As Samāwah, Iraq

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As Samāwah, Iraq

Region: Muthanna

Geographic Coordinates: 31.316700, 45.283300
Climate: Dry and hot summers, mild winters with occasional rainfall.
Population: 215000
Language: Arabic

As Samāwah is a beautiful city located in the southern part of Iraq, Renowned for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance. The city is situated on the banks of the Euphrates River and surrounded by lush greenery, Making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. The history of As Samāwah dates back to ancient times when it served as a significant trading hub between Mesopotamia and Arabia. During the Islamic Golden Age, As Samāwah was an important center of learning and scholarship that produced famous scholars such as Al-Farabi.

One of the most notable landmarks in As Samāwah is the Al-Qadisiyah Dam built-in 1988 to control flooding from the Euphrates River. The dam also serves as a source of hydroelectric power for surrounding areas. Another popular attraction in As Samāwah is the Al-Hussein Mosque constructed during Ottoman rule in Iraq. The mosque features intricate architecture and beautiful tilework showcasing traditional Islamic design elements. For history lovers, Several museums throughout As-Samawah offer insights into Iraq’s rich cultural heritage.

These include the Al-Muthanna Museum housing artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia and Babylonian times, While Martyrs Museum showcases exhibits related to Iraq’s recent conflicts. In addition to its historical significance, As-Samawah boasts a vibrant arts scene with several annual festivals celebrating music, Dance, Theater and other forms of artistic expression. Overall, Visitors to As-Samawah can expect a unique blend of culture, History and natural beauty that make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling through southern Iraq.

Important Landmarks

  1. Al-Qadisiyah Dam: This is one of the largest dams in Iraq and provides electricity to nearby cities.
  2. Al-Samawah Grand Mosque: This mosque is one of the most significant religious sites in As Samāwah.
  3. Al-Khaldiya Park: A beautiful park with greenery and flowers, this park is perfect for picnics and family outings.
  4. The Euphrates River: As Samāwah sits on the banks of this river, which offers scenic views and water activities like fishing and boating.
  5. The Marshes of Mesopotamia: Located near As Samāwah, these marshes are considered an important ecological site with unique flora and fauna.
  6. The Museum of Civilization: Located in Baghdad, this museum showcases artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia including Babylonian treasures such as jewelry, pottery sculptures etc., which can be visited from As Samawah by taking a road trip to Baghdad (around 200 km).

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: As Samāwah is renowned for its fertile lands that produce various crops such as wheat, barley, dates, vegetables, and fruits.
  2. Livestock: The city has a significant number of livestock farms that produce meat, dairy products, and leather.
  3. Oil and gas: As Samāwah has several oil fields nearby that contribute to the country’s oil production.
  4. Construction: With the development of infrastructure projects in the region, construction companies have established their presence in the city.
  5. Retail trade: There are several markets and small shops selling goods ranging from clothing to household items.
  6. Transportation services: As Samāwah serves as a transportation hub for goods moving between Baghdad and southern Iraq.
  7. Tourism: The city has historical sites such as the ancient ruins of Babylon that attract tourists from around the world.

Noteable History

  1. The Battle of Karbala: This battle took place in 680 AD near As Samāwah and is considered one of the most significant events in Shia Islam. It was fought between the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph, and Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
  2. The Abbasid Caliphate: As Samāwah was an important center during the Abbasid Caliphate (750-1258 AD), which was one of the most powerful Islamic dynasties in history.
  3. Al-Ma’mun: Al-Ma’mun was an Abbasid caliph who ruled from 813-833 AD and is known for his support for science and learning. He established a famous library in As Samāwah that housed many important works.
  4. Ottoman Empire: As Samāwah became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1534 after being conquered by Suleiman I.
  5. British Occupation: During World War I, British forces occupied As Samāwah from 1915-1917 as part of their campaign against Ottoman forces.
  6. Saddam Hussein’s regime: In more recent history, As Samāwah played a role during Saddam Hussein’s regime as it was used as a military base during both Gulf Wars.
  7. Ayatollah al-Sistani: Ayatollah al-Sistani is one of Iraq’s most influential Shia religious figures who has lived in Najaf (nearby city) since 1951 where he studied under Grand Ayatollah Abul-Qassim Khoei until his death on August 8th ,1992.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Al-Hadba Minaret
  2. Mosul Museum
  3. Great Mosque of al-Nuri
  4. Samawah Museum
  5. Al-Qadisiyah Dam
  6. Eridu Archaeological Site

Cultural Events

  1. Eid al-Fitr: This festival marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout Iraq.
  2. Ashura: This is a major Shia Muslim festival that commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
  3. Arbaeen: This festival marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein’s death and is observed by millions of Shia Muslims who make a pilgrimage to his shrine in Karbala.
  4. Iraqi Independence Day: On October 3rd, this day commemorates Iraq’s independence from British rule in 1932.
  5. Baghdad International Festival: This annual cultural event features music, dance, theater performances, and art exhibitions from around the world.
  6. Al-Mada’in Cultural Festival: Held annually in As Samāwah, this festival celebrates Iraqi culture through traditional music, dance performances, food stalls serving local delicacies and handicrafts exhibitions.
  7. National Day for Mesopotamian Civilization: Celebrated on April 1st every year to commemorate ancient Mesopotamian civilization which flourished in present-day Iraq thousands of years ago.
  8. Martyr’s Day (Al-Anfal): Observed annually on April 14th to commemorate those who died during Saddam Hussein’s regime when he conducted chemical attacks against Kurdish populations during Anfal operations between 1986-1989


  • As Samāwah is a small city located in Iraq, and therefore, there is limited information available on local cuisine and restaurants.
  • However, there are some popular dishes in Iraq that can be found in As Samāwah. These dishes include:
    • Masgouf, a grilled fish dish typically made with freshwater fish like carp or catfish.
    • Kubbat Halab, a meatball dish made with ground beef or lamb mixed with bulgur wheat and spices.
    • Dolma, stuffed vegetables such as grape leaves or bell peppers filled with rice, meat and herbs.
    • Tashreeb, a soup-like dish made with bread, lamb or chicken broth along with vegetables and spices.
    • Shawarma, a Middle Eastern sandwich consisting of shaved meat (usually lamb or chicken) wrapped in pita bread along with vegetables and sauce.
  • Although there aren’t many known restaurants in As Samāwah; some popular ones include:
    • Al-Ma’moun Restaurant
    • Al-Saray Restaurant
    • Al-Safina Restaurant


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