(p.271) Appendix A: Village Data1
(p.271) Appendix A: Village Data1
Description of Villages Affected in the 1960s by Region
The following data illustrates the Assyrian villages affected by the autonomist uprising of 1961–3, including notes on material and cultural significance, and population statistics where known and applicable. Numbers of families or persons reflect the native numbers in all cases (unless otherwise noted), sometimes distinguishing between Nestorian/Assyrian Church of the East and Chaldean/Catholic when known. The villages and towns affected are listed below by province and district.2
The sister village of Harīr, Batase (sometimes Batas), located in the district of the same name, was home to followers of Mar Shimun, mostly from the Nochiya region, who fled there following the First World War. In 1938, there were fifty-three families (303 persons), along with a variety of livestock and agricultural equipment: 172 goats, 147 sheep, 85 oxen, 33 donkeys, 9 mules, 8 buffalo and 16 ploughs.4 Prior to its destruction, there were thirty Assyrian households in Batase, with the ancient church of Mar Stephanos as their religious centre. Though not built by its then resident Assyrians, the old Church of the East edifice is testament to previous Assyrian presence in the region. The villagers were attacked and forced out in 1963 by pro-government Kurdish forces, who then resettled the area.5 Many fled to the major cities or Iran during this time, but none returned. (p.272)
Most of the Christian inhabitants of Darbandoke or Derbandok (‘enclosed place’ in Kurdish) are of the Nochiya tribe, though Assyrians of other regions dwelled there as well, alongside a Kurdish population. The village is the birthplace of the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV, born in September 1935. It is also the birthplace of Emanuel Kamber PhD, physicist and former secretary general of the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA). In 1938, fifteen families totalling 108 people lived in the village, (p.274)
Diyana (or Diana) was built by levy officers and their families under the British administration. According to League of Nations statistics, the village held 126 families (totalling 569 persons), along with 298 goats, 59 sheep and 20 ploughs.9 Prior to its destruction in 1963, Diyana contained more than 125 Assyrian households and the following churches: Mar Quryaqos, two churches sacred to Mar Gewargis, and two older churches, Mart Maryam and Mar Stephanos.10 Its population fled in 1963 while air and ground forces attacked the region. Though some natives returned, their homecoming was short lived, as the village was attacked again in 1974, whereupon its remaining Assyrians inhabitants fled a second time.11
Hanare (also Henare, Hanara) was home to twenty-two families (136 persons) in 1938, along with a significant amount of livestock.12 It contained twelve households prior to its destruction in 1963. The village and its inhabitants encountered the same fate as those of Batase, Darbandoke, Diyana, Harīr and Kalate.13
Harīr village was rebuilt by Nestorian-rite from Hakkâri following the First World War. Included in the building process was the church of Mar Yohanna. In 1938, Harīr had seventy-eight families (485 persons), twenty manual ploughs and a large amount of livestock, including 672 goats, 374 sheep, 80 oxen, 12 horses, 6 buffalo, 6 mules and 2 donkeys.14 Prior to its (p.277) destruction in 1963, the total number of Assyrian households numbered above ninety.15 Little else is known of the village, although according to a report from the Kurdish Center for Human Rights, on 18 February 2006 the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Minister of Human Rights discussed the uncovering of a mass grave in which some thirty-seven bodies were identified as Assyrians originally from Harīr.16
The village of Kalate (sometimes Qalana Soran in League of Nations reports) was reported to have been home to ten Assyrian families (eighty-four persons), along with 200 sheep, 106 goats, 10 oxen and 2 mules in 1938.17 The village was attacked in 1963 by pro-government Kurdish forces and its Assyrian inhabitants were forced to flee during the infighting. None returned, and their homes were confiscated and resettled by pro-government militia.18 No major cultural or religious structures are mentioned with respect to Kalate.
Hawdian (also Howdian, Havdian) is famous for its immediate proximity to≈the Shanidar Cave in northeastern Iraq. In 1938, twelve Assyrian families (ninety persons) resided in the village, along with 105 goats and 25 head of cattle.19 Between 1957 and 1961, Ralph Solecki and a team from Columbia University excavated the site, unearthing the first adult Neanderthal skeletons in Iraq; the remains were dated to between 80,000 and 60,000 years bp. Also referred to as Zawi Chemi Shanidar, or to Assyrians as Gippa d’Hawdian (the Cave of Hawdian), the cave was mentioned extensively by the British road engineer A. M. Hamilton in the early 1930s. Hamilton questioned, Yaqo Ismael, about what he knew of the cave’s history:
You have heard little of what is said to be in the Baradost cave, sir, but evidently you have not heard of the mill that grinds flour for ever and never stops, yet with no man or woman to feed it; you have not heard of the fire that burns eternally, nor of the secret vault that holds the treasure of the ancient kings of Assyria, looted from enemies when ours was the (p.278) mightiest nation on earth, thousands of years ago, when men in Europe and in England were mere savages in the forests. I am a descendant of those ancient kings! The remnant of our nation that survived the war is now wandering homeless in Iraq. Some of us serve you as British soldiers. Yet once all these lands were ours, as the carvings at Batas, at Amadiyah and Nineveh must prove to you.20
Of the findings from the excavations, the various ‘Christian ware’ ceramics, along with a metal medallion from Constantinople dated ad 500 and a shallow stone-cut pool carved (most probably) by monks, speak to the history of a continuous Christian settlement. The name Shanidar may partially reflect the Assyrian-Aramaic term deyra (‘monastery’), which would lend further evidence to the site as an Assyrian Christian settlement.21 The church of Mar Oraha (Abraham) of the Church of the East was destroyed in 1963, along with the rest of the village and its twenty households, by pro-government militia.22
