Today synonymous with a brutal war, Iraq is one of the oldest seats of civilization. The country has the world's third-largest proven oil reserves yet can meet only half of its own electricity needs because of successive wars. The ethnically diverse country has significant Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish communities, but little social cohesion between them. It's a rare country where life expectancy has stagnated over the past 15 years, since the U.S. invaded.
Need to Know
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Battling a lack of funding and political apathy, Marawi, Mosul and Kobani are trying to build modern cities from the rubble.
Basra, Iraq, has some serious infrastructure problems — and they could contribute to ongoing regional instability.
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