The new 1000 IQD banknote featuring an Assyrian star. Photo: CBI / Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) has released a series of new banknote designs aimed at modernizing the currency and better reflecting the nation’s heritage and diversity.
The last significant redesign of Iraqi banknotes came after the 2003 US invasion, which saw Saddam Hussein’s face removed from the currency.
Now a new series of 25,000, 10,000, 1000, 500, 250 dinar notes is set to enter circulation from next week. The CBI says it does not plan to recall old banknotes.
As part of the redesign, the new banknotes will now feature the governor of the central bank’s printed name instead of his signature, “compatible with what is being followed in other countries”, the CBI said Sunday.
The issuing date will read 2018 AD and 1440 Hijri of the Islamic calendar.
However, it is the 1000 dinar note that seems to be getting the most significant makeover.
The symbol of the Ikhlas Surah from the Quran, which is currently featured on the 1000 IQD bill, is to be replaced with what looks like an Assyrian star.
Assyrians are a predominately Christian minority group concentrated around northern Iraq. Many of them were displaced or forced to flee abroad during the ISIS war.
The new 1000 dinar note will also feature the words: “Enlisting the marshes and heritage of Southern Iraq on world heritage list”. This is in reference to the inclusion of Iraq’s endangered marshlands on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites in 2016.
During Saddam’s rule, Iraq’s marshes were almost completely drained in order to flush out rebel groups.
The rich natural habitat and the culture of the marshland’s inhabitants were almost lost. International efforts have sought to bring it back to life.