Iraqi

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Think of Iraqis and the first name that strikes the mind is that of the notorious dictator Saddam Hussein. And why not, for he remained the face of Iraq for almost two decades, presiding over the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War. The brutality of this condemned man was finally over in 2003 when US invaded Iraq and dethroned him from power. Saddam was hanged to death in 2006 following charges of killing 148 Iraqi Shi’ites. However, Saddam Hussein is not the only famous Iraqi of the country. Nouri al-Maliki, a world leader and politician, served as the prime minister of Iraq. He was responsible for drafting Iraq’s constitution. He also played a key role in drafting the Status of Forces agreement with the United States that mandated American forces be out of Iraqi cities by June 2009. Ignatius Zakka is yet another prominent Iraqi figure. A religious leader, he dedicated his entire life for bridging the gap between the different Christian churches. In 1980, he served as the head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church. And who can forget the contribution made by Iraqi architect, Hisham N. Ashkouri, an urban planner who was the key to the reconstruction of Kabul. With this segment, find out more about famous Iraqis, their life and their works.
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 1 
Gilgamesh
(5th king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk)
Gilgamesh
4
Birthplace: Iraq
Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh is the leading character in the 2nd millennium B.C. Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh. Experts believe he was a Sumerian ruler from 2900-2500 B.C., who became a legendary figure in the Third Dynasty of Ur. Gilgamesh’s tale is said to have inspired the Iliad and the Odyssey.
 2 
Sargon of Akkad
(King of the Akkadian Empire from 2334 BC to 2279 BC)
Sargon of Akkad
2
Birthplace: Akkadian Empire
Died: 2279 AD

Sargon of Akkad reigned as the king of the Akkadian Empire from 2334 to 2284 BC. The first person to rule the Akkadian Empire, Sargon is sometimes recognized as the first person to rule over an empire in recorded history. He is credited with founding the Old Akkadian or Sargonic dynasty, which ruled for several years after his death.

 3 
Saddam Hussein
(5th President of Iraq (1979-2003))
Saddam Hussein
130
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 28, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Al Awja, Iraq
Died: December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq as its president from 1979 to 2003. Described as one of the last of the great dictators of the 20th century, his regime caused the deaths of at least 250,000 Iraqis. Saddam was deposed in 2003 when a U.S led coalition invaded Iraq. Accused of crimes against humanity, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death in 2006.

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 4 
Hammurabi
(Babylon King)
Hammurabi
6
Birthdate: 1810 BC
Birthplace: Babylon, Iraqi
Died: 1750 BC

Hammurabi reigned as the first Babylonian dynasty's sixth king from 1792 BC to 1750 BC. During his reign, Hammurabi conquered the city-states of Eshnunna, Larsa, and Mari and brought nearly all of Mesopotamia under Babylonian rule. He is also known for issuing the Code of Hammurabi, which is one of the first law codes to establish the presumption of innocence.

 5 
Sarah
(Abraham's wife)
Sarah
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Ur of the Chaldees
Nebuchadrezzar II
2
Birthdate: 0634 BC
Died: 0562 BC
 7 
Ibn-al-Haytham
(Arab Mathematician, Astronomer, and Physicist of the Islamic Golden Age)
Ibn-al-Haytham
17
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: 0965 AD
Birthplace: Basrah, Iraq
Died: 1040 AD

Ibn al-Haytham was an Arab mathematician, physicist, and astronomer of the Islamic Golden Age. He is best remembered for his contributions to the principles of optics for which he is called the father of modern optics. He was the first person to explain visual perception. A polymath, Ibn al-Haytham also wrote influential books on philosophy, medicine, and theology. 

