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Washington, D. C. 

For use of Military Personnel only. Not to 

be republished, in whole or in part, without 

the consent of the War Department. 


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Introduction i 

What Is This Iraq? 3 

Meet The People 4 

The Country 6 

The Moslems 10 

Iraqi Customs and Manners 13 

The Language 18 

Climate and Health 19 

Currency, Weights and Measures 14 

Some Important Do's and Don'ts 27 

Hints on Pronouncing Arabic 31 

Useful Words and Phrases 34 

A Glossary 39 


YOU HAVE been ordered to Iraq (i - RAHK) as part 
of the world-wide offensive to beat Hitler. 

You will enter Iraq both as a soldier and as an indi- 
vidual, because on our side a man can be both a soldier 
and an individual. That is our strength — if we are smart 
enough to use it. It can be our weakness if we aren't. 
As a soldier your duties are laid out for you. As an indi- 
vidual, it is what you do on your own that counts — and 
it may count for a lot more than you think. 

American success or failure in Iraq may well depend 
on whether the Iraqis (as the people are called) like 
American soldiers or not. It may not be quite that simple. 
But then again it could. 

How To Beat Hitler. Hcrr Hitler knows he's licked if the 
peoples united against him stand their ground. So it is 
pretty obvious what he and his propaganda machine are 
trying to do. They're trying to spread disunity and discon- 
tent among their opponents whenever and wherever they 


So what's the answer? That ought to be pretty obvious, 
too. One of your big jobs is to prevent Hitler's agents 
from getting in their dirty work. The best way you can 
do this is by getting along with the Iraqis and making 
them your friends. And the best way to get along with 
any people is to understand them. 

That is what this guide is for. To help you understand 
the people and the country so that you can do the best 
and quickest job of sending Hitler back where he came 

And, secondly, so that you as a human being will get 
the most out of an experience few Americans have been 
lucky enough to have. Years from now you'll be telling 
your children and maybe your grandchildren stories be- 
ginning, "Now when I was in Baghdad ." 


WHAT is Iraq, anyhow? Well, it's a lot of things, old 
and new. It is one of the oldest countries in the world — 
and one of the youngest under its present government. 
In Baghdad, the capital city, you will see street mer- 
chants selling exactly the same kind of pottery that their 
ancestors sold at the time of the Arabian Nights. Not far 
away you will see great dams and modern refineries equal 
to the best you have seen in America. If you happen to be 
sent to the oil fields, you will discover miracles of mod- 
ern engineering construction side by side with primitive 
refineries built 2,000 years ago and still in operation. 

Iraq Is Hot! As a matter of fact, you may be so busy when 
you reach Iraq that you won't see much of anything 
for awhile. Probably you will feel Iraq first — and that 
means heat. Blazing heat. And dust. In the daytime Iraq 
can be one of the hottest spots in the world. If you hap- 
pen to travel by train in the daytime, the leather seats 
may get so hot that you'll have to stand up. Most work 
is done between 6 a. m. and noon and perhaps an hour 
or two in the early evening. And yet the nights of these 
hot days are often uncomfortably cool. 

Or maybe the first thing you notice will be the smells. 
You have heard and read a lot about the "mysterious 
East." You have seen moving pictures about the colorful 
life of the desert and the bazaars. When you actually get 


there you will look in vain for some of the things you 
have been led to expect. You will smell and feel a lot of 
things the movies didn't warn you about. 


But don't get discouraged. Most Americans and Euro- 
peans who have gone to Iraq didn't like it at first. Might 
as well be frank about it. They thought it a harsh, hot, 
parched, dusty, and inhospitable land. But nearly all of 
these same people changed their minds after a few days 
or weeks, and largely on account of the Iraqi people 
they began to meet. So will you. 

That tall man in the flowing robe you are going to see 
soon, with the whiskers and the long hair, is a first-class 
fighting man, highly skilled in guerilla warfare. Few 
fighters in any country, in fact, excell him in that kind 
of situation. If he is your friend, he can be a staunch and 
valuable ally. If he should happen to be your enemy — 
look out! Remember Lawrence of Arabia? Well, it was 
with men like these that he wrote history in the First 
World War. 

But you will also find out quickly that the Iraqi is one 
of the most cheerful and friendly people in the world. 
Few people you have seen get so much fun out of work 
and everyday living. If you are willing to go just a little 
out of your way to understand him, everything will 
bco. k. 

Differences? Of Course! Differences? Sure, there are dif- 
ferences. Differences of costume. Differences of food. 
Differences of manner and custom and religious beliefs. 
Different attitudes toward women. Differences galore. 

But what of it? You aren't going to Iraq to change 
the Iraqis. Just the opposite. We are fighting this war to 
preserve the principle of "live and let live." Maybe that 
sounded like a lot of words to you at home. Now you 
have a chance to prove it to yourself and others. If you 
can, it's going to be a better world to live in for all of us. 
■' Although relatively few Iraqis receive a formal educa- 
tion similar to yours, they are shrewd and intelligent and 

tend to believe what they hear and sec with their own 
cars and eyes. By what you do and how you act you can 
do a lot to win this war and the peace after it. Right now 
Iraq is threatened with invasion — as America is now. The 
Iraqis have some religious and tribal differences among 
themselves. Hitler has been trying to use these differences 
to his own ends. If you can win the trust and friendship 
of all the Iraqis you meet, you will do more than you 
may think possible to help bring them together in our 
common cause. 

Needless to say, Hitler will also try to use the differ- 
ences between ourselves and Iraqis to make trouble. But 
we have a weapon to beat that kind of thing. Plain 
common horse sense. Let's use it. 

Hitler's game is to divide and conquer. Ours is to unite 
and win! 


First, let's have a look at the country. We can't very 
well talk about places and people until we know where 
we are. 

