History of Iraq: Former Names of the Country

Unearth the enigma of Iraq and unearth what it was once called! Delve into its past and uncover the secrets that have been veiled in time. Reveal the truth behind this ancient nation, explore its history, and uncover all that has been forgotten. Unravel the mysteries of Iraq’s past and uncover its original name!

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A land of ages past, Iraq has been the host to a wide array of civilizations, empires, and wars. From the earliest days of Sumerian city-states to the Ottoman Empire, this region has gone through numerous changes in its identity. As “the land between two rivers,” referring to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that run through it, this area was once part of the Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great until Alexander the Great’s conquest in 331 BC. In 636 AD, Al-Iraq was established as part of the Islamic Caliphate before being changed to Iraq by British forces during World War I. Since then, Iraq has experienced many political shifts and internal conflicts but its citizens have remained steadfast in their mission to create a better future for their country.



A long, tumultuous journey through the ages, Iraq has seen its fair share of rulers and empires. From the Greeks’ “land between the rivers” to the Muslim Arabs’ conquest in 634 AD, Iraq has been a part of many civilizations. The Ottoman Empire, British Empire… all have come and gone, leaving their mark on this ancient land. Now an independent nation with its own government and constitution, Iraq continues to forge its own destiny through time.

– Historical Overview of Iraq’s Name Changes

Through the ages, this region has been referred to by many different names, from Uruk to Mesopotamia and Al-Jazirah. In 1534, it became part of the Ottoman Empire and was known as Mesopotamia. After World War I in 1920, it was given the name Iraq under British mandate of the League of Nations. But a revolution in 1958 saw a new monarchy form and rename it al-Iraq al-Arabi.

In 1968, Saddam Hussein came to power through a coup d’état and rebranded it al-Jumhuriya al-Iraqiya (The Republic of Iraq). Then in 2003, US forces invaded Iraq and imposed a new government on it which reverted its name back to Republic of Iraq.

Despite all these changes over time, most people still refer to this area simply as “Iraq”.

– Ancient Mesopotamia: Iraq’s History Before the Name Change

Awe-inspiring, confounding and mysterious, Iraq’s past is a tapestry of antiquity. The birthplace of civilization, the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers was the site of some of humanity’s earliest advancements. From Sumerians to Akkadians, Babylonians to Assyrians and Chaldeans, these ancient empires created a legacy that still lingers today. Over time, this land has seen many transitions — from an agrarian society to its current state as a modern nation-state — while retaining its place as one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited regions. Its influence on our collective history is undeniable, and its legacy will remain in our memories for generations to come.

– How and When the Name Iraq Was Adopted

The mysterious and enduring name of Iraq has been around for centuries, dating back to the ancient Mesopotamian times. Two Aramaic words – “Uruk” and “Aq” – combine to form the word Iraq, which translates to “the land between two rivers”. This region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1535 and renamed Iraq Vilayet. When the Ottomans lost control of Mesopotamia during World War I, Britain created a new state called Iraq with Baghdad, Basra and Mosul as its provinces. In 1932, this state was recognized by the League of Nations and granted independence with King Faisal I as its ruler.

Since then, ‘Iraq’ has become a well-known name both domestically and internationally. In Arabic it is referred to as Al-Iraq or Al-Jazira (meaning “the Island”), while its people are known as Iraqis or Al-Iraqiyyun (meaning “the Iraqis”). Despite various changes throughout history, Iraq remains one of the oldest countries in existence with an identifiable name that continues to be used today.

– The Impact of Colonialism on Iraq’s Name Change

Throughout the ages, Iraq has been subject to various transformations in name and identity as a result of colonialism. In the 19th century, it was known as Mesopotamia and formed part of the Ottoman Empire. However, this changed when Britain invaded in 1917 and rechristened the region “Iraq” – an ancient Arabic term meaning “deeply rooted country”. This move was intended to emphasize Iraq’s connection with the Arab world and create a distinct identity for it.

The effects of this name change were far-reaching: it served as a stark reminder of British colonial rule in the area and sparked off political unrest among Iraqis who felt that their culture and traditions were being disregarded or suppressed. Furthermore, it had a substantial impact on Iraq’s economy too; prior to 1917, Mesopotamia had been an important trading partner with other Middle Eastern countries but, after becoming known as Iraq, its international connections deteriorated significantly, leading to economic stagnation due to decreased foreign investment and competition from larger international companies.

Despite all these hardships imposed by colonialism over time, Iraqi people have proven themselves resilient in the face of adversity. In 2003, Saddam Hussein was overthrown by US-led forces and a new government was established which sought to bring stability back to the nation. Since then, Iraq has gradually been reconstructing itself economically and politically – although much work still needs to be done before it can fully recover from centuries of colonial turmoil.

– Examining the Political Implications of Iraq’s Name Change Throughout History

changes in Iraq’s name throughout history can provide a valuable insight into how this nation has evolved over time. From its ancient Sumerian roots to its modern-day Republic of Iraq, the country has gone through various changes in both form and name. It remains to be seen whether any further modifications will be made in the future, but for now, Iraq continues to stand strong under its current title.


A land of antiquity, Iraq was once known as Mesopotamia. Home to human habitation since before recorded time, its legacy is one of great depth and breadth. The Arabic translation of the country’s name, “deeply rooted,” speaks to its profound heritage.


Some questions with answers

Q1: What was Iraq previously called?
A1: Iraq was previously called Mesopotamia.

Q2: When did Iraq become its own country?
A2: Iraq became its own country in 1932, when it gained independence from the United Kingdom.

Q3: What kind of government did Iraq have before 1932?
A3: Before 1932, Iraq had a monarchy form of government ruled by the Hashemite dynasty.

Q4: How did the name “Iraq” come about?

A4: The name “Iraq” comes from the Arabic phrase “al-ʿIrāq”, which means “the lowlands”.

Q5: What is the history behind Iraq’s borders?

A5: The borders of modern-day Iraq were established in 1920 with the creation of the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The borders were based on geographic and ethnic divisions that were determined by British officials.

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