Al Ḩillah, Iraq

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Al Ḩillah, Iraq

Region: Babylon


Geographic Coordinates: 32.483300, 44.433300
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 45.0°C (50°F to 113°F)
Climate: Seasonal hot and dry climate with occasional rain and thunderstorms.
Population: 541034
Language: Arabic

Al Ḩillah is a city situated in central Iraq, About 100 kilometers south of Baghdad. It serves as the capital of Babylon Governorate and is home to around 500, 000 individuals. The city has a fascinating history dating back to ancient times and is famous for its archaeological sites, Which include the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon. During the Abbasid Caliphate era, Al Ḩillah was an important hub for trade and commerce. It was also home to numerous scholars who made significant contributions to Islamic philosophy, Theology, And science.

Today, Al Ḩillah is a thriving urban center with contemporary amenities such as shopping malls, Hotels, Restaurants, And parks. One of Al Ḩillah’s primary attractions is the ancient ruins of Babylon that are over 4, 000 years old. The site features remnants of palaces, Temples, Walls and gates that were once part of one of Mesopotamia’s most powerful cities. Visitors can explore these impressive ruins on foot or through guided tours.

Another popular attraction in Al Ḩillah is Imam Ali Mosque which holds great significance for Shia Muslims since it contains Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib’s tomb who was Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law. The mosque’s architecture reflects both traditional Islamic design elements as well as modern features such as air conditioning systems. Al Ḩillah also boasts several parks including Babil Park covering over 200 hectares with lush greenery and scenic walking trails along with playgrounds for children making it an ideal spot for family outings or picnics.

Food enthusiasts will be delighted by Al Ḩillah’s cuisine featuring traditional Iraqi dishes like biryani (spiced rice with meat), Kebabs (grilled meat skewers), Falafel (fried chickpea balls) along with other Middle Eastern delicacies like hummus, Tabbouleh, And baklava. Al Ḩillah is a city with a fascinating history and culture that provides visitors with an opportunity to explore ancient ruins dating back thousands of years. The city’s modern amenities like shopping malls and restaurants make it an ideal destination for tourists looking to experience both the past and present of Iraq.

With its beautiful parks, Historic sites, Delicious cuisine, And welcoming locals, Al Ḩillah is definitely worth a visit.



Primary Industries

  • The major industries and businesses in Al Ḩillah, Iraq are:
    1. Agriculture
    2. Oil refining
    3. Cement production
    4. Textile manufacturing
  • There are also a number of small businesses in retail and service sectors.
  • The city is home to several large companies such as:
    • The State Company for Food Products Industries
    • The State Company for Petrochemical Industries
    • The Al-Hillah Cement Plant
  • Additionally, there is a growing tourism industry due to the historic sites located in the area such as Babylon ruins.

  • Noteable History

    1. Al Ḩillah is located in the heart of Mesopotamia, where the ancient Babylonian Empire flourished. The city was an important center of trade and commerce during this time.
    2. King Hammurabi, who is known for his law code, ruled over the Babylonian Empire from his capital city of Babylon, which is located near present-day Al Ḩillah.
    3. In 680 AD, a battle took place near Al Ḩillah between the forces of Imam Hussain and the army of Yazid I. This event is commemorated every year by Shia Muslims around the world.
    4. In 1258 AD, Hulagu Khan led a Mongol invasion that resulted in the destruction of Baghdad and many other cities in Mesopotamia, including Al Ḩillah.
    5. Today, Al Ḩillah is known as one of Iraq’s Shrine Cities due to its proximity to several important Shia shrines such as Imam Ali Mosque and Imam Hussein Shrine.
    6. During Saddam Hussein’s regime (1979-2003), Al Ḩillah was heavily militarized and suffered from economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by Western countries.
    7. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Al Ḩillah became a key battleground during the US-led War on Terror in Iraq that began in 2003.
    8. On March 28th, 2022 there was an attack carried out by ISIS militants at a checkpoint outside al-Hilla that killed at least eight people and injured dozens more.

