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The Iraqi people or Mesopotamian people are the native inhabitants of the country of Iraq, (also known as Mesopotamia), and their related diaspora. From late Assyrian and Babylonian times until the early Islamic era, the Iraqi people spoke Aramaic but also witnessed a minority Arab presence. Arabic had been a minority language in Iraq since the 8th century BC, it was spoken in Hatra in the 1st and 2nd centuries, and by Iraqi Christians in Al-Hirah from the 3rd century, and from the 8th century following the Muslim conquest of Mesopotamia it became the common language of Iraqi Muslims, due to Arabic being the language of the Qur'an and the Caliphate. This change was facilitated by the fact that Arabic being a Semitic language, shared a close resemblance to Iraq's traditional languages of Akkadian and Aramaic. Some of Iraq's Christians and Mandaeans retained dialects of Aramaic, since it remained the liturgical language of their faiths. Kurdish-speaking Iraqis live in the mountainous Zagros region of northeast Iraq to the east of the upper Tigris. The Kurds and Arabs of Mesopotamia have interacted and intermarried for well over a millennium. Modern genetic studies indicate that Iraqi Arabs and Kurds are very closely related. Arabic and Kurdish are Iraq's national languages. (via DBpedia)