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It is one of the important territories in the region and considered to be the gate of the region to the external world. Zakho city is the center of the territory which lies on the south- western side of the famous plain of Sendi with fertile soil, Zakho is a beautiful city characterized by a lot of water and nice climate, lies on Khabir river which passes by and a branch from the river divides the city into two parts and there is a stony bridge on it, almost was built in the reign of Badinan Emirate, then the branch meets with the main branch which passes by an ancient castle, in the castle, there are a bench of eight angles, columns above them sharp curves and decorations, they made the castle as house for their princes.
The historians have disagreed about its name and there are several stories or opinions about it, in some Arami sources the name of the city is mentioned which is derived from the Arami word (Zakhota) which means the victory in relationship with the battle happened between the Romans and the Persians near the city and ended with Romans victory.
In another story, the name is developed from the Kurdish words (Zey- Khowin) mean the river of the blood in relationship with the important accident happened in this place and the blood is shed, this story is near to the first one, it may refer to the battle between the Romans and the Persians. The third opinion says that the origin of the name came from (Zey) means the river and (Khowak) means the curved place which blocks the water and by all means the word Zakho is repeated widely in the Kurdish folklore songs (Zakhoka Badina).
The history of the city is accurately unknown, the prince (Jaladat Badirkhan) has mentioned that it was an important city in the reign of Kwiteens. It is certain that the Greek leader (Zeyzafon) passed by the city in (401 BC) when he pulled out his army and he mentioned the Kurdish citizens of the city when he returned home with his army.
It might be flourished and extended in the position where Husseinya city was situated and more than one Arabic sources mentioned it, they called Khabir river by (Husseinya) and still one of the sectors holds this name ( Husseinya).
The Kurdish historian (Sharaf Khan Badlissi) (1005 H) mentioned that it belonged to Badinan Emirate since the days of Sultan (Hassan Beck son of prince Sayf Deen) and appointed as the first prince to the city on their behalf in (892 H). One of the princes built a church for the jews in the city and still its remains are clear and in sight.
The people of Zakho depend on agriculture to earn their living specially the winter crops like wheat, barley, chick- peas, various types of peas and beans and different kinds of fruit trees by exploiting Sendi plain and other flat areas which can be benefited from them beside the summer crops like tomatoes, rice, tobacco, other types of vegetables. Zakho territory is well- known in growing trees such as populus, wal- nuts, pomegranates. The production rates are very high because of the fertility of lands and the availability of fresh water. The city was also considered to be the main source of making and exporting the folklore clothes (Shall and Shapik) but it started to shrink because of the shortage in the materials used in making the clothes and men shifted to wear clothes made of different types of cloth. The city is regarded as the gate of the region to the external world therefore it becomes an important commercial center and the majority of Zakho people work in trade and there are many trade companies in the city. Zakho city is full of historical remains, Duhok Archaeology Office listed (15) archaeological locations and they are:
This bridge is erected over Khabir river to the east of the city. There are different stories or opinions concerning its construction, (Hamarteen) says it is Roman, (Asskeef) says it is Greek and one of the leaders of the great Alexandar AL- Makadoni his name was (Slowkas) ordered to erect the bridge and some of the archaeologists in the Iraqi General Directorate of Archaeology think it might be erected by one of the Badinan Sultans but it is certain that the new bridge is erected on the remains of the ancient one. We think that one of the Badinan princes renovated it and repaired what was destroyed from the bridge. There is a famous epic in the from of a song in the Kurdish language about the construction of the bridge. The length of the bridge is about (114M), the width is about (4.70M) the height from the water surface is about (15.50M)it is erected by carved stones and consists of a wide and high curve in the middle and other smaller curves on the sides totally they are five curves. The walls are built by carved lime stones and they are put together in a beautiful and decorated way by using lime for plastering the walls. The history of Dalal bridge construction can not be identified because there are no signs, statues and writings on the bridge to show its erection date.
( Pera Dalal) is an ancient name called by Zakho people, in some sectors they call it (Pera Mazen) mean the great bridge. It has another name which is ( Aabassi bridge) it is a new one named at the thirtieths from this century by an official order from the Mayor of Zakho at that time, the archaeologist (Conrad Brouice) mentioned it and visited it in 15th of April, 1909 under name of Khabir bridge.
It lies in the city center on the western of Khabir river and it is still in sight, it was the governing house in the reign of Badinan Emirate but the prince (Ali Khan 1205- 1212H) renovated and extended the castle. The castle was erected on the ruins of an older castle because the remained parts indicate that it was a strong and hard castle built by big pebble stones and coated with gypsum, still there is a huge tower erected by sequared stones still in sight.
3- Qubad Pasha castle
This castle situates in the cemetery of Zakho, it has a hexagon shape, six windows and a gate as an enterance. Eathenware and lime were used in building and plastering the castle with writings and pictures on it but they are removed at the present time.
Kesta was an ancint city, its history belonged to the Assyrian periods, since Assyrian, Greek and Islamic coins and statues were found in this city. The late Shamdeen had written about Kesta remains in Ikha magazine in May, 1933 and about other archaeological locations. It is far from the governorate center in abour (58)km. The territory area is about (1378) sqkm and contains three districts, they are:
The center is Ibraheem Khalil town, it is considered to be the main enterance of the region to the external world in which an international road passes by the town to Turkey.
The district center lies close to the meeting point of Heezal river to Khabir river where the international bridge passing by Turkey. The name of the town came from the village where the tomb of the father of the prophets (Ibraheem Khalil) is found. It is considered to be a tourism area in itself and a recreational ground or a general park specially for Zakho people and for the whole governorate.
