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Iraq's one too many holidays

Economists are warning Iraqi policymakers that the large number of official and unofficial holidays is crippling the economy against a backdrop of governmental indifference.
Residents take a ride at an amusement park as they celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Adha in Baghdad October 5, 2014. Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha to mark the end of the haj pilgrimage by slaughtering sheep, goats, camels and cows to commemorate Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail, on God's command.  REUTERS/Ahmed Saad (IRAQ - Tags: RELIGION) - RTR490NA
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Given the many official and unofficial holidays in Iraq, the country seems to be almost on permanent vacation throughout the year. Schools find themselves unable to complete their curricula, while economists warn against a recession due to the excessive number of holidays. Iraq recognizes 150 official vacation days, which is equivalent to one-third of the year, according to a law that was passed by the Iraqi parliament in April 2013.

According to this law, some cities with religious affiliations such as Karbala, Najaf and Khadimiya are allowed to determine their own holidays, and thus the number of vacation days.

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