The town, now city, of ‘Amēdīyāh is located east of the Barwari mountain range, roughly 50 miles north of Mosul. The Encyclopedia Judaica reports approximately 1,800 Jewish inhabitants as late as the 1930s.23 In 1835–6, Syriac sources tell the tale of the besieging of ‘Amēdīyāh for seven years by a Kurdish chief, Mira Kora.24 There were three Catholic families reported in 1850.25 There once existed an old church dedicated to Mar Yozadek, an Assyrian Christian saint, though until recently it remained in ruins.26 The city’s Dominican convent was destroyed and rebuilt more than once.27 ‘Amēdīyāh is generally referred to as the site of the beginning of the Kurdish autonomist struggle. Here, the Barzanis fought the Iraqi army, supported by the Zebari, Surchi, Bradost and Herki Kurdish tribes.28 Though some Assyrians fought alongside Kurdish guerrillas in Barwar – including the first casualty in the struggle, Ethniel Shleimon of Dūre village – many remained neutral. Following consistent fighting between the Barzani autonomists and the pro-government forces from October through the winter of 1961, many (p.279) of those neutral Assyrians began to flee. By January of 1962, 4,500 Assyrians had been forced to flee to other parts of Iraq.29
Ashawa, located in the Sarsang sub-district, was settled most recently by refugees from Hakkâri in the 1920s.30 According to the 1957 census, its Assyrian population stood at 619. Though taken and resettled by pro-government Kurdish irregulars during the uprising in 1961, Ashawa was later bulldozed by the Ba‘th regime, and a presidential palace was erected on its lands.31
Badarrash (also Badrashk), located about one mile north of Sarsang, was settled by Nestorian and Chaldean refugees of the Baz tribe in the 1920s. In 1938, the village was home to twenty-seven families (eighty men and seventy-two women), along with livestock: 100 goats and 50 sheep.32 Mar Gewargis Chaldean Church, built in 1925, suffered ruination during the village raiding in 1961, which also destroyed all the farms and apple orchards. Adherents of both the Church of the East (Nestorian Church) and the Chaldean Church occupied the village until many fled under threat during the civil war. Badarrash was home to thirty households in 1961.33
There are few references to Havintka (also spelled Hawintka) before the settlement of refugees of the Lower Tiyari tribe in 1920. In 1957, there were approximately sixty people in the village. Havintka was abandoned in 1961.34
The city of Sarsang (also spelled Sarseng and Sarsank) was most recently settled by 100 families (40 households) of refugees from the Tiyari tribe, adherents of the Church of the East, in 1922.35 In 1933, the population shrank to about 150. By 1938, fifty-five families (166 men and 135 women) resided in the city, along with livestock: forty goats and twenty sheep.36 A church dedicated to Mar Mattai was built in 1955 for the Assyrians in Sarsang. It is (p.280) also a popular tourist destination for people from throughout Iraq. In 1961, the town numbered 150 families (80 households), totalling 700 people.37 Most of the Assyrian lands began to be confiscated in 1972 and 1973 by pro-Barzani Kurdish villagers from Upper Arāden and Kani-Chinarke.38 Many Assyrians fled following threats and attacks during that period.
Ṣawura (sometimes spelled Ṣawra) was divided into upper and lower districts. It is the well-known site of the school of Babai the Great, a Christian religious figure, which served both the region and Eastern Christianity generally for many years, producing scholars in theology and philosophy.39 It was settled by Nestorians of Upper Tiyari from the village of Rumtha in the 1920s. The then mukhtar (mayor) of the village was Mame Beth Semano.40 Following the massacre at Simele in 1933, many villagers fled or were robbed and killed.41 In one particular case more than twenty Assyrians were killed.42 Ṣawura’s population was forced out in 1961 and fled the region.43
Tazhikka was resettled by refugees from Hakkâri in the 1920s. Its population numbered 123 in 1957 and its villagers abandoned it under threat in 1961.44
The name Ṭlanīthā may be based on the Assyrian-Aramaic word for ‘shadow’ or ‘shade’, though the village is sometimes known as Dewike. In 1850 Badger wrote the settlement name as Ṭalneetha; at the time it was home to between six and twelve families, a priest and a church. Ṭlanitha was within the Church of the East diocese of Mar Abraham of Gündük (Nerem), in the mountains south of Jebel Gara.45 The village, along with the churches of Mart Shmuni and Mar Quryaqos, was left in ruins after the rebellion of 1961 when Zebari tribesmen ransacked it.46
‘Aqra’s etymology may trace to an Assyrian-Aramaic word meaning ‘root’, perhaps, in the case of the city, as the root or foot of the mountain. The (p.281) city is mentioned in Neo-Assyrian sources as Kurbail.47 Many of its original inhabitants were religliously Christians and Jews. Its people were known as artisans – weavers and jewellers. Prior to the fourteenth century, the region was part of the diocese of Margā and under the jurisdiction of the Church of the East’s metropolitan see of Adiabene.48 Most villages in and around ‘Aqra were Nestorian until the beginning of the nineteenth century. Dominican proselytising during the mid-1800s caused a drastic decline in the Nestorian community and a surge in Catholic converts. By 1913, the Chaldean Church in the ‘Aqra district consisted of nineteen villages, ten churches, sixteen priests, and approximately 2,400 people.49 The town itself contained at least 250 Chaldean-rite families, with two priests, a church and a school. The churches of Mart Maryam and Mar Gewargis illustrated the combined Chaldean/Jacobite/Nestorian character of the region. Persons of Jewish faith left Iraq between 1948 and 1949, whereas the Christians began their exodus after 1961, as a result of the pressure against them by the Iraqi authorities and irregular Kurdish forces. ‘Aqra’s diocese closed after its population had left the town. Nearby are the remnants of the Mar Quryaqos Monastery, overlooking the Assyrian village of Birta, which is located 20 kilometres from ‘Aqra. In the period of the timeline covered by this research, most of the families of ‘Aqra became internally or externally displaced.