In the center of this guide you will find a map of 
what is called the "Middle East." You will see by the 
map, Iraq lies south of Turkey; east of Syria and Pales- 
tine; north of Arabia; west of Iran (EE-RAHN) 
(Persia); and just touches the Persian Gulf at one corner. 
It is about the size of the State of Montana. 

A Strategic Hot Spot. Iraq is thus a strategic part of the 
great "land bridge" between Europe and India — the road 
Hitler HOPES to use to join hands with his back-stab- 
bing allies, the Japs. Also, the Persian Gulf is an im- 
portant back door for us to get supplies to our Russian 
allies. And even more, Iraq has great military importance 
for its oil fields, with their pipelines to the Mediterranean 
Sea. Yes, Iraq is a hot spot in more ways than one. 

Iraq was formerly called Mesopotamia. Its history goes 
back a tidy 5,000 years. By tradition the Garden of Eden 
was located in this region. Hence it is often called "the 
birthplace of mankind." It is certainly one of the oldest 
settled regions in the world. Here it was that the ancient 
cities of Babylon and Nineveh (Nl-ne-ve) flourished 
in Bible times. You will very likely see their ruins, some 
of the great ruins of the world. 

Before the First World War, Mesopotamia (as it was 
called then) was a part of Turkey. After the war the state 
of Iraq was set up as a British mandate, with an Arab 
chieftain, Feisal (FAY -sal), as king. In 1932 Iraq be- 
came an independent state — a "limited monarchy" of the 
English type, with an elected legislature. The present 
king is Feisal II. the grandson of the first king. Close 
relations have been maintained with the British, and the 
country is now guarded by British troops to prevent the 
Germans from gaining control. 


The Cities. Iraq has only a few cities. Baghdad, the larg- 
est, has a population of around 500,000, about like that 

.'_. of Minneapolis or Kansas City. Mosul (MO-sul) in the 
oil region has a population of over 100,000, Suq al — Shu 
yukh (SOOQ ash -shu- YOOKH) about the same, and 
Basrah (BAS-ra) on the Persian Gulf, the most im- 
portant port, has about 70,000. 

Most of Iraq is desert country. Not great sandy wastes 
like the Sahara in Africa, but flinty, harsh, monotonous 
desert, treeless but covered with a thin scrub vegetation 
very much like our Southwest region. The only water in 
this region comes from waterholes, and these are jealously 
guarded. Water is more valuable than anything else in 
the desert, and for the Iraqi, to waste water would be like 

' throwing money away. 

In contrast to the dry deserts are the great green valleys 
of the Tigris (TAI -gris) and Euphrates (yoo-FRAY- 
teez) Rivers. These two important rivers rise in the 
Kurdistan (KUR-di-stan) mountains of Turkey, north 
and west of Iraq. After flowing across the country in par- 
allel channels, they join together and empty into the 
Persian Gulf through one mouth. In the valleys of these 
two rivers nine-tenths of the 3 14 million people (about 
the population of Chicago) live. 

At the northern end of these valleys is the important 
oil field of Kirkuk (kir-KOOK). The field was dis- 


covered in 1927 but it was not until 1935 that production 
began in earnest. Twin pipe-lines have been constructed 
to the ports of Tripoli in Syria and Haifa (HAI-fa) in 
Palestine, on the Mediterranean Sea. These fields and 
pipe-lines are among the richest prizes Hitler would like 
to grab, and they are heavily guarded. Guarding or de- 
fending them may be among your most important mili- 
tary duties, for this oil is the source of supply for the 
armies of the Middle East and India, and also feeds the 
Mediterranean fleet. 

HOW the People Live. Nearly all farming in Iraq is de- 
pendent on irrigation, with water taken from the two 
great rivers. The most important crop is dates, which 
not only are the chief food of the people but also shipped 
to other countries. Grain, especially wheat, barley, rice, 
and millet is grown in large quantity. Also grown are 
cotton, sugar cane and legumes, with small quantities of 
citrus fruits. 

Practically the only building material is dried mud, like 
the adobe used in the Southwestern U. S. A. It is admira- 
bly suited to the hot climate and you will find the inside of 
the flat-roofed Iraqi houses cool even in the noonday heat. 

The Iraqi people are divided by occupation into the 
tradesmen in the cities, the farmers in the irrigated areas, 
and the nomads, who herd their sheep and camels on the 
desert, moving from place to place for fresh pastures. 

The nomads and farmers cling to the native dress more 
than the city dwellers, who are often quite "westernized." 
The nomads are divided into tribes headed by sheikhs 
(SHAYKH). These leaders are very powerful and should 
be shown great consideration. Townsmen, farmers, and 
nomads consider themselves as equals and should be 
treated as such. 


THERE are a few Christians and Jews and other sects 
among the Iraqis, but by far the most people you will 
meet and see are Moslems. This means that they are fol- 
lowers of the religion founded by Mohammed. But you 
should not call it the Mohammedan religion, for the Mos- 
lems do not worship Mohammed as Christians worship 
Christ. They believe in one god, Allah, and that Mo- 
hammed was His prophet. The religion is called Islam 
and the people who believe in it are called Moslems. 


The Moslem bible is known as the Koran and the Mos- 
lems worship in mosques (niosi^s). They are very devout 
in their religion and do not like to have "unbelievers'" 
(to them you are an "unbeliever") come anywhere near 
their mosques. You can usually tell a mosque by its high 
tower. Keep away from mosques. Even though you may 
have visited mosques in Syria or Egypt, the mosques in 
Iraq must not be entered. If you try to enter one, you will 
be thrown out, probably with a severe beating. The Iraqi 
Moslems even resent unbelievers coming close to mosques. 
If you have blundered too near a mosque, get away in a 
hurry before trouble starts. The Moslem religion requires 
a man to pray five times a day. This is done by facing 
the holy city of Mecca and going through a series of pros- 
trations. Don't stare at anyone who is praying, and above 
all do not make fun of him. Respect his religion as he 
will respect yours'. 


