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Maysan Governorate

Location of Maysan Governorate
Coordinates: 31°54?N 47°2?E / 31.900°N 47.033°E / 31.900; 47.033Coordinates: 31°54?N 47°2?E / 31.900°N 47.033°E / 31.900; 47.033
Country Iraq
 o GovernorAli Dawai Lazem (Sadrist Movement)
 o Total16,072 km2 (6,205 sq mi)
 o Total1,412,234 (UN)
HDI (2017)0.643[1]

Maysan Governorate (Arabic: ‎, romanizedMays?n) is a governorate in southeastern Iraq, bordering Iran. Its administrative centre is the city of Amarah. Prior to 1976 it was known as Amara Province.


This region was called Messène (?) by Ancient Greeks (Strabo), Mays?h?an in Syriac. M?s?hn in Middle Persian and Parthian (? my?n), M?s?h?un in Armenian, Mays?n () in Arabic, and T'iao-tche (Chaldaea) in the Han sources.[2]


Alexander the Great founded the town of Charax Spasinu in 324 B.C. in the governorate. The town later became the capital of the Characene kingdom. It now exists as the ruins of Naysan.

The area suffered greatly during the Iran-Iraq War, during which it was a major battlefield, and again after the 1991 Iraqi uprising.

Provincial Government

Baath era

From 1992 to 1994, Saddam Hussein appointed a senior military commander named Kamel Sachet Aziz al-Janabi, who had served during the Iran-Iraq War and led special forces missions into Kuwait, during the Gulf War, to become the governor the governorate, following a decision to replace all provencial governors with military ones. Under Janabi's administration he reportedly Islamified, which coincided with Iraq's national Faith campaign launched by Saddam Hussein himself.

Saddam Hussein's brother-in-law who had visited the province commented on Janabi's administration saying he had built a "mini-Islamic State". Janabi also ordered the closuer of all bars serving alcohol in Maysan and built several Mosques across the governorate.

He would also collect money for donations to the sick and poor, as well as visit hospitals. He also reprimanded a police officer for allowing his car to cut through traffic, after the officer noticed it was the governor's car.

Locals reportedly referred to him as, "Abu Omar" a reference to Umayyad Caliph Umar II, viewing Janabi's rule as similar.

Janabi also reportedly spared, an Iraqi Shiite who was cooperating with Iran in the province who had turned himself in to Iraqi security force.

In 1994, Janabi was relieved from his position and sent to work for Saddam Hussein in Baghdad instead. Many Baathist officials criticized both Saddam Hussein and Janabi, for their religiousty, and told Saddam Hussein that Janabi was a fifth-column element in the regime, however Saddam Hussein dismissed these claims in favor of Janabi, and Janabi himself was reportedly very loyal to Saddam Hussein.

Post 2003

The current governor is Ali Dawai Lazem, a supporter of Muqtada al-Sadr. He is, as of 2013, the only provincial governor in Iraq belonging to the Sadrist Movement.[3] Though he is a Shi'a, he is a non-sectarian and has said "It doesn't make a difference if you are Sunni or Shi'ite or Christian. I don't differentiate between anyone." He has been called Iraq's most popular politician.[]

In 2013, The New York Times praised Dawai's governance, stating that "roads are being paved, new sewage systems installed and residents now enjoy electricity for up to 22 hours a day, far more than in Baghdad."[4]

List of governors

Picture Governor Assumed role Party
Kamel Sachet Aziz al-Janabi 1992-1994[5] Iraqi Baath Party
  Riyadh Mahood al-Muhammadawi[6] 2003 Independent
  Adil Mahwadar Radi 2005 Sadrist Movement
Iraqi Minister for Human Rights (6684996257) (cropped).jpg   Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani 2009 State of Law Coalition
  Ali Dawai Lazem 2010[] Sadrist Movement


Maysan is made up of a Shia Arab majority and a small population of Manichaeans. It is covered in the south by many Mesopotamian Marshes, and has traditionally been home to many Marsh Arabs.

As of 2007, the unemployment rate is 17%.[7]



  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved .
  2. ^ Streck, M.; Morony, M.. "Mays?n." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. , 2012. Reference. 30 March 2012
  3. ^ Jaboori, Rafid. "Sectarian tensions stalk Iraq elections". BBC News. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Arango, Tim (3 May 2013). "A Sadrist Governor Is a Folk Hero to Iraqis". New York Times. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Cole, Juan. "Marsh Arab Rebellion: Grievance, Mafiasand Militias in Iraq" (PDF). Deepblue. University of Michigan. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^

External links

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