Also known as Beth Shimsha or ‘House of the Sun’, this village is located in the Nahla region northwest of Dawrīye. It is known from a book of hymns and benedictions copied there by a priest named Bahrīn in or around 1741.50 In 1850, it was home to between fifteen and twenty-two families and one active church.51 Following the increase in Catholic missions in the region, in 1913 there were 150 converts to Catholicism (Chaldeans) with a church and chapel.52 By 1918, there were forty-nine Assyrians (twelve households) left in total, with a Kurdish majority. The last Assyrians left the village in 1961 during Kurdish and Iraqi government fighting, and at that time, the church of Mart Maryam and the chapel to Mar Youḥannan were left in a state of ruin. The village was also home to a shrine to Mar Yawsep.
Barāk, also spelled Barrāke, located southwest of Kharjawa and known for its tobacco, was once settled by Assyrians. Following attacks on the village in 1961, which saw the destruction of the church of Mart Maryam, its inhabitants fled, and Kurds subsequently resettled it.53
Dawrīye, also referred to as Dūre (not to be confused with the Barwari Bala region of the same name), has long been an Assyrian settlement in the Nahla or Nahla d’Malka region of ‘Aqra. Early on, Thomas of Margā mentions it in his section concerning Youḥannan of Dēlūm,54 who worked as keeper of a monastery situated in the village.55 In 1913, it was home to fifty Chaldeans, with a priest serving one church.56 By 1918, there were only two families (eleven people) left in the village. In 1922, refugees from Lower Tiyari resettled Dawrīye, and by 1957, the village population totalled 134. Zebari Kurdish irregulars employed by the government surrounded the village in 1961 and besieged it for three months. Four villagers were killed, including Yacoub and Ishaq Yalda, and Khoshaba Kako, as well as a fourteen-year-old girl. Thirty-five families survived, fleeing to Mosul and ‘Aqra following the siege.57 The church of Mart Shmuni, in the centre of the upper part of the old village, was damaged.58.
According to a League of Nations report, in 1933 Dinārta, or Dinārta d’Nahla, was home to 113 people.59 The village was mixed Assyrian and Kurdish before its Assyrian inhabitants abandoned it. In 1961 the remaining Assyrians fled following attacks from both pro-government militia and neighbouring tribes.60
It is also referred to as Upper Dodi or by its ancient name, Beth Nura. In 1913, there were eighty people in the village, but by 1918 their number had decreased to only twenty-three (three families), due to conflicts with the Herki tribe of Kurdish origin.61 In 1957, the Assyrian population numbered seventy-three. The village was forcibly abandoned in 1961, and its church, dedicated to Mar Gewargis, destroyed.62
Girbish (spelled also as Garbesh and Garbish), an old settlement, was divided into upper and lower districts. Just prior to the First World War, Girbish had a mostly Catholic (Chaldean) makeup, alongside a Nestorian contingent. In 1922, the tribe of Lower Tiyari settled Girbish.63 In early 1938, approximately thirty Assyrian families of Church of the East ecclesiastical background dwelled in the village, along with 229 sheep and 530 goats.64 Later that same year, their number decreased to twenty-six families (121 persons), most likely due to a widespread malaria outbreak.65 By 1957, the village population totalled 374, with 182 in Upper Girbish and 192 in Lower Girbish. In 1961, Zebari Kurdish irregulars surrounded and besieged the village for months. At this time, the 210 families were forced to flee their houses, numbering approximately seventy-five, which were in turn settled by the besieging Zebaris. The church of Mart Shmuni (rebuilt in 1949 over its older ruins) was also left in disrepair.66
Khardis, or Khardas, is mentioned in a 1698 Syriac manuscript that attests to its continued settlement and importance. A copy of the Ḥudra67 was penned in the village not long after in 1715.68 In linear order, from the northwest to the southeast of Khinnis/Bavian, the village lies fifth, following Sharmin, Shush, Nerem and Sheikhi, and is followed by Resha and, finally, Kherpa.69 In 1913, it was home to 120 Catholics, served by a priest and a single chapel.70 By 1918, the population of Khardis had decreased to fifty-six (ten families). Khardis suffered damage, as did the local churches, dedicated to Mart Maryam and Mart Shmuni. Its population fled when Kurdish forces attacked it in 1961.71 Villagers have also mentioned a monastery built inside a cavern in the valley behind the village.72
In 1918, there were thirty households (142 people) in the village of Kharjawa (Ḥarğāwa), with a mud-brick church dedicated to Mar Youḥannan (St John the Baptist). This church was rebuilt with stone in 1952. There was also a shrine to Mar Pius. Though David Wilmshurst believes the village to have had a Chaldean contingent at the end of the nineteenth century, Tfinkdji (p.284) does not mention it in his 1913 study.73 Wilmshurst does, however, mention another church, dedicated to Mar Yawsep.74 Kharjawa’s entire Assyrian population was forced to flee during the infighting in 1961. The village is missing from the 1961 Omez map.
Khelafta, also Khaleptha or Beth Ḥlāpe, is mentioned in Thomas of Margā’s Book of Governors and was located in the Sapsāpā or Shapshāpā ecclesiastical district, just west of the ‘Aqra region.75 It is mentioned as being attacked by a certain ‘Amran bar-Muhammad hailing from Bebōze, who also laid waste to Birta, Shush, Kherpa and other villages in the Sapsāpā region.76 A few miles south of Khelafta are the ruins of the ancient monastery of Rabban Bar ‘Edta. The village was destroyed in 1961 and resettled by its attackers but never by Assyrians, as it is absent from the 1961 Dominican map.77
Kherpa, also written Ḥerpā and Kharpa, was once an Assyrian settlement and has an archaeological mound referred to as tella d’malka, ‘the King’s hill’. In 1868, when Zebari Kurdish irregulars attempted to ransack the village it had four priests, testament to a large population.78 In 1913, according to Tfinkdji, the settlement was home to 200 Assyrian Catholics, with a priest, church and school, but by 1918 its population had decreased to 114 (twenty-one families).79 The village was abandoned in 1961 and seized by Zebari Kurd irregulars employed by the government.80 The church of Mart Maryam (restored in 1952) was damaged as was the chapel of Mar Youḥannan, built around a cave shrine in 1918.
