Book Description

[IRAQ] RIFAAT (A. Karim) Development Board Ministry of Development Illustrated Map of Iraq For Development Projects, Scale 1: 1,000,000, Presumed 1st Edition, Folio 1170 x 950 mm, Single stain and sunning to the top right quadrant, 3 small holes to seam folds, slight marking to the central seam (potentially from the original printing), folds into original green wrappers 207 x175mm, some sunning, nicks creases to the edges with a single 2cm tear to the verso, in very good condition and suitable for framing. Iraq. P.r. Survey Press. N.d. [c.1955-56].
Dealer Notes
A large and detailed map, showing all of Iraq and its borders with neighbouring countries. Notable areas of interest include Kuwait and the Iraq- Saudi Neutral Zone (formed in 1922 and divided in 1981), and the recently completed oil pipeline from Kirkuk, crossing the border into Jordan. Interestingly, Kuwait has been labelled as within the ‘Basra Gulf,’ following the Turkish naming convention and potentially hinting at the designs the Iraqi state had towards Kuwait.

As a country, Iraq needed to develop to advance its population and react to a rapidly increasing amount of oil royalties flowing into the country (Habermann notes this as ID 3.3 million in 1949 and rising to ID 50 million by 1953). To support this growth, there was a need to advance infrastructure within the country and develop the country’s economy.

Accordingly, a 6-year development plan which was signed off by the Iraqi parliament in 1951 and The Development Board and Ministry of Development were established soon after to implement these objectives. The Board tendered projects aimed at four pillars for the country: Road and air travel infrastructure, establishing industries and constructing low cost homes for the population. Alongside this, it was discovered that controlling the water of the Tigris and creating suitable drainage would aid access to fertile land. Through these developments, it was aimed to increase cropped acreage by 75% over a twenty-five year period, fundamentally transforming the standard of living for the population. The government set aside 70% of the oil royalties for this small board that contained both US and UK representation, giving it a substantial amount of capital.

The map’s Index shows the rapid development of completed projects mid-way through the initial 6-year plan. This includes the dam of Ramadi and the numerous wells being drilled in the North of the country around Sinjar, alongside tenders called for various bridges and dams in the Tigris.

Curiously, due to the scale of the opportunity of being involved within Iraq during this period, different countries reportedly offered proposals which occasionally forecast a net loss. This was achieved by foreign governments subsidising these initial ventures as they looked to gain any foothold within the rapidly developing country.
Whilst transformative in its scope at inception, the Board was open to regular accusations of catering to Western interests and infighting, leading to lack of tangible results to the populace.

Rare. LibraryHub locates just two holdings: one at the British Library and the other at the University of Exeter.
Author [IRAQ] RIFAAT (A. Karim)
Date 1955
Binding Map
Publisher Survey Press, Iraq
Condition VG

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