 8 
Sennacherib
(Military Commander, King)
Sennacherib
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0740 BC
Birthplace: Nimrud
Died: December 31, 0681
Sennacherib reigned as the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire between 705 BC and 681 BC. One of the most famous Assyrian kings, Sennacherib is mentioned as an important figure in the Hebrew Bible. He is credited with destructing the city of Babylon and expanding Nineveh, the last great Assyrian capital.
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 9 
Nadia Murad
(Human rights activist)
Nadia Murad
2
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: 1993 AD
Birthplace: Kocho, Iraq
 10 
Ashurbanipal
(Last Great Ruler of the Neo-Assyrian Empire)
Ashurbanipal
3
Birthdate: 0685 BC
Birthplace: Assyria, Iraq
Died: 0631 BC

Ashurbanipal reigned as the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 669 BC until his death in 631 BC. Widely regarded as the last great king of Assyria, Ashurbanipal is best remembered for the establishment of the famous Library of Ashurbanipal. The library has great historical significance as it holds texts like the Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest surviving notable literature.

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 11 
Al-Kindī
(Father of Arab philosophy)
Al-Kindī
1
Birthdate: 0801 AD
Birthplace: Kufa, Iraq
Died: 0873 AD
 12 
Ahmad ibn Fadlan
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0879 AD
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
Died: 0960 AD
 13 
Nimrod
(Biblical Figure)
Nimrod
5
Birthplace: Sangara
Died: 1638 BC
Nimrod appears in the Bible as a ruler of Shinar, or Mesopotamia. Genesis and the Books of Chronicles state he was the son of Cush. Some sources link him to the Towel of Babel. He has been identified with countless real and mythical figures, such as the Mesopotamian god Ninurta.
 14 
Tariq Aziz
(Former Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq)
Tariq Aziz
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 28, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tel Keppe
Died: June 5, 2015

Tariq Aziz was an Iraqi politician best remembered for his service as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 11 November 1983 to 19 December 1991. An influential political leader, Tariq Aziz also served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq from 16 July 1979 to 9 April 2003.

 15 
Jim Al-Khalili
(Physicist)
Jim Al-Khalili
3
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: September 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
 16 
Methuselah
(Biblical Patriarch and a figure in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)
Methuselah
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 3317 BC
Birthplace: Ancient Near East

Methuselah was a biblical patriarch and a prominent figure in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. He was the son of Enoch and the grandfather of Noah. It is believed that he lived for 969 years, due to which Methuselah has become synonymous with longevity. Over the years, he has been referenced and portrayed in several films, television series, and music videos.

 17 
Zedekiah
(King of Judah)
Zedekiah
1
Birthdate: 0618 BC
Died: April 3, 0561
 18 
Nebuchadnezzar I
1
Birthdate: 1125 AD
Birthplace: Iraq
Died: 1104 AD
 19 
Nouri al-Maliki
(Vice President of Iraq (2014-2015 and 2016-2018), Prime Minister of Iraq (2006-2014))
Nouri al-Maliki
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 20, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hindiyah, Iraq

Former prime minister and vice president of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki was the grandson of reputed poet Muhammad Hasan Abi al-Mahasin. He later joined the outlawed Daʿwah party and escaped to Syria under the pseudonym Jawad after his link with the party was discovered. He later became the party leader.

 20 
Al-Maʾmūn
(Caliph of Baghdad)
Al-Maʾmūn
2
Birthdate: September 14, 0786
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
Died: August 9, 0833
 21 
Khosrau II
(considered to be the last great Sasanian king (shah) of Iran, ruling from 590 to 628, with an interruption of one year)
Khosrau II
0
Birthdate: 0570 AD
Birthplace: Ctesiphon, Iraq
Died: February 28, 0628
 22 
Nadira
(Indian actress)
Nadira
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1932
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
Died: February 9, 2006
 23 
Abd al-Karim Qasim
(Prime Minister of Iraq from 1958 to 1963)
Abd al-Karim Qasim
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 21, 1914
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
Died: February 9, 1963

Abd al-Karim Qasim was an Iraqi nationalist and Army brigadier. He came to power after the 14 July Revolution, during which the Iraqi monarchy was overthrown. Abd al-Karim Qasim went on to serve as the Prime Minister of Iraq from 14 July 1958 to 8 February 1963. During his premiership, Qasim laid importance on education and greater equality for women.