Located in the ‘Aqra region and the sub-district of Girdasin, Nahawa (also Nūhāwā or Nūwābā) is an important Assyrian settlement. Wilmshurst mentions Nahawa as the location where three manuscripts were copied during the second half of the nineteenth century.81 In 1913, Nahawa was home to 150 Chaldean-rite residents, with one priest serving one church.82 Many had originated in the Urmia region of Iran and immigrated in the late eighteenth (p.285) century. The church of Mart Maryam and a shrine to Mar Pius were severely damaged during the 1961–3 period, when the entire village population was forced into other regions of Iraq.83
Nerem, or Nerem d-Ra’awatha, called Gundik or Gündük (Kurdish for ‘village’) by Badger, was an Assyrian village of great significance as the location of a Church of the East bishopric in the mid-nineteenth century. The then bishop, Mar Awrahem (Awraha or Auraha), had originally been of Chaldean religious affiliation, but reportedly returned to Nestorianism (Church of the East) around that time.84 In 1850, Nerem was home to between twelve and eighteen Church of the East families, served by a priest and one church.85 By 1913, there were more than 100 Catholic-rite families, again with a single priest and church.86 The number who remained faithful to the Mar Shimun Patriarchal line of the Church of the East at that time remains unknown. By 1918, the Assyrian population of Nerem had decreased to sixty-six (fourteen families), who made up about half the population of the village, along with Kurds and a small number of adherents of Judaism with their own synagogue. These Jews left during the expulsions of 1949–51, and government militia forces drove the Christians out of Nerem in 1961.87
The ancient monastery of Mar ‘Abdisho‘ is located less than one mile northwest of Nerem in the direction of Shush. Though the monastery’s original date of construction is unknown, it is mentioned in a Syriac manuscript dating from 1610. The monastery, with grottos dedicated to Ambusk and Mar Youḥannan, was partially destroyed and fell into ruin following the opposition movement and civil wars from 1961 to 1963. The grotto of Mar Youḥannan is famed for possessing an ancient wall relief. As Badger recounts:
To the left of the cave we discovered the object of our search, viz a rock tablet bearing on its surface the representation of a man in the act of spearing a wild sheep or ibex, and beneath this a procession of six figures standing in various attitudes. The style is not unlike that of the sculptures dug up at Nimrood, but the costume is different, and may be found to belong to a distinct age and people.88
(p.286) According to villagers, the early monastery of Mar Quprios is also located in the vicinity, which is likely the case, since a monk by the name of Cyprian, a disciple of Narsai, is extensively mentioned by Thomas of Margā as living in the region and performing various deeds of note.89
Ras al-‘Ain was known as Rēš-ēni during the Neo-Assyrian period and as Resh ‘Aina or Resha in Syriac sources.90 The village, situated close to Khelafta, is mentioned in Thomas of Margā’s Book of Governors. In 1865, there were four households in the village, which had been converted to Catholicism through Dominican persuasion. In 1918, it was home to twenty-three Assyrians (five families). Though Fiey mentions the lack of a Christian population from 1945 to 1955, some families resided in the area and regularly attempted to rebuild their property until 1961, when those inhabitants were forcibly expelled, most likely by pro-government militia, and the village not resettled, as it is absent from the Dominican map of 1961.
Safra Zor, or Sifra, was home to thirty-five people in 1933.91 In 1938, its population numbered forty-seven, along with three sheep and thirty-eight goats.92 Its residents were forced to flee in 1961 during the civil war.93
Sharmin, or Shalmath, is mentioned extensively by Thomas of Margā. It dates back to the eighth century, and once housed a thirteenth-century manuscript at one of its three churches.94 At one time, it was home to nearly 1,000 Assyrians. In 1850 there were between thirteen and twenty-one families, Church of the East adherents, served by two priests, and in 1913 there were 250 villagers, with a priest and a school.95 It is unknown how many of Sharmin’s inhabitants remained faithful to the Church of the East (Nestorian) at that time. By 1918, only sixteen Assyrian families (sixty-two people) were left in Sharmin, but their numbers were replenished by refugees from Lower Tiyari in the 1920s. In 1961 (probably just prior to the armed resistance), Fiey mentions ninety-six Assyrians (Chaldean-rite) and a few Kurdish families, with an Assyrian village chief. The last Assyrians were (p.287) forced out of Sharmin in the following year by Zebari Kurds, who resettled the village. The church of Mar Aḥḥa survived for at least a few years, as Fiey describes it as relatively intact.96 Fiey briefly mentions two ‘other’ churches, suggesting that the ruins of one were visible during his research and that the second became the village mosque following the events of 1961.97 These churches, the first dedicated to Mar Sawa (previously unnamed) and the second previously unknown, were no longer visible at the turn of the millennium.98
Shush, also known as Shushan and Bā Šōš, is mentioned extensively by Fiey in Assyrie chrétienne, though curiously it is left out of the Dominican map of 1961, meaning it most likely was never resettled. Believed to have been continuously inhabited from at least 720 onward, Shush was the site of a school built by Rabban Babai.99 In 1850, it was home to between three and five Christian families and more than 200 Aramaic-speaking Jewish families, early Assyrian converts to Judaism.100 Fiey also mentions that, circa 1861, the then owners of much of the valley were the family of Aḥmed Mšīhāyā or Aḥmed the Christian, an indication of the possible forced conversion of many Shush Christians to Islam.101 The Assyrian population, however, did increase over the decades. The fortified castle of Shush was used as a protective fortress in 1914 during the period of massacres against Assyrians, Greeks and others in the fading Ottoman Empire. The Jews of the settlement fled between 1949 and 1951 during their exodus from Iraq, and its Assyrian inhabitants abandoned it in 1961 when attacked by pro-government militia.102
