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Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basra
Arabic: البصرة
Al Baṣrah
Basra city
Location of Basra
Coordinates: 30°30′N 47°49′E / 30.5°N 47.817°E / 30.5; 47.817
Country  Iraq
Governorate Basrah Governorate
Founded 636 CE
Population [1]
 - Total 3,800,200 est. of 2,009

Al-Baṣrah (Arabic: البصرة‎; BGN: Al Basrah, also called 'Basorah) is the capital of Basra Province, Iraq, and had an estimated population of 3,800,200 as of 2009.[1] Basra is also Iraq's main port, although it is incapable of deep water access, which is handled at the port of Umm Qasr. The city is the historic location of Sumer, the home of Sinbad the Sailor, and a proposed location of the Garden of Eden. It also played an important role in early Islamic history, being built in 636 CE, or 14 AH. It is Iraq's third largest and most populous city after Baghdad and Mosul.

Contents

Overview

The city is located along the Shatt al-Arab waterway near the Persian Gulf, 55 kilometers (34 mi) from the Persian Gulf and 545 kilometers (339 mi) from Baghdad, Iraq's capital and largest city.

The area surrounding Basra has substantial large petroleum resources and many oil wells. The city also has an international airport, which recently began restored service into Baghdad with Iraqi Airways—the nation's flag airline. Basra is in a fertile agricultural region, with major products including rice, maize corn, barley, pearl millet, wheat, dates, and livestock. Iraq has the worlds largest oil reserves estimated to be more 360 billion barrels, most of it from Basra. 80% of Basra is unexplored.

In Basra the vast majority of the population are ethnic Arabs. All the Arabs in Basra belong to the Adnanite or the Qahtanite tribes. The main tribes that are located in Basra are Al-Emarah , Bani Tamim, Bani Assad, Bani Ka'ab, Bani Malik, Shammar, Bani Khalid, Bani Sa'ad, Al-shwelat Anniza, Suwa'id, Al-bo Mohammed, Al-Jboor, Duwasir, Dhufair, Shreefat, Al-Badr, Al-Ubadi, Ruba'ah Sayyid tribes (descendants of Prophet Muhammed) and hundreds of Arab tribes. Muslim adherents of the area are primarily members of the Jafari Shi'a sect. A sizable number of Sunnis, around 20%, also live there as well as a small number of ethnic Assyrian Christians. There are also remnants of the pre-Arab, pre-Islamic Mesopotamian gnostic sect of Mandaeans, whose headquarters were in the area formerly called Suk esh-Sheikh and they are a small community of 3000 people or less.

Many ethno religious minorities including the indigenous Assyrians and Mandeans have been forced out of the city since 2003 due to racial and religious persecution.

A network of canals flowed through the city, giving it the nickname "The Venice of the Middle East" at least at high tide. The tides at Basra fall by about 2.7 meters (9 ft).[citation needed] For a long time, Basra was known for the superior quality of its dates.[2]

A Canal in Basra circa 1950

History

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First millennium

636
Founding
Shanasheel of the old part of Basra city,1954

The present city was founded in 636 as an encampment and garrison for the Arab tribesmen constituting the armies of amir `Umar ibn al-Khattab, a few kilometres south of the present city, where a tell still marks its site. While defeating the Sassanid forces there, the Muslim commander Utba ibn Ghazwan first set up camp there on the site of an old Persian settlement called Vaheštābād Ardašīr, which was destroyed by the Arabs.[3] The name Al-Basrah, which in Arabic means "the over watching" or "the seeing everything", was given to it because of its role as a Military base against the Sassanid empire. Other sources however say its name originates from the Persian word Bas-rāh or Bassorāh meaning "where many ways come together".[4].

639
Abu-Musa al-Asha'ari

Umar established this encampment as a city with five districts, and appointed Abu-Musa al-Asha'ari as its first governor. Abu Musa led the conquest of Khuzestan from 639 to 642. After this, `Umar ordered him to aid `Uthman ibn Abu al-`As, then fighting Iran from a new, more easterly misr at Tawwaj.