No Preaching. This isn't preaching. You probably belong 
to a church at home, and you know how you would feel 
towards anyone who insulted or desecrated your church. 
The Moslems feel just the same way, perhaps even more 
strongly. In fact, their feeling about their religion is pretty 
much the same as ours toward our religion, although 
more intense. If anything, we should respect the Moslems 
V the more for the intensity of their devotion. 

There are four towns in Iraq which are particularly 
sacred to the Iraqi Moslems. These are Kerbela (ker — be — 
LAA), Nejef (NE-jef), Kadhiman (KAA-di- 
MAYN) (near Baghdad), and Samarra. Unless you are 
ordered to these towns, it is advisable to stay away from 

It is a good idea in any foreign country to avoid any 
religious or political discussions. This is even truer in 
Iraq than most countries, because it happens that here 
the Moslems themselves are divided into two factions 
something like our division into Catholic and Protestant 
denominations — so don't put in your two cents worth 
when Iraqis argue about religion. There are also political 
differences in Iraq that have puzzled diplomats and 
statesmen. You won't help matters any by getting mixed 
up in them. Moreover, if you discuss foreign politics 
with them, you might be maneuvered into making state- 
ments that could be interpreted as criticisms of our Allies. 


Your move is to stay out of political and religious 
arguments altogether. By getting into them you'll only 
help the Nazi propagandists who are trying to stir up 
trouble among the Iraqis. 


MOST of the Iraqi customs and manners are religious in 
their origin. For example, there is the month of fasting 
each year called "Ramadan" (ra-ma-DAHN). This 
period is similar to the Lenten period in many of the 
Christian Churches. In 1942 Ramadan begins September 
12th. In 1943 it will be about two weeks earlier. During 
this period the Moslems do not eat, drink, or smoke be- 
tween sunrise and sunset. Avoid offering, or asking them 
for food, drink, or smokes at this time, except after sunset. 
All hesitations and refusals at this period should be ac- 
cepted without any attempts at persuasion. Any drawing 
of blood, during this period, even if accidental, such as 
a scratch or a nosebleed, may have serious consequences. 
Remember that Moslem tempers are very short during 
this month as yours would be under similar circumstances. 

The Moslem day of rest is Friday, and their stores are 
closed on that day. In Baghdad and the other large cities 
many shops are closed on Saturday, the Jewish day of 
rest, while Christian shops are closed on Sunday. 

Moslems, Christians, and Jews all have a number of 
religious holidays. Some of these are solemn fasts like 


Ramadan, others are colorful festivals. You will be wise 
to respect the observance of these holidays. 

The "Evil Eye". Many of the Iraqis believe in the "evil 
eye". This is a good deal in their minds like putting a 
"hex" on a person is to people in parts of our country. 
If you stare at people, especially children, someone may 
think you are the possessor of an "evil eye", and are 
trying to put a curse on the person you are staring at. 
Some of the Iraqis think that the lens of a camera is an 
"evil eye", and you will make enemies by taking close-up 
snapshots and possibly wind up with a knife in your 
back. General views or street scenes will cause no trou- 
ble — except mosques. Don't try to photograph mosques. 

Beggars are not numerous in Iraq. Those you will see 
live mainly in the cities and are mostly professionals, and 
it is not a good idea to give them money. If you do, the 
word will spread to all the beggars in the city that you 
are an easy mark. Of course, some of them may be de- 
serving, and if you feel moved by their plight, give them 
a little something — but better be prepared to repeat. 

Bargaining in the shops and bazzars is a great national 
pastime. You will have to bargain for almost everything 
you buy. The price first quoted is usually one-third to 
two-thirds higher than what you should pay. In bargain- 
ing the important thing is not to hurry. A little American 
horse trading will carry you a long way in this game. 


Manners Are Important. Moslems pay much attention to 
good manners. 

Handshaking in Iraq is considered an important part 
of good manners. You will be greeted with a handshake 
on every occasion that you meet an Iraqi. His handshake 
is cordial and sincere. Return it in the same spirit. 

But do not touch or handle an Iraqi in any other way. 
Do not wrestle with him in fun, and don't slap him on 
the back. Any such contact is offensive to his idea of good 
manners. Above all never strike an Iraqi. 

Do your swearing in English. Avoid the native oaths — 
you will not know their exact meaning and they may get 
you into trouble. Don't under any circumstances call an 
Iraqi a "dog", a "devil", a "native", or a "heathen". 
These terms are all deadly insults to him. 

They do not drink liquor or eat pork. So respect their 
feelings and do not drink in their presence. They do 
not like to see others drink and it offends them to see 
others drunk. Never give them pork to eat or offer it to 
them even in fun. 


Pigs are "unclean" to Moslems. So are dogs. If you 
happen to have a mascot dog, be particularly careful to 
keep him away from mosques. 

Moslems do not let other people see them naked. Do 
not urinate in their presence. They do it squatting and 
dislike to see other people do it standing up. These things 
may seem trivial, but they are important if you want to 
get along well with the Iraqis. 

Moslem Women. Moslem women do not mingle freely 
with' men. The greater part of their time they spend at 
home and in the company of their families. Never make 
advances to Moslem women or try to attract their atten- 
tion in the streets or other public places. Do not loiter 
near them when they are shopping. If a woman has occa- 
sion to lift her veil while shopping, do not stare or smile 
at her. Look the other way. These rules are extremely 
important. The Moslems will immediately dislike you 
and there will be trouble if you do not treat women 
according to their standards and customs. 

These rules apply both to the cities and towns and to 
the villages and the desert. The village and desert women 
go unveiled more often than the women in the cities and 
seem to have more freedom. But the rules are still strict. 
Any advance on your part will mean trouble and plenty 
of it. Even when speaking to Iraqi men, no mention 
should be made of their female relatives. The Iraqi them- 




selves follow this custom and would resent anyone, espe- 
cially a foreigner, not doing the same. 