Sian is also known as Sanāyā or Sanāyā d’Nahlā. In 1913, Lower Sian consisted of approximately 100 Chaldean-rite Assyrians, with one church served by a priest.103 By 1918, there were only thirty-nine people (four households) left in Lower Sian. Both Upper and Lower Sian were originally inhabited by Assyrians, but it is unclear when they fled Upper Sian. The churches of Mar Gewargis and Mar Zaya (fifth century) were left in ruins when the last Assyrians were forced out in 1961.104
Little is known of Cham Kare’s early history other than the 1922 settlement of Nestorian-rite Assyrians from Lower Tiyari. In 1933, the villagers moved to another nearby village, Gund Kosa, where they repelled various attacks by Baqr Sidqi and the Iraqi army. Most of the remaining villagers fled or were killed around 1961.105
Though the village was destroyed in 1961, the etymology of the name Kora-Dere, which contains the Assyrian-Aramaic term deyra, suggests it to be the location of a monastery complex.106
Mangesh has been the home of notable figures since the 1950s, such as Francis Yousif Shabo (of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM)) and Lazar Mikhael (of the Iraqi Communist Party), who were both assassinated in 1993. In 1850, there were 150 families, served by three priests. In 1913, there were 1,100 Chaldean-rite Assyrian, with four priests serving one church and a school.107 By 1920, the number of households had risen to 230, and in 1947, the population numbered 1,195. In 1961, there were 600 families in Mangesh, but many left due to the attacks on the village by both Barzani-led pêşmerge and Iraqi government infighting, so that by 1965 the population had shrunk to 959 people. In 1970, there were 1,390 people in Mangesh.108 The town’s religious structures include a church dedicated to Mar Gewargis, which includes a manuscript library, and a shrine to Mart Shmuni. It is worth noting that from 1950 to 1997 (when six men were killed), more than forty individuals from Mangesh were assassinated, including mayor Rayis Hanna in the late 1950s.
Masike was settled in 1920 by refugees from Baz in the Hakkâri Mountains. In 1957, its population totalled 105, but it was abandoned in 1961 when its inhabitants faced an onslaught from government forces.109
Bāsifre, also written Beth Sāpre, possibly meaning ‘place of books or scribes’, is located east of Mosul, just southeast of Birta at the foot of mountainous country once reportedly resplendent with gardens and vineyards.110 It is mentioned in Syriac manuscripts in 1685 as having a sizeable community and three priests. According to Fiey, the inhabitants have found traces of a large castle situated just in front of the church of Mar Youḥannan, which suffered during the battles of 1961.111 Fiey also records that just north of Bāsifre lies a village named Kalwaka, which may contain the ruins of a church dedicated to Mar Abdisho’.112 In 1913 there were thirty individuals in the village.113 Little is known about the Assyrians of the village following the armed autonomist movement of 1961–3.
Bedul, or Be-Dole, may derive from the Assyrian-Aramaic meaning ‘place of buckets’. Mentioned by Badger, Bedul is located in the Mezuriyeh district close to Meze and Deze, behind the Yezidi religious centre of Sheikh ‘Adi. In 1850, it was home to between twenty and thirty Chaldean-rite families, with a church.114 The last Assyrians were forced to flee the village during the attacks of 1961–3.115
Billān, also known as Billa, is mentioned in Syriac manuscripts as early as the ninth century and again in 1656.116 In 1913, Tfinkdji tallied 300 Chaldean (Catholic) converts, one priest serving the village church, and a school.117 The last Assyrians were forced to abandon the village in 1963.118 The church of Mar Sawa was destroyed, along with the shrine of Mart Shmuni. There was also an ancient monastery dedicated to Mar Gregorious in a valley north of the village, which retains the place name Gali Dera, ‘the valley of the monastery’. E. A. Wallis Budge mentions a shared connection with the village of Tilla. Though it is tempting to assume an association between Billa and Bar Bellī, mentioned by Wilmshurst, this is probably not the case.119
Kanifalla is mentioned as the home of Syriac manuscripts copied in 1713 and 1723. The village name finds its etymology in Kurdish as kani ‘spring’ or ‘source’ and fallah ‘Christian(s)’.120 The famous copyist and writer David d’Barzane mentioned the hardships endured by his family and other villagers during the period just prior to 1854, which he attributed to the injustices of the Zebari tribesmen.121 In 1913, there were 120 inhabitants in the village, with a priest.122 They were later joined by refugees from Lower Tiyari. Kanifalla’s Assyrian residents were forced to flee the pro-government retribution, which became most evident after 1961. The old church of Mar Akha, which was utilised by both Nestorian and Chaldean-rite villagers, was almost completely destroyed; the village was resettled by Iraqi government militia (fursan).123
Prior to the First World War, Malla-Birwan was served by a single priest, with a school, and was inhabited by 120 families.124 At that time, there were also four Muslim and five Jewish households. Between 1920 and 1933, thirty-five individuals from Jilu in Hakkâri were settled in Malla-Birwan.125 The old village church, dedicated to Mar Sawa, was destroyed in 1963, and most of the population forced to flee as it was resettled by pro-government militia.126
Though the 1957 census numbered Dar Hozan’s Assyrian population at 244, the majority fled in 1961.127
Marzi-Khabur is located in the sub-district of Rizgari. Little is known about the village, except that its Assyrian villagers fled under duress from 1961 to 1963.128
According to the 1957 census, Prakh’s population totalled 139, but its Assyrian inhabitants were forced out in 1961.129
