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Major city in Iraq. Became a center for political and cultural development during the first centuries of Islam. Has always had strong associations with Shiism and remains a Shii center today. Founded as a military city in 638 by the general Sad ibn Abi Waqqas and served as a base for Muslim expansion into Iran and the East. During the first civil war in 656, Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib (the first Shii imam) made Kufa his capital. Ali's tomb is located close to the city in Najaf.

Subjects: Islam — Art.

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