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Arabic: 'al-¢amāra

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City in eastern Iraq with 420,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate) on the Tigris river. Al-Amarah is the administrative centre of Maysan governorate with about 750,000 inhabitants.
Al-Amarah is the main trade centre on the Tigris waterway south of Baghdad. The city is the trade and administrative centre for its agricultural region, producing livestock, wool and hides. Al-Amarah is known for its weaving products and silverware.
Prior to the revolution of 1958, Al-Amarah was well known for its feudalistic system, in which shaykhs owned large estates and maintained large private armies.

1987: A river freight route using barges is opened between Al-Amarah and Baghdad.
1990's: As part of suppressing the opposition to the government in southern Iraq, local governments of Al-Amarah start discriminating against Shi'is in food distribution.
1999 May: Fights break out between the Special Republican Guard (see Iraq: Defence) and local resistance in the region of Al-Amarah.

By Tore Kjeilen