The town of Alqosh is an ancient settlement located 30 to 40 kilometres north of Mosul, in the Qardu mountain range. The etymology of Alqosh is largely contested. Theories include tracings to the Turkish al ‘scarlet’ and kuş ‘bird’ and to the Akkadian elu ‘god’ and qushtu ‘bow’. The great monastery of Rabban Hormizd was founded here in the sixth or seventh century and became the patriarchal see for the Church of the East (Nestorians). It, as a Christian hub, witnessed recurrent maltreatment over the centuries. In 1743, it was pillaged by the Persian armies of Nādr Shāh.130 It suffered numerous attacks during the nineteenth century, including in 1828 and 1832 by Mira Kora, who, according to a Syriac colophon, ‘killed 172 local men, not counting women, children and foreigners, and pillaged it’.131 The town was attacked again in 1840 and 1842 by Isma‘il Pasha, who also assaulted the Rabban Hormizd monastery.132 Following the massacres of Bedr Khan Beg between 1843 and 1846, many Nestorians took refuge in Alqosh, still the see of one of the patriarchal lines of the Church of the East. It was at this time that many were coerced into becoming Chaldeans (Catholic) by the Dominicans, who aided only those willing to accept the supremacy of the Pope.133 According to Tfinkdji, approximately 7,000 Chaldean-rite Assyrians lived in Alqosh, with six priests, three churches and two schools in 1913.134 In 1937, Father Estefan Kaččo (later bishop) conducted a census of the town and recorded the population at 8,475. In 1950, Father Raphael Bidawid (later Patriarch) conducted another census, at the request of Bishop Estefan Kaččo, and reported the population at 9,500. In 1961, Giwargis ‘Awwad put the population at 7,000. Due to its pro-communist sympathies, It was attacked by pro-government Kurdish fursan in 1961. Alqosh suffered attacks again in 1969.135
Description of Villages Affected in the 1970s by Region
The 1977–8 Campaign
As reported by Human Rights Watch (HRW), under the terms of the 1975 Algiers Agreement, Iraq began to clear a cordon sanitaire along its northern (p.292) borders, in particular with Iran. Initially a 5-kilometre corridor was created, later expanded to 10, then 15, and eventually 30 kilometres.136 Families were told they were to be removed from the region. As they left with whatever they could carry for collective towns farther south, their villages and churches were dynamited and bulldozed.137 According to the Ba‘th’s own sources, some 28,000 families were removed from their villages in two months.138 Initially, this ‘corridor’ was fashioned in the hopes of preventing further Iranian support to the Kurdish movement in Iraq. The question is why regions such as Barwar, along the Turkish border and heavily Assyrian, were targeted.
Bazif (also spelled Ba Zive, Ba Zibbe and Ba Dibbe) may derive from the Assyrian-Aramaic ‘place of bears’, Bears are a common predator of the Barwari livestock, which in Bazif in 1938 numbered 131 sheep and 42 goats.139 The village was first abandoned in 1942 due to pressure from other local populations. This period saw the murder of four villagers during attacks on the village.140 Bazif was then destroyed and confiscated in 1976 by pro-government forces, who resettled the region.141 The village is absent from the 1961 Dominican map.
In 1850, Bequlke was home to five Assyrian families, adherents of the Church of the East.142 By 1938, four families dwelled in the village with their livestock: forty-three goats and six sheep.143 In 1957, its residents numbered seventy-four, including a few Kurdish families. The village was almost emptied of its inhabitants during the 1960s uprising, but a few residents remained. In 1978, the village was home to eight families, who were forcibly deported by the government as it was marked for demolition. Bequlke’s school and the church of Mar Abraham were both destroyed during the process.144
In 1850, Beshmīyaye (Beth Shmīyaye) was home to six families adherents of the Church of the East, served by a priest, with one functioning (p.293) church and a shrine dedicated to Mar Ephrem d-Aqrwé (St Ephraim of the Scorpions).145 During the First World War, Beshmīyaye suffered significantly, with half its population killed as a result of the fighting and massacres.146 In 1938, it is mentioned in the League of Nations documents as Shamayila, having twenty-five Hakkâri Assyrians (among others), along with considerable livestock.147 In 1957, the village population had reached 163. In 1961, there were sixty families in approximately thirty houses in the village. By 1978, fifty families dwelled in Beshmīyaye, before they were forcibly expelled during the border-clearing urbanisation policy of the Ba‘th regime.148
Betannūrē (also spelled Be-Tannūrē and Beth Tannūrē), meaning ‘place of stone ovens’, is an ancient Assyrian stronghold containing the ruins of an old fortress.149 Mentioned as a religiously Jewish village by Badger during his travels in the mid-nineteenth century, Betannūrē is located east of Hayis on the Bedu rivulet.150 In 1938, there were four Nestorian-rite families of the Tiyari tribe (plus seventy-five goats and sixty-four sheep) in the village, along with a number of Jewish inhabitants.151 Prior to 1949, when the Jews were forced out of the country, it was home to fifteen Jewish families. The village contained the remains of an ancient fort and a tenth-century synagogue.152 Many adherents of the Church of the East had lived alongside their Jewish counterparts, and remained after 1949. In 1957, its population totalled twenty-nine, and in 1961 there were fifteen families (five households) in the village. Prior to being destroyed in 1978 by pro-government militia, it was home to twenty-four families.153
Butara, or Botara, has long been an inhabited village in the Barwari region. In 1938, one family resided in the village, along with twenty-five goats.154 In 1957, its population totalled forty-three, and in 1961, there were twelve Assyrian families (six households) in the village, as well as a small number of Kurds. Prior to being destroyed along with the church of Mar Gewargis in 1978 by the Ba‘th regime, it was home to eight Assyrian families.155
Challik (also Tchallek, or Tcalluk, as referred to by Badger) is divided into upper and lower districts and is located near Tashish in the western part of the Barwar region. In 1850, it was home to between forty and sixty families, with the church of Mar Mushe, served by a priest.156 Most of Challik’s residents fled to Urmia for safety during 1915 and 1916, though half of its population perished due to wounds and exposure.157 By 1933, there were approximately 200 inhabitants living in the village. By 1938, fifty-five families dwelled in the village, along with their livestock: 564 goats and 290 sheep.158 In 1957, its population totalled 519. In 1961, there were 400 families (200 households) in the village, and prior to its destruction in 1978, around 100 families still dwelled in the village, which had a school.159 The church of Mar Mushe (first built in 1100 and restored in 1860) suffered heavy damage during the campaigns and was mostly destroyed.