 24 
Khosrow I
(Sasanian King of Kings of Iran from 531 to 579)
Khosrow I
1
Birthdate: 0501 AD
Birthplace: Ardestan, Iran
Died: January 31, 0579

Khosrow I was a 6th-century Persian king of the Sasanian Empire. Though most of the information on him is known through legends, he is believed to have been a patron of the arts. He introduced major tax reforms and also brought changes to the Sasanian bureaucracy.

 25 
Enoch
(Methuselah's father)
Enoch
0
Birthplace: Babylon
 26 
Alia Shawkat
(Actress)
Alia Shawkat
10
Birthdate: April 18, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Riverside, California, USA
 27 
Adnan Al-Kaissie
(Iraqi former professional wrestler and manager)
Adnan Al-Kaissie
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
 28 
Uday Hussein
(Saddam Hussein’s Son)
Uday Hussein
34
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 18, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tikrit
Died: July 22, 2003

Uday Hussein was an the eldest child of  Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Uday was reportedly intimidating and erratically ruthless. Many claim that his relatives and acquaintances were victims of his rage. He was killed in 2003 by an American task force following the invasion of Iraq. 

 29 
Nabopolassar
0
Birthdate: 0658 BC
Died: 0605 BC
 30 
Charles Saatchi
(Businessman)
Charles Saatchi
5
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: June 9, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Baghdad

Charles Saatchi is an Iraqi-British businessman. He is credited with co-founding the popular advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. He then went on to co-found another international advertising agency called M&C Saatchi after Charles and his brother Maurice were forced out of Saatchi & Saatchi in 1995. He also owns Saatchi Gallery and is known for sponsoring the Young British Artists.

 31 
Faisal II of Iraq
2
Birthdate: May 2, 1935
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
Died: July 14, 1958
 32 
Esarhaddon
(King of the Neo-Assyrian Empire)
Esarhaddon
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthplace: Harran
Died: 0669 BC

Esarhaddon reigned as the King of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 681 BC until his death in 669 BC. He is best remembered for his invasion of Egypt in 671 BC. The conquest made his empire the world's largest at that time. Esarhaddon is also remembered for his reconstruction of Babylon.

 33 
Al-Mutanabbi
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 0915 AD
Birthplace: Kufa, Iraq
Died: September 3, 0965
 34 
Qusay Hussein
(Iraqi Politician, Military Leader and Son of Saddam Hussein)
Qusay Hussein
17
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
Died: July 22, 2003
Qusay Hussein was the younger son of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. As in charge of the Iraqi Republican Guard, a branch of the Iraqi military during the presidency of Saddam Hussein, Qusay Hussein was an influential man in Iraq. It is also believed that he had authority over other military units in Iraq. He was killed by U.S special forces in 2003.
 35 
Aḥmad Ḥasan al-Bakr
(Former President and the Prime Minister of Iraq)
Aḥmad Ḥasan al-Bakr
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 1, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tikrīt, Iraq
Died: October 4, 1982

Aḥmad Ḥasan al-Bakr was an Iraqi politician best remembered for his service as the President and the Prime Minister of Iraq from 1968 to 1979. He also served as the Prime Minister of Iraq from February to November 1963. An important political leader, Aḥmad Ḥasan al-Bakr also served as the Minister of Defence from 1974 to 1977.       

 36 
Ur-Nammu
(King of the Neo-Sumerian Empire)
Ur-Nammu
0
Listed In: Leaders

Ur-Nammu reigned as the King of the Neo-Sumerian Empire from 2112 BC to 2094 BC. He is credited with founding the Third Dynasty of Ur, which is also referred to as the Neo-Sumerian Empire, in southern Mesopotamia. Ur-Nammu is best remembered for creating the Code of Ur-Nammu, the oldest known extant legal code in the world.