650
`Abdallah ibn `Amir

In 650, the amir `Uthman reorganised the Persian frontier, installed `Abdallah ibn `Amir as Basra's governor, and put the invasion's southern wing under Basra's responsibility. Ibn `Amir led his forces to their final victory over Yazdegard III, king of Persia. Basra accordingly had few quarrels with `Uthman and so, in 656, sent few men to the embassy against him. On `Uthman's murder, Aisha the Islamic prophet Mohammed refused to recognise and led a revolt against the new appointed Khalifa `Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS); supported the Meccan aristocracy Al-Zubayr ibn Al Awam, and Talha with an army from Basra. Imam `Ali (AS) with his army of close friends of the prophet defeated this force at the Battle of the Camel. Called in this name because Aisha was on her camel encouraging her followers. Al - Zubair & Talha both killed and berried in the area now called Al Zubair City. Aisha was sent to Al Madina were she died.

In 656, the Sayabiga (possibly of Indian/Indonesian origin) were ordered to guard the treasury.

6??
`Uthman ibn Hanif

Ali first installed `Uthman ibn Hanif as Basra's governor and then `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas. These men held the city for `Ali until the latter's death in 661.

661
Umayyad `Abd Allah

The Sufyanids held Basra until Yazid I's death in 683. Their first governor there was an Umayyad `Abd Allah, who proved to be a great general (under him, Kabul was forced to pay tribute) but a poor mayor.

661
Ziyad ibn Abu Sufyan

In 664, Mu`awiyah replaced him with Ziyad ibn Abu Sufyan, often called "Ibn Abihi (son of his own [unknown] father)", who became famed for his Draconian methods of public order.

673
Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyad

On Ziyad's death in 673, his son Ubayd-Allah ibn Ziyad became governor. In 680, Yazid I ordered Ubayd Allah to keep order in Kufa as a reaction to Imam Hussein ibn `Ali(AS), The prophet Mohammad's grandson, popularity there; Ubayd-Allah took over the control of Kufa, Imam Hussein, who wanted to restore the principals of Islam, sent his cousin as an ambassador to the people of Kufa, but Ubayd Allah executed Hussein's cousin Muslim ibn Aqeel amidst fears of an uprising. Then he ordered and assembled a big army of thousands from Kufa people and other provinces and fought Iman Hussein ibn Ali's army of around 70 faithfull in a land called Karbala near Kufa. All including Imam Hussien were killed and their heads were sent to Yazid as a proof.

684
Abd-Allah ibn al-Harith

In 683, Abd Allah ibn Zubayr cemented his status as a caliph in the Hijaz. In 684 the Basrans forced Ubayd Allah to take shelter with Mas'ud al-Azdi and chose Abd Allah ibn al-Harith as their governor. Ibn al-Harith swiftly recognised Ibn al-Zubayr's claim, and Ma'sud made a premature and fatal move on Ubayd Allah's behalf; and so `Ubayd Allah felt obliged to flee.

Ibn al-Harith spent his year in office trying to put down Nafi' ibn al-Azraq's Kharijite uprising in Khuzestan. Islamic tradition condemns him as feckless abroad and corrupt at home, but praises him on matters of doctrine and prayer.

684
Umar ibn Ubayd Allah

In 685, Ibn al-Zubayr required a practical man, and so appointed Umar ibn Ubayd Allah ibn Ma'mar [5]

684
Mus`ab ibn al-Zubayr

Finally, Ibn al-Zubayr appointed his own brother Mus`ab. In 686, the self-proclaimed prophet Al-Mukhtar led an insurrection at Kufa, and put an end to Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad near Mosul. In 687, Mus`ab defeated Mukhtar, with the help of Kufans whom Mukhtar had exiled [6].

684
Al-Hajjaj

`Abd al-Malik reconquered Basra in 691, and Basra remained loyal to his governor al-Hajjaj during Ibn Ash`ath's mutiny 699-702. However, Basra did support the rebellion of Yazid ibn al-Muhallab against Yazid II during the 720s. In the 740s, Basra fell to al-Saffah of the `Abbasids.

Abbasid dynasty

During the time of the Abbasid dynasty Basra became an intellectual centre as it was the home city of the Arab universal genius Ibn al-Haytham, the Arab literary giant al-Jahiz, and the Sufi mystic Rabia Basri.

Zanj Rebellion led by Ali bin Muhammad, or Sahib az-Zanji

This was a rebellion by the agricultural slaves of the lowlands, brought from different fringes of the empire.

In 871, the Zanj sacked Basra.

In 923, the Qarmatians, an extremist Muslim sect, invaded and devastated Basra (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

In 965, Alhazen was born in Basra.

From 945 to 1055, a Buwayhid dynasty ruled Baghdad and most of Iraq. Abu al Qasim al Baridis, who still controlled Basra and Wasit, were defeated and their lands taken by the Buyids in 947.

