Baghdad was once an intellectual centre and a hub of world trade

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Baghdad was once an intellectual centre and a hub of world tradeDuring ancient times the lands now comprising Iraq were know as Mesopotamia (“Land Between the Rivers”), a region that  gave rise to some of the world’s earliest civilizations. This wealthy region, constituting much of what is called the Fertile Crescent, later became part of larger imperial powers, including the Persian, Greek, and Roman dynasties, and, after the seventh century, it became an integral part of the Islamic world. Baghdad became the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate in the eighth century.

Founded in 762, the city of Baghdad was originally built on the west bank of the Tigris River. As the city spread beyond the original walks to the east bank of the Tigris, the two halves were joined by a bridge. Baghdad once stood at the centre of trade routes between the East and the West, linking Asia with Europe. Caravans and travellers along the Silk Road brought silk and other valuable items. Ivory, gold…

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The Aga Khan Museum’s collection includes a painting by a renowned Mughal artist

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Image Credit: bufordworld.wikispaces.com

The Mughals were a Muslim dynasty of Turkic-Mongol origin that ruled most of northern India from the early 16th to the mid-18th century, after which it continued to exist as a considerably reduced entity until the mid-19th century. The Mughals built a magnificent empire based on well-founded and enduring institutions, laying the foundations of a dynastic rule which inaugurated the most glorious period in the history of Islam.

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