To repeat — don't make a pass at any Moslem woman 
or there will be trouble. Anyway, it won't get you any- 
where. Prostitutes do not walk the streets but live in 
special quarters of the cities. 

Iraqi Hospitality. If you are entertained in an Iraqi city 
home, you will probably find dishes and silverware and 
customs somewhat like our own. But do not eat too much 
of the first course of a meal. There is probably more 

In the country there will probably be no table, plates, 
or silverware. You will be expected to sit on the ground 
as your host does. Follow his example. Roll up your right 
sleeve and eat with the tips of your right fingers — even 
if you are a southpaw. It is considered rude to eat with 
your left hand. If your host tears off tid-bits and hands 
them to you, eat them. In the country there will probably 
be only one course. After the meal, water will be brought 
to wash your hands and a towel to wipe them. 


In the desert the customs are much the same as in the 
country, except that there is less variety in the food. You 
may be offered only some bread and milk or soured milk, 
like buttermilk. These people are poor and are offering 
you the best they have. You must not refuse it — but'do 
not take too much. 

Coffee drinking is equally popular in the city, country, 
or desert. Even a shopkeeper may offer you a small glass 
of coffee. Do not refuse it or throw it away half-drunk, 
even if it does not lastc like our American coffee. If you 
are offered a second cup, take it, and also a third. But it 
is customary to refuse a fourth. 

These are some general hints about manners. But the 
main thing is the SPIRIT of politeness and courtesy. 
If you show this, the Iraqis will understand and forgive 
any lapses you may make through not knowing their 
customs. If you show that you really want to be friendly, 
you'll get along. 


THE native language of Iraq is Arabic. You will 
not need to know many words to get along. A few simple 
words will go a long way. Learn a few words and 



phrases— you will find a helpful list at the end of this 
guide — and talk to the Iraqis in their own language. 
They will like it even if your pronunciation is not the 
same as theirs. They will be especially pleased when you 
use their polite salutations even if you do not know any 
other words. When you hear one of them speak English — 
no matter how badly — you will understand the pleasure 
they feel when you speak to them in their language. 

Many Iraqis speak a few words or at least understand 
English, especially those in the larger stores in the cities 
and others in the oil regions which were developed by 
the British. Occasionally among the wealthier classes 
French, Turkish, and sometimes German are spoken. In 
most of the Baghdad bazaars, Persian is understood. 
From Mosul north both Turkish and Kurdish are heard 


IRAQ is a hot country. This means: keep your headgear 
on when you are in the summer sun. In this kind of a 
climate it is very easy to let yourself be burned and think 
nothing of it. But next day you are likely to wake up 
with black blisters and possible fever. The headgear issued 
to you will be sufficient to protect you. But whatever you 
wear, be sure that it shades the back of your neck as well 
as the top of your head. If you expose the back of your 









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,° Shiroz 





neck you arc inviting sunstroke. Don't, undef^-j^- 
any circumstances, take a sun bath. 

In the desert, be prepared for extremes of 
temperature. The days are usually very hot. 
The nights can be uncomfortably cool. 

Boil your drinking water or see that it is properly 
chlorinated. You will find that conditions of life in Iraq 
do not allow the degree of sanitation or cleanliness that 
we know. 

Avoid eating unwashed vegetables and fruits. They 
may be contaminated by human excrement. Wash raw 
fruits and vegetables in water or alcohol or peel them 
before eating them, because the skins may have become 
contaminated by flies or by human contact. Avoid leafy 
vegetables altogether. Keep all food away from flies. 

Diseases: Malaria and typhoid are two very serious 
' fevers. You should guard against them in every possible 
way. Malaria is carried by a particular kind of mosquito 
which breeds in marshy areas, uncovered wells and cis- 
terns and in shallow water pools. If at all possible, stay 
iway from areas in which malaria is common. When you 

can't do this, sleep under nets and keep your arms and 
legs covered, especially at dusk. 

Typhoid is contracted from unboiled water and from 
raw foods which have not been properly cleaned or peeled. 
Once again, avoid them. 

Sandflies, which arc smaller than mosquitos and which 
can get through an ordinary mosquito net, carry a slight 
three-day fever which is not serious but is very weaken- 
. ing. h is known as sandfly fever. Sandflies arc most prev- 
alent in midsummer. Coating yourself with a light oil 
will give you some protection from them. 

You should be very careful about bugs and lice, which 
are common. Give yourself a frequent once-over lor them. 
: Scabies is a skin infection, produced by a parasite which 
feeds on the skin. It is extremely annoying and difficult 
to get rid of. However, it can be cured by sulphur 

Intestinal diseases, 
such as dysentery and 
tapeworm, are very 
common in Iraq. These 
can be avoided, or at 
least made less severe, by 
extreme care in the wa- 
ter you drink and the 
food you eat. 

Trachoma, a very common disease of the eye, can be 
picked up almost everywhere, even from shaking hands 
with someone and then touching your eyes. Don't rub or 
touch your eyes. 

Toilets such as those in America are very scarce. You 
will have to get used to relieving yourself outdoors at any 
convenient spot. Be sure to get well off the main streets 
and well away from mosques, and out of sight as much 
as possible. You will have to carry your own supply of 
toilet paper. 

There is a good deal of venereal disease around, so 
don't take chances. 


Iraqi Currency. The rate of exchange of Iraqi money to 
United Slates currency may vary a little from time to 
time, so that the table below can give only approximate 
ratios. The basis of Iraqi money is the "dinar" (DEE — 
NAHR) which is roughly worth $4.00 in United States 
money. Each dinar is further divided into 1,000 "fils" 
(fils or FI - lis). The dinar is a paper 
note or bill; the fils pieces are coin. 
The approximate value of the vari- 
ous denominations of Iraqi money 
are given below. 


