Najaf, Iraq Monorail Sytem
Najaf is a city in Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad and is the second largest city in Iraq with an estimated population in 2008 of 1.2 million. Najaf is one of the holiest cities of Shia Islam as it is the home to the shrine of Imam Ali, Prophet Muhammad's martyred son-in-law. It is also the center of Shia political power in Iraq. The shrine of Imam Ali is the third holiest in the world for Shia Muslims and a major place of pilgrimage. The population of Iraq is estimated at 30 million and the major cities are Baghdad to the north and Basra to the south of Najaf. The main group within Iraq are the Shias who comprise 65% of the population. Up to 15 percent of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are Shi'ite and over 60 million reside in neighbouring Iran who plans to increase the number of pilgrims visiting Holy Shi'ite sites in Iraq each year to 3 million.
In February 2010, the investment commission in Najaf signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a group of Iraqi companies to extract oil and conduct infrastructure projects worth over $22 billion U.S. dollars in the province. The project is expected to produce 400,000 barrels of oil per day and will provide the province with $400 million a year per Najaf Governor Adnan al-Zurfi.