English Reading Practice

Iraq


Iraq is a country in the Middle East.

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It sits in an area that used to be called Mesopotamia in ancient times.

Mesopotamia is also called the "Cradle of Civilization." A cradle is a baby's bed. This expression means that it is the place where all the cultures of today were born! 

People have lived in this area for over 5000 years.

Many important inventions were born in Mesopotamia, now called Iraq. An "invention" is a new thing that a person makes that has never been made before.

Some of these inventions were the wheel, writing, and math.

Wheel   WritingMath

Many different cultures and people have lived in Iraq. The people of Iraq today are called Iraqis. Most Iraqis are Arabs and most are Muslim.

Being Arab and Muslim have influenced the culture in Iraq and the traditions of the Iraqi people.

One of the most important traditions is the wedding ceremony of two people. This is a special occasion when family, friends, and neighbors come together to celebrate love and the lives of young people.


Weddings in Iraq

When a man and woman want to get married, the man must ask the woman's family for permission.

If the woman's family says yes, then the man's family will give a dowry to the woman's family. A "dowry" is a present given from a man's family to a woman's family when they are going to be married. The dowry often has jewelry or gold in it.

Once a man and a women are engaged (promised to be married), there are many celebrations.

There is a special celebration for the bride (the woman getting married) with all her female friends and relatives. At this celebration, the bride's hands are decorated with a special paint called henna. This decoration brings luck to the bride and to her husband.

The groom (the man getting married) has a celebration with all the men in his family and the men in the bride's family. At this celebration, the men become friends and learn about each other. 

Beautiful bride

On the day of the wedding, the bride wears a white dress. Sometimes, she will wear four different dresses during her wedding day. The groom picks the bride up at her family's house and they go to the mosque (Muslim religious building) to be married. Their friends and family follow them to the mosque.

After the marriage ceremony at the mosque, there is a large wedding party where there is a lot of food and traditional and modern music is played.

Weddings are such happy celebrations in Iraq that often there are over one hundred people at the wedding ceremony and wedding party. Iraqi weddings are beautiful and happy traditions for the bride, groom, their family, friends, and neighbors.

mosque


And now, practice:

Iraq - Exercises

Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "dowry" mean?

a) something that someone made

b) a present from a man's family to a woman's family for marriage

c) a present from a woman's family to a man's family for marriage

d) a promise to be married


2. What is a "bride"?

a) a man who is getting married

b) the father of a woman who is getting married

c) a woman who is getting married

d) the mother of a man who is getting married


3. What is a "mosque"?

a) a Muslim religious building

b) a kind of wedding party

c) a kind of present given at a wedding

d) a government building


Grammar Questions

1. Iraq _____ a country in the Middle East.

a) is   b) was  c) had been  d) will be


2. Many different cultures and people have lived _____ Iraq.

a) by  b) at  c) on  d) in


3. People _______________ in this area for over 5000 years.

a) live  b) lived  c) have lived  d) will live


Comprehension Questions

1. What is Iraq/Mesopotamia also called?

_______________________________________________________________


2. Why does a bride have henna painted on her hands?

_______________________________________________________________


3. How many people often are at a wedding ceremony and party?

_______________________________________________________________


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