Paper Money 

Iraq Value American Dollars 

mo Dinars S402. 00 

10 Dinars . 40. 20 

5 Dinars . . . . . . 20. 10 

1 Dinar 4. 02 

Vz Dinar (500 fils) 2. 01 

M Dinar (250 fils) 1.00 

Silver Coins 

200 fils . 


511 tils . . 

. 20 

20 fils . 


Nickel Coini 

10 fils .... 


4 fils . . . 


Bronze Coins 

2 fils 


1 fils 


An easy way to remember the values of the various fils 
pieces is to think of each fils as being worth just a little 
less than '/ 2 cent in U. S. money. 


The Moslem Calendar. The Moslem calendar is used in 
Iraq. The main thing to know about the Moslem calendar 
is that it is lunar, or based on the moon. Each of the 12 
months has only 28 days. This means that the Moslem 
year is a little shorter than our year, so that a special date, 
such as the fast of Ramadan, will occur a little earlier 
each year. 

Time. There are two ways of telling time in Iraq. The 
official system is the "European system.' - That is, a 24. 
hour clock, beginning at midnight, instead of a 12-hour 
clock. So in railway timetables you may see that a train 
is scheduled to arrive at 14 o'clock. That means at 2 
p. m. as we reckon time. Or at 23 o'clock, which is 11 
p. m. to us. 24 o'clock is midnight. However, most of 
the country .goes on the same 12-hour system used in 

Weights and Measures. The metric system is used for all 
official measurements of distance and area in Iraq. The 
unit of length in the metric system is the "meter," 
which is 31M7 inches, or a little more than our yard. The 
unit of road distance is the "kilometer," which is 1,000 
•meters or % (a little over one-half) of one of our miles. 
The metric unit of square measure is the "hectare" 
( HECK-tayr), which consists of 10,000 square meters, or 
about 2J4 of our acres. An Iraqi unit of square measure 


is the dunam (DU-nam) or "misharah (mi-SHAH-ra), 
which equals 2,500 square meters or a little less than 3,000 
square yards. 

The unit of weight in the metric system is the "kilo- 
gram," which equals 2.2 pounds in our system. 

Liquids in the metric system are measured by the 
"liter." A liter is a little more than one of our quarts. 



Keep away from mosques. 

Smoke or spit somewhere else — never in front of a 

If you come near a mosque, keep moving (away) and 
don't loiter. 

Keep silent when the Moslems are praying (which they 
do five times a day) and don't stare. 

Discuss something else — NEVER religion or politics or 
women — with Moslems. 

Remember the fear of the "evil eye." Don't stare at 
anyone. Don't point your camera in anyone's face. 

Avoid offering opinions on internal politics. 

Shake hands with the Iraqi; otherwise don't touch them 
or slap them on the back. 

Remember that the Iraqi are a very modest people and 
a\oid any exposure of the body in their presence. 


Keep out of the sun whenever you can. When you 
can't, keep your head and neck covered. 

Start eating only after your host has begun. 

Eat with your right hand — never with your left, even 
if you are a southpaw. 

Always tear bread with your fingers — never cut it. 

Bread to the Moslems is holy. Don't throw scraps of it 
about or let it fall on the ground. 

In the city eat only part of the first course. There may 
be more coming. 

In the country leave some food in the bowl — what you 
leave goes to the women and children. 

Don't offer Moslems food containing pork, bacon, or 
lard, or cooked in pork products. All such food is reli- 
giously "unclean" to them. 

Don't eat pork or pork products in front of Mos- 

Be pleasant if Moslems refuse to eat meat you offer. 

Don't offer Moslems alcoholic drinks. Drink liquor 
somewhere else — never in the 
presence of Moslems. 

Knock before entering a 
private house. If a woman 
answers, wait until she has 
had time to retire. 





Always respect the Moslem women. Don't stare at 
them. Don't smile at them. Don't talk to them or follow 
them. If you do any of these things, it means trouble for 
you and your unit. 

In a house or tent, follow the rule of your host. If he 
takes off his shoes on entering, do the same. 

Il you are required to sit on the floor in an Iraqi house 
or tent, cross your legs while doing so. 

When visiting, don't overstay your welcome. The third 
glass of tea or coffee is the signal to leave unless you are 
quartered there. 

If you should sec grown men walking hand in hand, 
ignore it. They are not "queer." 

Be kind and considerate to servants. The Iraqis con- 
sider all people equals. 

Avoid any expression of race prejudice. The people 
b draw very little color line. 

Talk Arabic if you can to the people. No matter how 
badly you do it, they will like it. 

Shake hands on meeting and leaving. 

On meeting an Iraqi, be sure to inquire after his health. 

If you wish to give someone a present, make it sweets 
or cigarettes. 

If you are stationed in the country, it is a good idea to 
take sweets and cigarettes with you when you visit an 
Iraqi's home. 


Show respect toward all older persons. If serving food, 
the sides' person should be served first. 

Be polite. Good manners are important to the Iraqis. 
Be hospitable. 

Bargain on prices. Don't let shopkeepers or merchants 
overcharge you; but be polite. 

Be generous with your cigarettes. 

Above all, use common sense on all occasions. And re- 
member that every American soldier is an unofficial am- 
bassador of good will. 




THESE arc pronunciation hints to help you in listening 
to the Arabic language records which have been supplied 
to your troop unit. They will also help you with the 
pronunciation of additional words and phrases given in 
the vocabulary below, which arc not included in the 

Arabic is spoken over a great area in North Africa and 
the Near East. There are some differences between re- 
gions, both in pronunciation and the use of words. The 
dialect you are going to hear on this set of records is the 
Baghdad variety and you will be understood all over Iraq, 
except in the extreme north, and in most of Trans-Jor- 
dania. II you should go on to other regions, you will be 
given further information at that time. Don't worry about 
that now. 