Daylamite period

Sanad Al-Daula (al-habashi) was the governor of Basra and built a library of 15,000 books. Diya' al-Dawla was the Buyid ruler of Basra during the 980s. He was the son of 'Adud al-Dawla: see Samsam al-Dawla page for more details as there appears to have been a great deal of rivalry in the al-Daula group.

Second millennium

Seljuk period

The Great Friday Mosque was constructed in Basra.

In 1122, Zengi received Basra as a fief. (Penny Encyclopedia)

In 1126, Zengi suppressed a revolt.

In 1129, Dabis looted the Basra state treasury.

A 1200 map "on the eve of the Mongol invasions" shows the Abbasid Caliphate as ruling lower Iraq, and presumably Basra.

In 1258, the Mongols sacked Bagdhad and end Abbasid reign. By some accounts, Basra capitulated to the Mongols to avoid a massacre.

The Mamluk Bahri dynasty map (1250–1382) shows Basra as being under their area of control, and the Mongol Dominions map (1300–1405) shows Basra as being under their control.

In 1290, Buscarello_de_Ghizolfi page: internal fight erupted at the Persian Gulf port of Basra among the Geneose (between the Guelphs and Ghibellines).

In 1327, Ibn Battuta visited Basra, which was in decline with the great mosque being 2 miles out of town. An Ilkhanid Governor received him.

In 1411, Jalayrid leader was ousted from Basra by Kara Koyunlu of the Black Sheep Turkmen.

In 1523, the Portuguese Antonio Tenreiro crossed from Aleppo to Basra.

By 1546, the Turks had reached Basra.

In 1550, the Portuguese threatened Basra.

In 1624, the Portuguese assisted Basra Pasha in repelling a Persian invasion. The Portuguese were granted a share of customs and freedom from tolls.

From about 1625 until 1668, Basra and the Delta marshlands were in the hands of local chieftains independent of the Ottoman administration at Baghdad.

1668: Ottoman Empire

Basra was, for a long time, a flourishing commercial and cultural centre. It was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1668. It was fought over by Turks and Persians and was the scene of repeated attempts at resistance.

1775-1779 Zands

The Zand Dynasty under Karim Khan Zand briefly occupies Basra after a long siege

1911: Ottoman Empire

The 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica reported some Jews and a few Christians living in Basra, but no Turks other than Ottoman officials. The wealthiest and most influential personage in Basra was the nakib, or marshal of the nobility (i.e. descendants of the family of the prophet, who are entitled to wear the green turban). In 1884 the Ottomans responded to local pressure from the Shi'as of the south by detaching the southern districts of the Baghdad vilayet and creating a new vilayet of Basra.

1914 : World War I

After the Battle of Basra (1914) during World War I, the occupying British modernized the port (works designed by Sir George Buchanan), which became the principal port of Iraq.

1939 : World War II

During World War II it was an important port through which flowed much of the equipment and supplies sent to Russia by the other allies. At the end of the second world war the population was some 93,000 people.

1945-1990: peacetime and the Iran–Iraq War

The University of Basrah was founded in 1964.

By 1977, the population had risen to a peak population of some 1.5 million. The population declined during the Iran–Iraq War, being under 900,000 in the late 1980s, possibly reaching a low point of just over 400,000 during the worst of the war. The city was repeatedly shelled by Iran and was the site of many fierce battles, such as Operation Ramadan and Operation Karbala 5.

1991: Persian Gulf War

After the first Persian Gulf War (See Operation Desert Storm by the US.) in 1991, Basra was the site of widespread revolt against Saddam Hussein, which was violently put down with much death and destruction inflicted on the city.

1999: Second revolt

On January 25, 1999, Basra was the scene of scores of civilian casualties when a missile fired by a U.S. warplane was dropped in a civilian area. Eleven persons were killed and fifty-nine injured. General Anthony Zinni, then commander of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf, acknowledged that it was possible that "a missile may have been errant". While such casualty numbers pale in comparison to later events, the bombing occurred one day after Arab foreign ministers, meeting in Egypt, refused to condemn four days of air strikes against Iraq in December 1998. This was described by Iraqi information minister Human Abdel-Khaliq[7] as giving the United States and Britain "an Arab green card" to attack Iraq.[8]

A second revolt in 1999 led to mass executions in and around Basra. Subsequently the Iraqi government deliberately neglected the city, and much commerce was diverted to Umm Qasr. These alleged abuses are to feature amongst the charges against the former regime to be considered by the Iraq Special Tribunal set up by the Iraq Interim Government following the 2003 invasion.

