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Iraq in History; Part Three: From the Golden Age to the Monarchy PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 05 January 2005 00:00
THE victors moved their center of power to Iraq and for the first few decades they enjoyed a lot of success, the early Abbassid rulers were very enlightened, and were able to remove a good deal of the discontent which has contributed to the failure of their predecessors. They cared about their people and were interested  in everything concerning their health and their prosperity. They loved science and learning and continually sought, patronized and encouraged talented and promising individuals who stood shoulder to shoulder with the previous giants of history a truly golden period which reached its climax in about a hundred years.

THE second Abbasid khaliafa al-Mansur built Baghdad in 762 AD and called it Madinat al-Salam [the city of piece].  Baghdad became the center of an astonishing new phase in man's march into civilization the standards of science art literature medicine and every other discipline reached very high. The Muslims and the Arab not only translated and compiled the ancient treasures but added a tremendous amount from their own ideas their work and their experiences for which they received a great deal of appreciation from their successors.  There was in Baghdad a library known as the house of wisdom in which there were countless numbers of translated and original manuscripts. There was 60 first class hospitals in Baghdad.

ISLAMIC medicine and science reflected the light of the Hellenic Sun when its day has fled and they shone like a moon illuminating the darkest nights of the European middle ages the Islamic Arabic part of man’s civilization went on for more than half a millennium.  But suddenly it was over, all this light and glory was extinguished and destroyed in one of History’s most atrocious and cruel episodes at the hands of the Mongols.  The Mongols were hordes of killers and looters who burst on history during the early centuries of the second millennium murdering raping destroying sacking and burning.  They killed in cold blood women men and children burned towns and villages and destroyed harvests and transformed flourishing lands into deserts.

IT was these maniacs who under Hulago Khan descended on Baghdad in February 1258 AD, and went into a frenzied rampage of killing and destruction which lasted it is said for a week by the end of which 800,000 people including its best scholars doctors artists and scientists were dead, the literary and scientific treasures the accumulation of centuries were almost completely destroyed the great library was burned with its hundreds of thousands of priceless books destroyed and thrown in the river. The destroyed books were numerous they filled the river from bank to bank like a bridge and turned the color of the water black.

NEVER was so magnificent epoch in human history so mercilessly and senselessly swiftly consumed with fire and quenched in blood.

FOR the next four centuries Iraq was caught in the middle of conflicts between the much stronger states surrounding it until the Ottoman Empire which was established in the 16th century and was at its height in control of most of southeastern Europe and the Middle East including Iraq and has at one time reached almost to the doors of Vienna but as has always happened in history it after a period of great flowering has grown week and enfeebled from major interior problems and as a result of its constant troubles with its neighbors and many other enemies.  The final blow came as a result of its involvement in the first world war on the side of the Germans who lost and brought the Ottoman Empire down with them which resulted in its dismemberment and the sharing of its components by the victors, Iraq went to Britain under the guise of a league of nations mandate which allowed them to continue its occupation, in 1921 the British granted it sovereignty, a monarchy and crowned Faisal one of the sons of the Hussein ibn-Aali the Shareef of Mecca king of Iraq in recognition of his father’s support during the last war.  Britain remained the real power until it was kicked out from Iraq on the morning of the 14th of July 1958.

Dr. Najeeb Hanoudi
Baghdad, January 5th, 2005
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