Najaf is one of the most famous provinces of Iraq. It is located in the south-west of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. It is located on the edge of the western plateau that separates Iraq from Saudi Arabia. It occupies an important Islamic position as it was set as the capital of the Islamic state by the Imam Ali during his reign and it was chosen by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as the capital of Islamic culture in 2012 in order to embrace the events held during that year. Najaf attracts millions of tourists every year for having special splendor and religious nature. It is one of the important tourist destinations in Iraq itself for its status, as it contains the tomb of the prophets, Adam, Noah, Hood and Saleh, and the tomb of Imam Ali. The tomb of Imam Ali is the most important destination frequented by tourists for its architecture and status. The tomb is also called Al-Rawda Al-Haydariyah or Al-Ataba Al-Alawiyah, and includes many of the treasures of ancient Islamic manuscripts and rare collectibles.
Najaf contains many distinctive monuments, such as the old walls of Najaf, the Sea of Najaf, Najaf cemetery, which is one of the widest and oldest cemeteries in the world. In addition, Najaf occupies a prominent cultural position as it conjoins many Islamic and cultural institutes such as Al-Mekdad Al-Siouri School, the oldest school in Najaf, and Al-Gharawiyah school as well. The architectural style in the city is one of the reasons for the tourist attraction, as its buildings are characterized by open courtyards, roofed arcades and many rooms and corridors. The decorations on the most important landmarks in the city chronicle the unique Islamic architecture. Najaf contains many heritage houses and mosques with spectacular architecture, as the Kufa Mosque in the city of Kufa that is a city in the province of Najaf. It is one of the oldest mosques in Islamic history and it is considered as one of the wonderful heritage mosques. In addition, there are other mosques such as Imran bin Shaheen, the oldest mosque in the city, and it was built in the 4th century AH. Also, there are Al-Khadra Mosque, Al-Ras Mosque, Iwan al-Ulama, also known as the shrine of scholars, and the Bektashi Tekyeh.
Najaf conjoins many ancient streets like the Prophet Street, Imam Zine El Abidine Street and Kufa Street, in addition to markets that attract tourists, such as the big market, which is the oldest and the most famous market in the province of Najaf. It is located in the heart of the city, in front of the shrine of Imam Ali and contains a lot of goods, jewelry, perfumes and other stuff, and there are some ancient shops nearby.
Najaf city has many hotels and amenities that provide various services to the tourists. Naming the province as the capital of Islamic culture encouraged the establishment of many tourist facilities to facilitate things for visitors of the city.
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