Third millennium

Workers in Basra's oil industry have been involved in extensive organization and labour conflict. They held a two-day strike in August 2003, and formed the nucleus of the independent General Union of Oil Employees (GUOE) in June 2004. The union held a one-day strike in July 2005, and publicly opposes plans for privatizing the industry.

2003: Iraq War and occupation

In March through to May 2003, the outskirts of Basra were the scene of some of the heaviest fighting in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. British forces, led by the 7th Armoured Brigade, took the city on April 6, 2003. This city was the first stop for the United States and the United Kingdom during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

2004: Car bombs

On April 21, 2004, a series of bomb blasts ripped through the city, killing 74 people.

The Multi-National Division (South-East), under British Command, is engaged in Security and Stabilization missions in Basra Governorate and surrounding areas.

2005

Political groups and their ideology which are strong in Basra are reported to have close links with political parties already in power in the Iraqi government, despite opposition from Iraqi Sunnis and the more secular Kurds. January 2005 elections saw several radical politicians gain office, supported by religious parties. American journalist Stephen Vincent, who had been researching and reporting on corruption and militia activity in the city, was kidnapped and killed on 2 August 2005.

2007

September 3rd: UK troops withdraw to Basra Airport

British troops pull out of Basra city and the palace and move to a base at Basra International Airport.

December 16th: UK troops transfer control to Iraqi authorities

British troops transfer control of Basra province to the Iraqi authorities, four-and-a-half years after the invasion.[9] A BBC survey of local residents finds that 86% think the presence of British troops since 2003 has had an overall negative effect on the province.[10]

New Police Chief

Abdul Jalil Khalaf was appointed Police Chief by the central government with the task of taking on the militias. He has been outspoken against the targeting of women by the militias.[11]. Talking to the BBC, he said that his determination to tackle the militia has led to almost daily assassination attempts [12]. This has been taken as sign that he is serious in opposing the militias[13].

2008

In March 2008, the Iraqi Army launched a major offensive, code-named Saulat al-Fursan (Charge of the White Knights), aimed at forcing the Mahdi Army out of Basra. The assault was planned by Gen Mohan Furaiji and approved by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.[14]

Security commanders removed

In April 2008, following the failure to disarm militant groups, both Maj-Gen Abdul Jalil Khalaf and Gen Mohan Furaiji are removed from their positions in Basra.[15]

Secret prison

On September 11, 2008, during a routine tour of Basra, the Iraqi Parliament’s Human Rights Commission found up to 200 malnourished and disease-stricken Iraqi detainees locked in a secret prison in Basra. The commission’s spokesman, Amer Thamer, stated that many of the detainees bore signs of torture. The prison is operated by the Defense Ministry, and none of the inmates have ever been tried or given access to legal assistance. Thamer said that the 200 prisoners only had access to one flooded and dirty latrine, and the commission has demanded the authorities shut down the prison immediately.[citation needed]

H.G. Wells and Basra

The city of Basra has a major role in H.G. Wells's 1933 future history "The Shape of Things to Come", where the Iraqi city is at the center of a world state emerging after a collapse of civilization, and becomes in effect the capital of the world (see [2]).