    Notable people associated with Al Ḩillah:

    1. Several Abbasid caliphs ruled from Baghdad (near Al Ḩillah) during the height of Islamic Golden Age.
    2. Sheikh Abdul Karim Haeri: The founder of Islamic seminary in Najaf was born in Al Ḩillah in 1865.
    3. Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr, a prominent Shia cleric and philosopher who was executed by Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1980, was born in Al Ḩillah in 1935.
    4. Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former President of Yemen who ruled from 1990-2012, was born near Al Ḩillah in Bayt al-Ahmar village.
    5. Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian major general who commanded Iran’s Quds Force from 1998 until his death in a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport on January 3rd, 2020 had visited Al Hillah several times during his career as a military commander.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Babylon Archaeological Site
    2. Al-Hillah Grand Mosque
    3. Imam Ali Shrine
    4. Al-Muntada al-Adabi Cultural Center
    5. Babil International Stadium
    6. Babil Museum
    7. Al-Salam Palace
    8. Al-Qadisiya University Museum
    9. The House of Wisdom (Bayt al-Hikma) Library and Museum
    10. The Tomb of Zainab bint Ali in Karbala, located about 60 km from Al Ḩillah



    Cultural Events

    1. Arba’een: A religious event commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
    2. Ashura: Another religious event that marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussain.
    3. Eid al-Fitr: A Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan.
    4. Eid al-Adha: A Muslim festival that honors Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah.
    5. Babylon International Festival: An annual cultural festival held in Al Ḩillah that celebrates music, dance, and other forms of art from around the world.
    6. Baghdad International Film Festival: An annual film festival held in Baghdad that showcases movies from Iraq and other countries around the world.
    7. National Day: Celebrated on October 3rd every year to commemorate Iraq’s independence from British rule in 1932.
    8. Martyr’s Day: Observed on June 14th every year to honor those who lost their lives fighting for Iraq’s independence and sovereignty over the years.

    Cuisine

    • Masgouf: A traditional Iraqi dish made with grilled fish marinated in spices and served with rice.
    • Al-Qasr Restaurant: Known for its delicious kebabs and grilled meats.
    • Al-Furat Restaurant: Offers a variety of traditional Iraqi dishes such as dolma (stuffed grape leaves), kibbeh (meatballs), and biryani (spiced rice).
    • Abu Ali Restaurant: Famous for its falafel sandwiches and shawarma wraps.
    • Al-Mansour Mall Food Court: A popular spot for fast food chains such as KFC, Pizza Hut, and Burger King.
    • Dar Es Salaam Restaurant: Serves a range of Middle Eastern cuisine including hummus, tabbouleh salad, and lamb chops.
    • Babel Fish House Restaurant: Specializes in seafood dishes like fried shrimp and calamari rings.
    • Haji Hussein Kabab House: Offers mouth-watering kababs made with beef or lamb meat cooked over an open flame grill.
    • Dijla Cafe & Grill House: A cozy cafe that serves freshly brewed coffee along with grilled sandwiches and burgers.
    • Falafel Abu Firas: Another famous spot for falafel sandwiches stuffed with crispy chickpea balls topped with tahini sauce or pickles on pita breads.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Al-Hilla Park: A huge park situated in the city center that boasts playgrounds, walking paths, and picnic areas.
      2. Babylon Gardens: These gardens are located just outside of Al Ḩillah and provide visitors with an opportunity to explore ancient ruins while enjoying scenic views.
      3. Euphrates River: The river flows through the city, offering residents and tourists alike opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming.
      4. Sports Complex: This facility has amenities for various sports such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis among others.
      5. Children’s City: An amusement park specially designed for children featuring rides and games among other attractions.
      6. Hilla Zoo: Home to a diverse range of animals including lions, tigers bears as well as birds like ostriches and peacocks.
      7. Cultural Center: This center hosts cultural events such as theater performances or art exhibitions that showcase local talent or national artists from across Iraq.

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