There is nothing very difficult about Arabic — except 
that you won't be able to read Arabic signs and news- 
papers you will see. That is because they use a different 
alphabet from ours. Therefore, the instructions and vocab- 
ulary below are not based on the written Arabic language, 
but are a simplified system of representing the language 
as it sounds. This system contains letters for all the sounds 
you must make to be understood. It does not contain 
letters for some of the sounds you will hear, but it will 
give you enough to get by on, both listening and speaking. 


Here are a few simple rules to help you: 

1. Accents. You know what the accented syllable of a 
word is, of course. It is the syllable which is spoken louder 
than the other syllables in the same word. We will show 
accented (loud) syllables in capital letters and unaccented 
syllables in small letters. 

2. Vowels. These are the kinds of sounds we represent 
in English by a, e, i, o, u, ah, ay, ei, oi, an, ow, etc. Just 
follow the key below and you will have no trouble. 

a or A equals The a in pat or the o in pot. There is no 

fixed rule. You'll just have to listen and learn. 

(Example: tif-HAM-nee meaning "do you 

understand me"?) 
AA equals The a in bath — that is, not the "broad a" — 

but stretch (lengthen) it. (Example: THLAA- 

tha meaning "three".) 
AH equals The a in lather — that is, the "broad a", — but 

stretch it. (Example: WAH-hid meaning 


The ei in aisle — but stretch it. (Example: MAI 

meaning "water".) 

The ow in now — but stretch it. Example: All- 

wal meaning "first".) 

The ay in day — but stretch it. (Example: 

WAYN meaning "where".) 
e or E equals The e in pet. (Example: tel meaning "hill".) 

ee or EE equals The ee in feet — but stretch it (Example: a- 

REED meaning "I want".) 
equals The / in pit. (Example: SIT-te meaning 








i or I 


o or O 




u or U 


uh or UH 


The o in go — but stretch it. (Example: YOM 

meaning "day".) 

The oo in boot — but stretch it. (Example: ar- 

/OOK meaning "please".) 

The ii in put. (Example: NUS meaning 


The ii in but. (Example: CHUHZ-ma meaning 


3. Consonants. The consonants arc all the sounds that 
are not vowels. Pronounce them just as you know them 
in English. All consonants should be pronounced. Never 
"slight" them. Here are some special consonant sounds 
to learn. 

h small h is always pronounced with the h 

sound except after small 11. Listen carefully 
to the h sound on the records, 
is pronounced as when clearing your throat 
when you have to spit. Listen carefully for it 
on the records. 

is pronounced like k.h except that you put 
"voice" into it. That is, a sound very much 
as when you gargle, 
is like the /// in show. 
is like the th in thin. 
is like the th in then. 
is like the eh in church. 

is like a very far back k., that is, it is swal- 
lowed. Listen carefully for it on the records, 
is to be pronounced like a slight cough. Listen 
carefully for it on the records. Whenever it 







is indicated, pronounce it dearly, but do not 
pronounce it even accidentally when it is not 
indicated, or you will be misunderstood. 
s is always pronounced like the s in kiss. 


HERE is a list of the most useful words and phrases you 
will need in Arabic. You should leant these by heart. 
They are the words and phrases included on the Arabic 
language records, and appear here in the order they occur 
on the records. 

Greetings and General Phrases 

English — Simplified Arabic Spelling 

excuse me (to a woman) — u- 

excuse me (to more than one 

person) — u'-dhur-OO-nec 
thank you (to a man) — ash- 

Thank you (to a woman) — 

Thank you (to more than one 

person) — ash-KU R-kfim 
Yes— NA-'am 
Do you understand me — lif- 

I don't understand — MA-da-AF- 

Please speak slowly— ar-]OOK, 

Eh-chce ya-WAHSH 

good day— saBAHh il-KHAYR 

good evening — ma-sal KHAYR 

sir— BAYG 

madam— KHAH-TOON 

(but if the lady is a Mos- 
lem )—KHAH-nim 

miss— BNAY-ye 

please (to a man) — ar-]OOK or 

please (to a woman) — ar- 
IOOCH or vim-FADH-lich 

please (to more than one per- 
son) — ar-IOO-liiim or min- 

pardon me — il-'A-fu 

excuse me (to a man) — «'- 



Where (is)— WAYN 

a restaurant — il-MAT-'am 
Where is a restaurant — WAYN 


a hotel— il-OO-TAYL 
Where is a hotel— WAYN il- 
the railroad station — il ma- 


Where is the R. R. station — 
WAYN il-ma-HAT-ia 
a toilet — il-A-dah 

Where is a toilet— WAYN it- 

Please p o i n t — ar-JOOK, ra- 

Turn right— DOOR YIM-ne 
Turn left— DOOR YlS-re 
Straight ahead — GV-bal 

If you arc driving and ask the distance to another town, it will 
be given you in kilometers as often as miles. 

