Once known, as Mesopotamia, Iraq was the site of flourishing ancient civilizations, including the Sumerian, Babylonian, and Parthian cultures. In July 1979, Saddam Hussein, already a key figure in the Ba’ath party and the RCC, assumed the two offices of President and RCC Chairman. The Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) devastated the economy of Iraq. Iraq declared victory over Iran in 1988 but actually achieved only a weary return to the pre-war status quo. The war left Iraq with the largest military establishment in the Gulf region and with huge debts. Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, but a U.S.-led coalition acting under United Nations (UN) resolutions expelled Iraq in February 1991. In March 2003, a U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq and removed the Ba'ath regime, leading to the overthrow of the dictator Saddam Hussein. On June 28, 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred sovereign authority for governing Iraq to the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG). In a national referendum in October 2005, Iraqis approved a constitution and elected a 275 member Council of Representatives. In October 2011, President Obama announced the full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by year’s end pursuant to the Security Agreement. U.S. Forces-Iraq completed the withdrawal by mid December 2011. In April 2014 the Council of Representatives was expanded to 328 legislators. Iraq has been engaged in military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since 2014 to recapture the territory lost in the northern and western parts of the country. In response to the humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, Life for Relief and Development began providing humanitarian assistance to poor and needy Iraqis. The initial emphasis early on was to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other essential items. Life has expanded its operations into other sectors of the Iraqi society, such as education, healthcare, water and sanitation. Life has distributed tens of millions of dollars worth of humanitarian assistance in this war-torn country over the past 25 years. Life’s activities in Iraq include constructing a network of healthcare clinics, providing assistance to orphans across the country, distribution of wheelchairs to the handicapped and medical supplies to clinics and hospitals and so much more. Life’s deep humanitarian roots in Iraq, combined with its unique ability to operate in every corner of the country, have earned the trust and support of international partners and donors worldwide. Despite the risks, Life’s staff of professionals in Iraq has bravely continued their important work of blind charity in all corners of the country.