 37 
Al-Masudi
(Historian)
Al-Masudi
0
Birthdate: 0896 AD
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
Died: August 31, 0956
 38 
Ezra
(Priest)
Ezra
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0480 BC
Birthplace: Babylon
Died: 0440 BC
 39 
Younis Mahmoud
(Football player)
Younis Mahmoud
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 3, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dibis, Kirkuk, Iraq
 40 
Al-Jāḥiẓ
(Theologian and scholar)
Al-Jāḥiẓ
1
Birthdate: 0776 AD
Birthplace: Basra, Iraq
Died: 0868 AD
 41 
Abū Ḥanīfah
(Theologian)
Abū Ḥanīfah
7
Birthdate: September 5, 0698
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kūfah, Iraq
Died: June 14, 0767
 42 
Ashurnasirpal II
0
Birthplace: Neo-Assyrian Empire
Died: 0859 BC
 43 
Sajida Talfah
(Wife of Saddam Hussein)
Sajida Talfah
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: June 24, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tikrit, Iraq

Married to former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, Sajida Talfah was also his first cousin. Theirs was an arranged marriage fixed before the two were even 10. Fond of her luxurious lifestyle, Sajida also often mistreated her servants. She disappeared during the Gulf War, like many other fugitives.

 44 
Abu Nuwas
(Poet)
Abu Nuwas
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 0756 AD
Birthplace: Ahvaz, Iran
Died: 0814 AD
 45 
Muqtada al-Sadr
(Iraqi Politician and Leader of the Sadrist Movement)
Muqtada al-Sadr
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 4, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Najaf, Iraq
Son of Iraqi Shi'a cleric Grand Ayatollah Muḥammad Ṣādiq al-Ṣadr, known for his opposition to Saddam Hussein, Muqtada al-Sadr started the Sadrist Movement. His initial militant stint transformed into a nationalist phase later. Shi'a people consider him a hero who stood against Sunni insurgents.
 46 
ʿAbd al-Rahman ʿArif
(President of Iraq from 1966 to 1968)
ʿAbd al-Rahman ʿArif
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 14, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
Died: August 24, 2007

ʿAbd al-Rahman ʿArif was an Iraqi political leader best remembered for his service as the President of Iraq from 1966 to 1968. A prominent politician, ʿAbd al-Rahman ʿArif also served as the Prime Minister of Iraq in 1967. Arif was also a career soldier who played an important role in the 14 July Revolution that overthrew the monarchy.

 47 
Raghad Hussein
(Oldest Daughter of Saddam Hussein)
Raghad Hussein
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq

Raghad Hussein is an Iraqi politician best known as the oldest daughter of Saddam Hussein. She left Iraq in 2003 and currently lives in exile in Jordan. Raghad Hussein is in Iraq's most wanted list for her supposed role in assisting the insurgency in Iraq.

 48 
Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf
(Iraqi Former Diplomat and Politician)
Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 30, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hillah, Iraq

Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf is an Iraqi former politician and diplomat. He is best known for his service as the Minister of Information from 2001 to 2003. Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf also served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 6 June 1992 to 23 April 2001.

 49 
Jalal Talabani
(President of Iraq from 2006 to 2014)
Jalal Talabani
2
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: 1933 AD
Birthplace: Kalkan, Iraq
Died: October 3, 2017

Jalal Talabani was an Iraqi Kurdish politician best remembered for his service as the President of Iraq from 2006 to 2014. Previously, he served as the Acting President from 2005 to 2006. Jalal Talabani is also remembered as the first non-Arab politician to serve as the president of Iraq. He is also credited with founding the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. 

 50 
Ayad Allawi
(Former Prime Minister of Iraq)
Ayad Allawi
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 31, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Adamiyah, Baghdad, Iraq

Ayad Allawi is an Iraqi politician best known for his service as the Prime Minister of Iraq from 1 June 2004 to 3 May 2005. A prominent politician, Allawi also served as the Vice President of Iraq from 10 October 2016 to 2 October 2018. A former Ba'athist, Ayad Allawi helped establish a political party called the Iraqi National Accord.