Infographics: how 5 countries could become 14

future map

Actually, combined with the possible city-states, and one ‘missing’ plenipotentiary, the number could be instead 18.

Sorry, I was instead counting ‘Sunnistan’ as two separate countries – Syria and Iraq.

Source: The New York Times

Kurdistan, the bright side of Iraq



Sulaymaniyah, the largest city in Kurdistan, houses a population of approximately 1.5 million people. Due to recent oil boom, the city has experienced fluorishing economic boom unseen in majority of Iraqi territories.


Kurdistan is like a country; it has a government solely voted by the will of its people with Baghdad’s little intervention. It has a president, a prime minister, a basic constitution that shapes the territory’s rudimentary foundation, fully-fledgling political parties, and even a partly free foreign-relations policy without referring to Iraqi government’s directive. Nonetheless, Kurdistan is, just like the rest of autonomous areas throughout the world, still an integral part of Iraq.

Barely anybody has heard the whereabouts of this unique place. Not even its murky, blood-shed history. Throughout the 20th century, Kurdistan had been the battlefield between Kurd fighters and Iraqi armed forces, the climax of which took place when then-President Saddam Hussein launched al-Anfal campaign – one of the worst chapters of genocide in human history – which saw more than 100,000 Kurds massacred throughout Iran-Iraq War. The tragedy was not until the 1990s, when Iraqi troops, exasperated with myriad attacks from NATO forces, retracted from the territory. Since the departure, an autonomous government has been appointed to lead the war-torn region.

Unlike the rest of Iraq, despite occasional commotion, today Kurdistan enjoys relative stability. With better safety and abundance of oil and gas reserves, more investment projects are being pumped out to spur the region’s economic growth. One of the major cities in Kurdistan enjoying such boom is Sulaymaniyah (pictured above), which has seen progress in recent years, as seen from the rising living standards, bustling economic activities, better creativity among its youth, and more opportunities to succeed in the region. These are the things deemed ‘nearly impossible’ by most of the Iraqis living beyond Kurdistan.

Undeniably, we can infer that the ‘City of Emerald’ has switched further North.


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