Ki\omctcis—KEE-lo-mel-RAHT Miles 

One kilometer equals 

One— WAH-lud 
Three— THLAA-tha 

of a mile. You need to know the 


Four — AR-ba-'a 
Five— KHAM-sa 

When you use the numbers with other words, you just say the 
number and add the other word 


One kilometer— WAH-hid KEE-lo-ME-lir 

But two kilometers you say "couple of kilometers" all in one 

Two kilometers — KEE-lo-mct- 

Six— SIT-re 
Seven— SAB-'a 
Eight— THMAA-nee-a 
Nine— TIS-'a 
Ten— 'ASH-re 
Eleven — DA-'aih 
Thirteen— ihk-TA'SH 

For "twenty-one", "thirty-two" and so forth, you put the number 
before the words for "twenty" and "thirty," just as we sometimes 
say "one and twenty", thus: 

Three kilometers — THLAA-tha 

Fifteen— khn-mns-TA'SH 
Seventeen— sba-TA'SH 
Eighteen— ihmtm-TA'SH 
Nineteen — Isa-TA'SH 
Twenty— 'ish-REEN 

Twenty-one — WAH-hid u-'is/i 

Thirty - two — THNAYN n - 

Forty — ar-ba-'EEN 
One hundred— MEE-YE 

But for 200 you would 

250 — MEE-TAYN 



"couple of hundreds", all 
word — 

Two hundred— MEE-TAYN 

For 250 you say "couple of 
hundreds and fifty" — 

For 255 you say "couple of 
hundreds, five and fifty" — 
255 — MEE-TAYN u-kham-sa 


But for 555 you would say 
"five hundred and five and 

555 — klam-is MEE-ye u-kham- 
sa u-kham-SEEN 

1,000 — A-lil 


What is— SHl-nu 

This— HAA-dha 

What's this— SHl-m, HAA-dha 

I want — a-REED 

cigarettes — ji-GAA-yir 

I want cigarettes — a-REED ji- 
to eat — AH-k.ul 
I want to cm— a-REED 


Bread— KHU-buz 

Water— MAI 

Eggs— BAY-nhdh 

Steak (but only in cities) — 

Meat — LA-ham 
Potatoes — pu-TAY-ta 
Rice — TIM -man 
Beans (navy) — fa-sul-EE-a 
Beans (hoisc)-BAA-GIL-la 
Fish — Sl-mach 


Beer— BEE-ra 

A glass of beer— GLAHS BEE- 

A cup of coffee — fin-/AHN 
To find out how much things 

cost, you say: 

How much — shgad 
costs— i-KAL-lif 
this— HAA-dha 

How much does this cost? — 
shgad i-KAL-lij HAA-dha 


fils— Fl-lis 

Two fils ("couple of fils") — 

Four fils— AR-ba-'a FLOOS 
Fifty fils— kham-SEEN Fl-lis 
or— WAH-hid DIR-ham 
Two hundred fils— MEE-TAYN 
01— WAH-hid ree-ALL 

Dinar— DEE-NAHR 
Two Dinars— DEE-NAA-RAYN 
Four Dinars — AR-ba-'a DEE- 



What time is it — SAA-'a 

Quarter past five — KHAM-sa u- 

Half past six— SIT-a u-NVS 
Twenty past seven — sab-' a u 

Twenty of eight — THMAA-nec- 

a IL-Ia THIL-ilh 
"Except a quarter" — IL-Ia RU- 
Quarter of two—thin-TAYN 

IL-Ia RU-bu' 
Ten minutes to three — THLAA- 

tha IL-Ia ASH-ra 

At what timc-^S^^-'a BAYSH 
the movie — is-SEE-na-ma 
starts — lib-TI-dec 
At what time does the movie 
start }— SAA-'a BAYSH lib- 
Tl-dee is-SEE-na-ma 
The usm—il-qil-TAHR 

leaves — YIM-shcc 
At what time does the train 
leave?— SAA-'a BAYSH YIM- 
shce il-qit-TAHR 
Today— il-YOM 

or— hal-YOM 
Tomorrow — BAA-chir 

Day* of the week: 

Sunday— il-'A-had Thursday— il-Itha-MEES 

Monday— il-ith-NAYN Friday— H-jUM-'a 

Tuesday— ith-tha-la-THAA Saturday— is-SE-bit 
Wednesday — il-ar-ba-'AH 

Useful phrases: 

What is your name (to 

man)— SHIS-ma^ 
What is your name (to 

woman) — SHIS-mich 
My name is IS-mte — 


■ in Ara- 

How do you say — 
bil- A-ra-bec 

Good-bye (by person leaving) — 

Good-bye (by person reply- 
ing) — ma-'as-sa-LAA-ma 


[ English — Arabic] 
Surroundings— Natural Objects 

bank (of river)— lUR-u/ 

darkness — dlnt-LA. \\l 

daytime (light) — na-HA U< 

descn—sa/j-RAH' or CHOL 

field— S/M-Aa 


grass— ha-SHEESH 

the ground — GAA' 

hill— id 

ice— 77//.'-/// 

lake— bll-HAI -r.; 

the moon — ll-GU-mar 

mountain — Jl-bal 

the ocean (sea) — BA-har 

rain — MU-tar 

river — NA-har or shuht 

snow — WA-lur 

Spring (water-hole, tic.) — VJYW 

the stars — in-nu-JOOM 

stream — NA-har 

the >nn — is/i SHA-mis 

swamp — nirts~TAN-qa' 

wind— REEh or HA-wa 


day— YOM 

day after tomorrow — 'U-gnb 

day before yesterda) — AU-wal 

H IHR-ha 
evening — ma-SAA' 
month — SHA-har 
morning — SU-BAh 

night— LAYL 

week — is-BOO' 
year — SA-na 
ycsterda> — il-BAHR-ha 
)3.r\\iity—KAA-NOON THAA- 

February— shu-BAHT 
March— AH -DH A HR or 

May— MAIS or ay-YAHR 
June— ho-xay-RAHN 
July— tam-MOOZ 
September— ^V-LOOL 
October— lish-REEN AU-wal 
November— tisA-REEN THAA- 


December— KAA-NOON AU- 



boy— WA-lad 
brother — uhkh 
child— TO-/?/ 
daughter — Bl-nit 
father — ab 

man — RA-\ul or rij-IAAL 
mother — um 
sister — U-^bul 
son — l-bin 
woman — MA-ra 