Sister cities

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Coalition Provisional Authority, South-Central Region United Nations 2003 population estimate". http://hhcom1.co.cc/english/Basrah.html. Retrieved November 27, 2008. 
  2. ^ Produced the finest dates known 1st paragraph. [1] retrieved 08/26/2007
  3. ^ according to Encyclopædia Iranica, E. Yarshater, Columbia University, p851
  4. ^ See Mohammadi Malayeri, M. Dil-i Iranshahr.
  5. ^ (Madelung p. 303-4)
  6. ^ (Brock p.66)
  7. ^ His proper name and position description appears to be in error, in that he appears to have held a more junior role at the time. Humam Abd al-Khaliq Abd al-Ghafur was Iraqi Information Minister between 1997 and 2001. The Iraqi Information Minister between 1991 and 1996 was Hamid Yusuf Hammadi. See List of Iraqi Information Ministers.
  8. ^ Paul Koring, "U.S. air strikes kill 11, injure 59: Iraq". The Globe and Mail (Toronto), January 26, 1999: A8. These air strikes, by British and U.S. warplanes and U.S. cruise missiles, were said to be in response to a release of a report by UN weapons inspectors stating that, as of 1998, the government of Iraq was obstructing their inspection work. Following the four days of bombing in December, the Iraqi government commenced challenging the "no fly zones" unilaterally imposed on the country by the United States, following the 1991 Persian Gulf war. During the month of January, 1999, there were more than 100 incursions by Iraqi aircraft and 20 instances of Iraqi surface-to-air missiles being filed. The January bombing of Basra occurred in the context of retaliatory attacks by the United States.
  9. ^ "UK troops return Basra to Iraqis". BBC News. 2007-12-16. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7146507.stm. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Basra residents blame UK troops". BBC News. 2007-12-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7144437.stm. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Basra militants targeting women". BBC News. November 15, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7095209.stm. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Basra: The Legacy". BBC News. December 17, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/7148670.stm. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Uncertainty follows Basra exit". BBC News. December 15, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7145597.stm. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Iraqi Army’s Assault on Militias in Basra Stalls". New York Times. 2008-03-27. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/world/middleeast/27iraq.html. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  15. ^ "Basra security leaders removed". BBC News. 2008-04-16. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7350434.stm. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 

Bibliography

  • Hallaq, Wael. The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law. Cambridge University Press, 2005
  • Hawting, Gerald R. The First Dynasty of Islam. Routledge. 2nd ed, 2000
  • Madelung, Wilferd. "Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr and the Mahdi" in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies 40. 1981. pp. 291–305.
  • Vincent, Stephen. Into The Red Zone: A Journey Into the Soul of Iraq. ISBN 1-890626-57-0.

External links

Coordinates: 30°30′N 47°49′E / 30.5°N 47.817°E / 30.5; 47.817


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents
Paddling up the Shatt-al-Arab in Basra
Paddling up the Shatt-al-Arab in Basra

Basra is a port city in the Lower Mesopotamia region of southern Iraq, very close to the border with Kuwait. It is Iraq's third largest city with a population of 1,700,000 (2003).

Map of Basra
Map of Basra

Basra is very close to Kuwait, so to get there from abroad it is probably a lot easier and safer to fly to Kuwait and cross into Iraq from there.

Iranian border which is of course a river is very near here.

Do

Due to the war in Iraq, terrorism is rife, especially against Westerners, it is advisable not to go out on excursions and only travel to Basra in the first place for necessary, essential business.

This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BASRA (written also Busra, Bassora and Bussora), the name of a vilayet of Asiatic Turkey, and of its capital. The vilayet has an area of 16,470 sq. m., formed in 1884 by detaching the southern districts of the Bagdad vilayet. It includes the great marshy districts of the lower Euphrates and Tigis, and of their joint stream, the Shatt el-Arab, and a sanjak on the western shore of the Persian Gulf. A settled population is found only along the river banks. Except the capital, Basra, there are no towns of importance. Korna, at the junction of the two great rivers; Amara on the Tigris; Shatra on the Shatt el-Hai canal, connecting the Tigris and Euphrates; Nasrieh, at the junction of that canal with the Euphrates and Suk esh-Sheiukh, on the lower reaches of the Euphrates, are the principal settlements, with a population varying from 3000 to ro,000 or somewhat less. Along the Shatt el-Arab and the lower reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates there are vast plantations of date-palms, which produce the finest dates known. Here and there are found extensive rice-fields; liquorice, wheat, barley and roses are also cultivated in places. But in general the ancient canals on which the fertility of the country depends have been allowed to go to ruin. The whole land is subject to inundations which render settled agriculture impracticable, and the population consists chiefly of nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes whose wealth consists in herds of buffaloes, horses, sheep and goats. The principal exports are wool, dates, cereals, gum, liquoriceroot and horses. The climate is humid and unhealthy. The population is estimated at about 200,000 almost exclusively Moslems, of whom three-quarters are Shiites. There are about 4000 Jews and perhaps 6000 Christians, among whom are reckoned the remains of the curious sect of Sabaeans or Mandaeans, whose headquarters are in the neighbourhood of Suk esh-Sheiukh.