The people depend on agriculture specially winter crops like wheat, barley, chick- peas, lentils, gram and others even in an insufficient way beside summer crops like tomatoes, rice and all kinds of vegetables also growing fruit fields, (lefi) area is famous in fruit fields specially in growing fruit trees like (Armishte) pomegranates, various types of grapes, peaches, apples and olives which are considered to be an ancient crop in the area by getting benefit from the water of Khabir river.
One of the most important mountains is the White mountain which extends from the south of Doski district towards the west and forms the southern border for the district, too. The international road passes by the district to Zakho city across (Geli Sepi) mean white narrow passage. The series which situates to the west of the road is called Dezhiwar (Bekher) mountain to the hills overlooking Peshekhabir river in the triangle border.There are many ancient remains and locations in the district, Duhok Archaeology Office listed (22) archaeological positions and they are:
1-Armishet castle 2-ruins of Derabeen and Peshekhabir 3-remains of Betas 4-ruins of Dornakh 5-remains of Ibraheem Khalil.
The district area is about (295)sqkm and contains (43) villages all of them were destroyed except the district center during Anfal operations, the western areas from the district lands were regarded to be non- person zones by excusing the passing of strategic oil line (tube) in them. After the fromation of Region Goverment, the life is returned to the villages and the hands of building and reconstruction reached the villages.
It lies to the north eastern of the territory center and it was forming with the neighbouring district Goli one district called (Goli and Sendi district), its center was (Berseve) village then detached in (1924) and the center remained there, after that changed to (Sharanish) village to centeralise Sendi area, finally changed to (Darkar) enforced collective town after the displacement and emigration campaigns carried out by Baath regime. The lands in the district can be divided into two areas disjoin them Zhigera mountain series, since the area which lies to the north of it, distinguished by having many mountains, heights and deep valleys with many springs and small rivers like the follwing tributaries:
1-Sharanish- Istablan- Bahnona Sendi- Heezal.
2-Garowk- Marsees- Barikh- Bahnona Sendi- Heezal.
The second area is Sendi plain with rich sources, Zakho city itself situates in southern side of this plain, a paved road passes in the middle of the plain which joins the territory center in addition to joining Goli district and Barwari Bala to Zakho city.
The majority of people work in agriculture of winter types such as wheat, barley, chick- peas, lentils and other crops by exploiting Sendi plain beside summer crops like tomatoes, rice, tobacco and others. The district is well- known in making fruit fields like apples, walnuts, pears, pomegranates and peaches it is also famous in growing populus, gallnuts and oaks.
The district has the fame of breeding the cattle, goats and sheep by getting advantage from fertile pasture lands and fine climate in summer. The northern areas of the district can be made nice and beautiful resorts since the temperature does not exceed more than (32)C, the mountains are covered by dense forests specially in Sharanish, Geli Sepi and Agha Sarket Sendia areas. The most important mountains in the distyict are Zheegera and Khamatoir.
The district is considered to be a store for archaeological positions which remove the cover of bright pages telling the story desceneded generations in this area, Duhok Archaeology Office recorded (48) ancient locations and they are:
1-Pera Rabanka (Peshock) 2-Pera Sheik Yousef 3-Sanat castles 4-Geli Barikh castles 5-Sulaman Sendi castle 6-Istablan caves and others.
The district areas is about (531) sqkm and contains (69) villages were destroyed before and during Anfal compaign, enforced collective town were built in Sendi plain to inbabit the displaced citizens of the villages such as (Darkar, Heezava, Bersive, Telkabar and Darhuzan village) collective towns, some of Barwari Bala citizens were inhabited in the collective town with the citizens of the district itself.
The center is Batifa town which lies in the north- east of the territory center, it was forming one district with Sendi district but detached in (1924) under the name of Goli district. (Demka) village was made its center, then changed to (Bahnona) village and after that settled in (Batifa). It situates on the main road which joins Barwari Bala area to Zakho city. The meaning of (Goli) in Kurdish language is the curved plain area in which snow storms are blown there in winter.
The lands of the district can be divided into two areas, a plain area forms an extension to Sendi plain to Khabir river, the second area is a rough mountainous area, there are many deep valleys, mountainous heights with difficult paths in this area, also there are many rivers, brooks and springs which benefit in agriculture, people of the district depend on agriculture in winter season like wheat, barley, chick- peas, lentils, gram and others by extension to Sendi plain in addition to summer crops like rice, tomatoes and all types of vegetables, people shifted in the recent years to grow fruitful trees in growing crops like the fields of apples, peaches, pears, pomegranates, apricots and others. Its valleys are famous in growing populus trees beside types of grapes, walnuts and nuts by getting benefit from the water of Zeriza and Seerkotik small rivers also the utmost benefit from Khabir river. The people of the district breed the cattle by getting benefit from the existance of fertile pasture lands in the mountains since the climate is nice and water is available.
The most important mountains in the district are: Nizdor, Rawaysi, Kashan, Sarke Showini, Bahnona and Shabani.
The most important rivers in the district are: Zeriza, Seerkotik and Khabir.
There are many historical and ancient places in the district, Duhok Archaeology Office listed (15) locations and they are:
1-Shabani the famous castle 2-Kashan castle 3-Bekwane castle 4-Pera Nizdor on Khabir river, it might be erected in the reign of Badinan Emirate 5-the ruins of Kiret, Begova and others.
The district area is about (208) sqkm and contains (60) villages were destroyed before and during Anfal campaign except the district center and Begova enforced collective town but after the formation of Kurdistan Region Government, the hands of erection and reconstruction reached the villages and by bringing life to most of them.