Human Body 

arms— EE-D. IYN 
back— DHA-har 

eye— './V.Y 
finger — IS-ba' 
fool — QA-dam 

hand— SI " 
head— RAHS 
mouth — HA-lig 
nose — KHA-shim 
teeth— SN(Jt>N 

House and Furniture 

bed— FRAHSH 


or blanket 

chair— SKAM-Ue 

door— B./ .Ill 

drinking water — MAI ^HU-riib 

house— BAYT 

stairs — dii-RAJ (cooking place) — MO-gad 

wall— //.;// 
water for washing — MAI OHA- 

window — s/iib-BAACH 

butter — Zl-bid 
cigars — si-GAHR 
f„„l_. /-<-,/ 
pipe— /'/• /•/' 

salt— MMut 

Food and Drink Tobacco 

su.uar — SHA-k/tr 
tea— f//.// 

tobacco — 7V-//n 


bridge — ll-sir 

mosque — IAH-mi' 

church — k."-NEE-sa 

mosque (small) — MAS-jid 

city — BAL-da 

path (trail, pass) — ta-REEQ 

post-office — POS-ta 

road— m-REEQ 

shop (store) — duk.-KAHN or 

MAKH-zan or ma-GUAA-za 

(depi. store) 

street— SHAA-ri' 

town — BA-lad 

village — QAR-ya 

well— BEER 

police-post— MAKH-fur SHUR- 



animal— hai-WAHN 

bird— TAYR 

camel — Jl-mul 

chicken (hen) — di-]AH-ja 

cow — HAl-sha 

dog— CHE-lib 

donkey (burrow, jackass) — 

goat— SA-{/ial, 'AN-za (female 


mouse— FAHR 
mule — BA-ghal 
pig— l(/ian-ZEER 
rabbit — AR-nab 
rat— /RAY-dee 
sheep— Ma-ROOF 
snake — HAI-ya 

Trades and Occupations 

baker— khuhb-BAHZ 
barber — im-ZAY-yin 
blacksmith— had-DAHD 
butcher— gas-SAHB 

cook— lab-BAHKH 
farmer — jal-LAAh 
shoemaker — rag-GAH' 



sixiy— sit-TEEN 
seventy — sab-'EEN 
eighty— THMAA-NEEN 
ninety — lis-'EEN 
first — AV-wal 
second — THAA-nce 
third— THAA-lith 
fourth— RAH-bi' 


boots— CHUHZ-ma 

coat — PAHL-io (overcoat) 

CHA-KET (suitcoat) 
gloves— chi-FOOF 

fifth— KH AH -mis 
sixth — SAA-dis 
seventh — SAA-bi' 
eighth — THAA-min 
ninth — TAA-si' 
tenth — 'AH-shir 
eleventh — il-DA-'aih 


good— ZAYN 
bad— MOO-ZAYN 
big— chi-BEER 
smal I — zi-GHAl-yir 
sick — waj-'AHN 
well— ZAYN 
lame — A'-raj 
hungry— lOO-'AHN 
thirsty— 'al-SHAHN 
black — AS-wad 
white — AB-yad 
red — Ah-mar 
blue — AZ-rag 


_ shirt— THOB 
shoes — QUN-da-ra, (pi.) qa- 

socks— 100-RAH-BAHT 
trousers — pan-TROON 
undershirt — ja-NAY-la 


green — AKH-dhar 

yellow— UHS-lar 

high— 'AH-lee 

low — NAH-see 

colli — BAA-rid (of things) or 

bar-DAHN (of persons) 
hot— HAHR 
wet — im-BAL-lal 
dry— NAH-shif or YAH-bis 
cx|)cnsivc — GHAH-lee 
cheap— m-KHEES 
empty — FAH-righ 
lw\\—mal-ROOS or mal-YAAN 

Pronouns, «tc. 

1 — AA-nec or A-na 

we — Ah-tta 

you — IN-ta (masc. sg.); IN-ti 

(fern, sg.) IN-iu (pi.) 
he— HOO-wa 
she— HEE-ya 
they— HUM-ma (masc.) H/W- 

na (fern.) 
xhis—HAA-dfia (masc.) /M-4- 

(Mer (fem.) 
my — MAA-lce 

these DHO-/e 

that — DHAHK (masc.) 

(DHEECH (fem.) 
those— DHO-LAHK (masc. and 

who — Ml-nu 
what— SW-nu 
how many— CHUHM WAH- 

how far — /Agarf bi-'EED 
anyone— Al WAH-hid 


for— /-/a 
from — mitt 
in — Ai 
of — mitt 

on — 'A -la 

to — /7a 

up to— /-/a or li-HAD 

with— WEE-yr 


above — FOG 

again— MAR-ra THAH-nee-a 

behind— W^-ra 

beside — 'A-la SAF-ha 

below — lAL'-ttj 

Ui— bi-'EED 

here— he-NAH 

in front — gid-DAHM 

less— a-£ML 

more — ZAA-yid 

near— qa-REEB 

on that side — (see "there") 

on this side — (see "here") 

there— he-NAHK 

very— HWAI-yir 

and — u/a or u 
but— LAA-bin 


or— AU 
that — in 


Phrases lor Everyday 

What date is today ?— hal-Y OM 

Today is the fifth of June— hal- 

YOM KHAM-sa ho-zay- 

What day of the week?— hal- 

YOM SHl-nu 
Today is Tuesday, etc. — hal- 

YOM iih-tha-la-THAA 
Come here — ta-'AAL hi-NAA 
Come quickly — ta-'AAL bil-'A- 

Go quickly— ROOh bil-'A-jal 

Who are you}— Ml-nu In-ta 
What do you want? — shit-REED 
Bring some drinking water — 

IEEB MAI li-SHV-rub 
Bring some f o o d — JEEB 

How far is the camp? — ihgad 

bi-'EED il-ma-'AS-kar 
How far is the water? — ihgad 

bi-'EED il-MAI 
Whose house is this?— BAYT 
man HAA-dha 



Date Due 

Way llj& 




IN U. S. A.