In 1961, there were three families dwelling in Cham Dostina at the onset of the civil war. Though the village was affected during this period, little detailed information remains. Just prior to its destruction in 1978 by the border clearings, it was home to five families.160 The village is not mentioned on the 1961 Omez map.
Chaqala, Lower and Upper
Located east of Tashish, Chaqala (or Jaqala) is divided into an upper and lower district. In 1938, fifteen families lived in the village, along with their 125 goats and 58 sheep.161 In 1957, the combined population of Upper and Lower Chaqala totalled 103 individuals, and prior to its destruction in 1978 during the border clearings, Upper Chaqala was home to thirty-five Church of the East-rite families and Lower Chaqala to twenty.162 Following the village’s destruction, most of its inhabitants fled the region to Turkey, Iran and other regions of Iraq.
The village of Dūre lies along the border of Iraq and Turkey, not far from the Lower Tiyari villages of Līzān and Zerni, with which it shares many (p.295) ancestral ties. The region has many ancient sites, including the remains of a fortress on the western mountain said to date from an earlier period, which gives some insight into the probable etymology of the village name: it may be Akkadian dūrum ‘fortress’. As early as Badger’s mid-nineteenth-century trips to the region, there had been longstanding animosity between the Assyrians and Kurds, which was voiced by the Barwar region’s then bishop, Yeshu‘yab. The region had already been emptied of half its Nestorian population in the 1850s.163 It was quite apparent that the Dominican missions had caused a negative situation, even in these remote regions, as Bishop Yeshu‘yab mentioned to an English missionary, Rev. F. N. Heazell. Thus, this period saw a host of new religious problems brought in by the French-led Catholic Church missions on the one hand, and the English-led Protestant missions on the other. The internal divisions that these interventions fostered would become unfavourable for the Assyrians internally, and create external conflicts with Kurds and others.164 The Church of the East bishop Mar Youalah (Yab-Alaha) occupied his episcopal see in Dūre until the 1970s; the last bishop to carry the name Youalah was poisoned in 1972.
In 1850, Dūre was home to between twenty and forty families with four priests serving two ancient churches.165 Thirteen bishops sat on the episcopal see of Dūre in recent history, making the village a significant religious centre of Eastern Christianity. During the First World War, Dūre was home to about 200 inhabitants. During the war, thirty of its residents were either killed or carried off (specifically women and children), and ninety died in the vicinity of Urmia.166 By 1957, the village population totalled 296. Dūre has long been important as both a religious and a secular location for Assyrians. In 1938, thirty-five families, along with 348 goats and 195 sheep, dwelled in the village.167 Due to its strategic importance, the village took the brunt of a napalm attack in 1968, along with other Assyrian villages of the Barwar region. Prior to its demolition on 8 August 1978, 100 families (seventy-five households) dwelled in Dūre.168 The village also had a school and its two churches: Mar Gewargis (first built in 909) and the fourth-century monastery of Mar Qayyoma, known also as the burial place of nine bishops of the Church of the East. Some of the manuscripts of the church have been preserved, including ‘The Usefulness of Aristotle’s Writings’, dated to 1224, which speaks to the long cultural and intellectual (p.296) history of the region.169 Two shrines, to Mart Maryam and Mar Pius, and four cemeteries were situated within the village. The churches, along with all the houses, were first dynamited and then bulldozed by the Iraq regime during the border clearings of the late 1970s. Simultaneously, the entirety of the village’s farms and apple orchards were burned.170 This same fate was faced by all the Assyrian villages of the Barwari Bala district between 1960 and the Anfal campaign. In some cases, villages faced destruction numerous times during that thirty-year span.
Dūre is also home to the gippa d-miyya, ‘cave of water’, which is said to contain ancient wall paintings, and the gippa d-dermana, ‘cave of medicinal compounds’, named for its concentration of potassium nitrate and what is probably sulphur, both key components in the production of gunpowder.171 Though some villagers were offered recompense for their homes after their removal from the region, it was a paltry sum in comparison with the destruction. Many of the families were sent to the collective town (mujamma‘) or resettlement camp of Baṭufa, further evidence of the ethnic cleansing
Hawsarek, or Avsarke, in the vicinity of Annūnē (Kani Masi), was destroyed by the Ba‘th government during the 1977–8 border clearings. The village is absent from the 1961 Dominican map.