The capital of the vilayet, also called Basra, is situated in 47° 34' E. long. and 32° N. lat., near the western bank of the Shatt el-Arab, about 55 m. from the Persian Gulf. The town proper lies on the canal el-`Assa y about 12 to 2 m. W. of the Shatt el-Arab. There are no public buildings of importance. The houses are meanly built, partly of sun-dried and partly of burnt bricks, with flat roofs surrounded by parapets. The bazaars are miserable structures, covered with mats laid on rafters of date trees. The streets are irregular, narrow and unpaved. The greater part of the area of the town is occupied by gardens and plantations of palm-trees, intersected by a number of little canals, cleansed twice daily with the ebb and flow of the tide, which rises here about 9 ft. These canals are navigated by small boats, called bellem (plur. ablam), resembling dug-outs in form, but light and graceful. At high-tide, accordingly, the town presents a very attractive appearance, but at low-tide, when the mud banks are exposed, it seems dirty and repulsive, and the noxious exhalations are extremely trying. The whole region is subject to inundations. The town itself is unhealthy and strangers especially are apt to be attacked by fever. Basra is the port of Bagdad, with which it has steam communication by an English line of river steamers weekly and also by a Turkish line. The Shatt el-Arab is deep and broad, easily navigable for ocean steamers, and there is weekly communication by passenger steamer with India, while two or more freight lines, which also take passengers, connect Basra directly with the Mediterranean, and with European and British ports. It is the great date port of the world, and the dates of Basra are regarded as the finest in the market. Besides dates the principal articles of export are wool, horses, liquorice, gum and attar of roses. The annual value of the exports is approximately i,000,000 and of the imports a little more. The foreign trade is almost exclusively in the hands of the English, but of late the Germans have begun to enter the market, and the Hamburg-American line of steamers has established direct communication. Since 1898 there has been a British consul at Basra (before that time he was a representative of the Indian government). France and Russia also maintain consular establishments at Basra. The settled population of Basra is probably under 50,000, but how much it is impossible to estimate. It is a heterogeneous mixture of all the nations and religions of the East - Turks, Arabs, Persians, Indians, Armenians, Chaldaeans and Jews. Of the latter there are about 1900, engaged in trade and commerce. Fewest in number are the Turks, comprising only the officials. Most numerous are the Arabs, chiefly Shiites. The wealthiest and most influential personage in the capital and the vilayet is the nakib, or marshal of the nobility (i.e. descendants of the family of the prophet, who are entitled to wear the green turban). Basra is a station of the Arabian mission of the Dutch Reformed Church of America.

History

The original city of Basra was founded by the caliph Omar in A.D. 636 about 8 m. S.W. of its present site, on the edge of the stony and pebbly Arabian plateau, on an ancient canal now dry. The modern town of Zobeir, a sort of health suburb, occupied by the villas of well-to-do inhabitants of Basra, lies near the ruin mounds which mark the situation of the ancient city. In the days of its prosperity it rivalled Kufa and Wasit in wealth and size, and its fame is in the tales of the Arabian Nights. With the decay of the power of the Abbasid caliphate its importance declined. The canals were neglected, communication with the Persian Gulf was cut off and finally the place was abandoned altogether. The present city was conquered by the Turks in 1668, and since that period has been the scene of many revolutions. It was taken in 1777 after a siege of eight months by the Persians under Sadik Khan. In about a year it fell again into the hands of the Turks, who were again deprived of it by the sheikh of the Montefik (Montafiq) Arabs. The town was in the October following recovered by Suleiman Pasha, who encountered the sheikh on the banks of the Euphrates and put him to flight; it has since remained in the hands of the Turks. (J. P. PE.)


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Proper noun

Singular
Basra

Plural
-

Basra

  1. A city and port in southeast Iraq.

Translations

Anagrams


Simple English

Basra
البصرة
Al Baṣrah
Coordinates: 30°30′N 47°49′E / 30.5°N 47.817°E / 30.5; 47.817
Country Iraq
Governorate Basra Governorate
Founded AD 636
Population (2003 Est)
 - Total 1,700,000

Basra (البصرة; Al Baṣrah) is the third largest city of Iraq with a population of about 2,600,000 (2003). It is the country's main port. Baṣra played an important role in early Islamic history, and it was the first city built in Islam 14 A.H (after Hijra)

Overview

The city lies at the Shatt al-Arab waterway near the Persian Gulf, 55 kilometers (34 mi) from the Persian Gulf and 545 kilometers (339 mi) from Baghdad, Iraq's capital and largest city.

Bibliography

  • Hawting, Gerald R. The First Dynasty of Islam. Routledge. 2nd ed, 2000
  • Vincent, Stephen. Into The Red Zone: A Journey Into the Soul of Iraq. ISBN 1-890626-57-0.

Other websites


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