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Maysan Governorate

Arabic: محافظة ميسان
Location of Maysan Governorate
Coordinates: 31°54′N 47°2′E / 31.900°N 47.033°E / 31.900; 47.033
Country  Iraq
Capital Amarah
 • Total 16,072 km (6,205 sq mi)
 • Total 1,412,234 (UN)
HDI (2017) 0.643

Maysan Governorate (Arabic: ميسان‎, romanized: Maysān) 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 (Μεσσήνη) by Ancient Greeks (Strabo), Mays̲h̲an in Syriac. Mēs̲h̲ān in Middle Persian and Parthian (𐭌𐭉𐭔𐭍 myšn), Mēs̲h̲un in Armenian, Maysān (ميسان) in Arabic, and T’iao-tche (Chaldaea) in the Han sources.


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

In 2007, the governor was Adil Muhawdar Radi. He was succeed by Muhammad Shiya al-Sudani.

The current governor is Ali Dawai Lazem, a supporter of Muqtada al-Sadr. He is the only provincial governor in Iraq belonging to the Sadrist Movement. 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.

The provincial government of Maysan has been more successful than others in Iraq in delivering public services. According to the New York Times, "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."


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%.


  • Ali Al-Gharbi (علي_الغربي)
  • Amara (العمارة)
  • Al-Kahla (الكحلاء)
  • Al-Maimouna (الميمونة)
  • Al-Mejar Al-Kabi (المجر الكبير)
  • Qal'at Saleh (قلعة صالح)


  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ Streck, M.; Morony, M.. "Maysān." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. , 2012. Reference. 30 March 2012
  3. ^ http://www.juancole.com/2007/04/85-killed-or-found-dead-in-baghdad.html
  4. ^ Arango, Tim (3 May 2013). "A Sadrist Governor Is a Folk Hero to Iraqis". New York Times. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  5. ^ http://www.iau-iraq.org/gp/missan/default.asp

External links

  • Iraq Inter-Agency Information & Analysis Unit Reports, Maps and Assessments of Iraq's Governorates from the UN Inter-Agency Information & Analysis Unit
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