Area Handbook for Iraq

Area Handbook for Iraq

Area Handbook for Iraq

Area Handbook for Iraq

Excerpt

On May 31, 1968, a team composed of Nancy W. Al-Any, Donald W. Bernier, Frederica M. Bunge, William Giloane, Irving Kaplan, Rinn-Sup Shinn, and Suzanne Teleki, under the chairmanship of Harvey H. Smith, completed the Area Handbook for Iraq. Less than two months later, on July 17, 1968, Iraq experienced a coup d'etat, its fourth in ten years. Because of the revolutionary nature of the Baath Party government that was still in power in late 1970 and because of the military and economic importance of Iraq in the Middle East, it was decided to update the handbook completed in 1968 and published in 1969 by the preparation of a separate section entitled "Summary of Events: May 1968--November 1970," which briefly describes the more significant developments during that period. No revisions were made in the 1968 handbook; statistical and other data, for example, were left unchanged. On November 13, 1970, a team composed of Beryl L. Benderly, Newton B. Parker, and Suzanne Teleki, with Richard F. Nyrop as chairman, completed work on the section that immediately follows this preface.

The research team encountered considerable difficulty in securing reliable and current information and statistics. In part because of the anti-Western bias of the Baath government, few Western social scientists have engaged in field work in Iraq in recent years. The more important resource materials used were American and British journals, periodicals, and newspapers as well as translations of articles from several major periodicals and journals of the eastern Arab states. Extensive use was also made of statistical reports of the government of Iraq and of such organizations as the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The transliteration system recommended by the Library of Congress was followed in the spelling of Arabic words and names, except that no diacritical marks or other symbols were used. The place names used are those established for Iraq by the United States Board on Geographic Names, United States Department of the Interior, in June 1957.

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