historically, the countries along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
- Leader or chief. Word of Arabic origin used to mean either a political leader or a learned religious leader. Also used as an honorific.
- 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.
NOTE: The information regarding Iraq on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Iraq Glossary information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Iraq Glossary should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.