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Backgrounder: S. Iraq, Home of the Shiites

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Backgrounder: S. Iraq, Home of the Shiites

Backgrounder: S. Iraq, Home of the Shiites

Backgrounder: S. Iraq, Home of the Shiites

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1202672/1202673" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Today, we are hearing names of Iraqi cities such as Najaf and Karbala. To most American ears, they're exotic names for contemporary battlefields. But to Muslims, especially Shiite Muslims — the predominant group in Iran and Southern Iraq — these are names freighted with history. NPR's Robert Siegel visits about these place names with historian Shaul Bakhash of George Mason University.