Thi-Qar Governorate (alternatively spelled Dhi-Qar) is located in the south-east of Iraq. It shares internal borders with the governorates of Basrah, Muthanna, Qadissiya, Wassit and Missan; without any external borders. It has an area of 12900 km2 and a population of about two million (in 2012). Thi-Qar Governorate has five administrative districts: Nassiriyah, Suq Al-Shuyukh, Chibayish, Shatrah and Rafei whereas the provincial capital is Nasiriyah. The Euphrates River crosses the governorate and feeds into the Hammar marsh that covered one third of the governorate’s surface in the southern part of the governorate.
Historically, the governorate was known as Muntafiq Governorate before 1976. Thi-Qar was the heartland of the ancient Iraqi civilization of Sumer, and includes the ruins of Ur the important Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia located at the site of modern Tall el-Muqayyar in the west of Nasiriyah. The site is marked by the ruins of the Ziggurat of Ur, which contained the shrine of ‘Nanna’. This temple was built in the 21st century BC (short chronology), during the reign of Ur-Nammu and was reconstructed in the 6th century BC by Nabonidus, (the Assyrian born last king of Babylon) in the 6th century BC.
Eridu (5000 BC) was long considered the earliest city in southern Mesopotamia. Lagash was an important Sumerian city in the late 3rd millennium BC, it was ruled by independent kings, Ur-Nanshe (24th century BC) and his successors, who were engaged in contests with the Elamites on the east and the kings of “Kienĝir” and Kish on the north. In addition, Larsa also had a big place in the history of ancient Sumer. It is located about 25 km south-east of Uruk in Dhi Qar Governorate. The city became a political force during the Isin-Larsa period after the Third Dynasty of Ur collapsing around 1940 BC.
The economy of Thi-Qar depends mostly on the government sector, as most of the jobs over there are in the government departments. In addition, Thi-Qar has a company that works on the oil extraction within the area; there are also a number of oil refineries distributed in different cities. The agricultural sector is not very active but it is still providing some jobs and income for the population. The governorate has some important industries such as electricity, aluminum sections, cables, and textiles. The large population of Thi-Qar allows many governmental and private universities to open and work in the governorate; till this day, eight universities are distributed over different cities. The University of Thi-Qar is the state university and it is the largest and oldest one among the other universities in Thi-Qar.