Economic variables and their impact on social life in Iraq at the time of Medhat Pasha

Dr.. Zeina Harith Zarzis - Dr. Ahmed Khamis Hammadi

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Abstract

The economic variables had put a greatest impact on the social situation of the country. after the second half of the 19th century, due to economic changes  foreign interests, particularly the British . and the development of transportation routes in Iraq  the prosperity of foreign trade contributed to the social changes in Iraq.the arrival of the governor Medhat pasha in the state of Iraq had a biggest impact in bringing about social and economic changes, because he was one of the most important social reformers in the ottoman empire.

During the first half of 19th century, The Iraqi society was divided into two classes. The first class was a clan, which included 80% of the total population of Iraq. It was linked to chief clan which represented the President of the absolute ruler. Description of the Iraqi society was referred to as a tribal society. The second class consisted of 20% of the total population of Iraq. They were a minority that they excelled the front-runner in terms of education, economic status and health status. In comparison with the minority clan, the first clan did not know the meaning of education and school. They did not have any opportunity of education and were engaged in agricultural activities. The head of the clan and his family were the only one, who were able to send their children to schools to gain knowledge. This class was also unaware about hospitals and health centers due to which the health of masses was deteriorating. They relied mainly on “Arab medicine” and medicinal herbs as they belonged to tribe’s clan who were experts in the field of herbs. This was the social scenario of Iraq in the early of nineteenth century .The woman in Iraq during the Ottoman rule did not have the right to go out of the house due to which they could not attend school. Women were one of the oppressed sections of the society. Girl’s early marriage was a common trend, which also led to social violence against girls. Women always faced injustice which and had to suffer on every aspect of life.

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