In 1850, Helwā (also Halwā or Helwā Naṣara) was home to between seven and eleven families, with a church served by a priest of the Church of the East.173 In 1938, twenty-five families lived in the village with their livestock: 348 goats and 305 sheep.174 By the census of 1957, its population numbered 194. At the time of the armed autonomist movement of 1961–3, researcher Majed Eshoo reported forty families in the village.175 These residents suffered (p.299) tremendously, causing some to flee the region. Before its elimination by the Ba‘th regime in 1978, Helwā was home to the old church of Mar Yonan (razed by the authorities), and its sixty families were forcibly relocated to urban areas during the government’s ethnic cleansing campaign.176
Hīsh, or Heesh, is located on the border with Turkey. In 1850, between ten and fifteen families, served by a priest, lived there. By 1876 one priest served fifteen families in one church.177 In 1938, sixteen families dwelled in the village with their livestock: 526 sheep, 244 goats, 15 oxen, 7 mules and 2 donkeys.178 By 1957, the population numbered 286 individuals.179 By 1961, there were eighty families (twenty-two households), and prior to the final evacuation of the village by the Ba‘th regime in 1978, there were 100 families and a school.180 The churches of Mar Bacchus, Mar Abraham and Mar Khnana of the Church of the East still lie in ruins.
Iqri (sometimes Kiri) has been an important village for many years, and was the seat of Bishop Mar Yonan of Barwar (1820–1906) of the Church of the East. Some of the village’s residents assert that their families originated in the Arbil region but fled during a wave of persecution in the twelfth or thirteenth century. Local legend traces the etymology of the name to a modern Assyrian word for ‘turtle’, a creature found in abundance in the river Zab. A second etymology sees the village name derived from the Assyrian-Aramaic word qaretha or qarra ‘gourd’, as the village was shaped like one. In 1850, Iqri was home to between twenty and thirty families, served by a priest, with one functioning church, according to Badger.181 Iqri suffered considerably during the First World War, in 1915 and 1916. During that period, most of its inhabitants were massacred or carried off by marauders.182 In 1938, twelve families resided in the village with their livestock: 117 goats and 29 sheep.183 In 1961, the village was home to forty families (twenty-five households). Preceding its demolition in 1978, thirty-five Assyrian families still called Iqri home.184 The ancient churches of Mart Maryam and Mar Yonan were both bulldozed during the government attempts to ethnically cleanse this rural district of its Assyrians.
Istip, or Histip, is located on the border with Turkey. In 1850, between twenty-five and thirty-eight families, with a priest, lived there. By 1876 Edward Cutts reported one priest serving eighteen families in one church.185 In 1961, there were forty-seven families (twenty-four households). Prior to the final evacuation of the village in 1978, there were thirty-five families, with a Church of the East church dedicated to Mart Shmuni.186
In 1850, Iyyat, or Yate, was home to between five and eight families, served by a priest and a church.187 Half of Iyyat’s population was murdered during 1915 and 1916, amid the skirmishes of the First World War.188 In 1938, twenty-five families resided in the village alongside their 136 goats and 77 sheep.189 By 1957, its population numbered 169. In 1961, there were thirty-five families (twenty households) in Iyyat.190 During the border clearings in 1978, approximately forty families were residing in Iyyat at the time of its destruction.191 Its entire population was forcibly uprooted and resettled in urban centres.192 The church of Mar Gewargis, built in 920, was destroyed, along with all the village’s dwellings.193
In 1938, the League of Nations report cites fifteen families, along with fifty-three goats and twenty-three sheep.194 According to the 1957 census, Khwara’s population totalled ninety-two, and in 1961, the village had ten households.195 Prior to being destroyed in 1978, it was home to sixteen families of the Assyrian Church of the East religious community.196
In 1957, Maghribiya’s population numbered approximately twenty Church of the East-rite families. According to Majed Eshoo’s research, in 1961 only five families dwelled there. The village suffered during the internal fighting from 1961 to 1963, but some Assyrian villagers managed to remain. About eight families resided in the village when it was finally eliminated by the government border-clearing campaign in 1978.197 The village is absent from the 1961 Dominican map.
Malākhta is an old Assyrian settlement, famous for its numerous salt deposits, which provide the etymology of the village name, ‘the salty one’. In 1850, it was home to between five and eight families.198 Like Iqri, Malākhta suffered damage during the First World War, seeing most of its inhabitants massacred or taken by Kurdish tribes during the fighting.199 By 1938 eight families dwelled in the village with their livestock: forty-eight goats and twenty-two sheep.200 In 1957, its population totalled twenty-eight. In 1961, there were five households in the village, and prior to being destroyed in 1978, it was home to fifteen families, ecclesiastically belonging to the Church of the East.201 The village was bulldozed and its ancient church of Mar Khananiya was dynamited in 1978.
In 1850, Māyē, or Māyē Naṣara, probably Assyrian-Aramaic for ‘the waters’, contained between fifteen and twenty-two families.202 By 1915, in the midst of the First World War, eyewitness Rev. Shlemon reported that of Māyē’s 140 residents, 90 had been killed, with 50 managing to flee toward the Assyrian region of Urmia in Iran.203 In 1938, fifteen families resided in the village alongside 184 goats and 110 sheep.204 By the census count of 1957, the village population was slowly recovering from its losses, and tallied eighty residents, an indication of its inhabitants’ continued persecution. By 1961, there were thirty families (fifteen households) in Māyē. The churches of Mar Quryaqos and Mart Maryam of Church of the East jurisdiction were destroyed in 1978, and Māyē’s thirty-five remaining families forcibly moved to urban centres.205
Meydan (or Maydan or Maldani, as it is referred to in League of Nations documents) like Hīsh and Istip, it is located on the border with Turkey, and is seven hours’ walk from the nearest road.206 In 1938, three families dwelled in the village, along with their livestock: ninety-two goats, forty-one sheep, nine oxen and seven mules.207 In 1957, according to the government census, thirty-one individuals lived in the village. By 1961, there were nine families (four households).208 During the border clearings of 1978, which affected the (p.302) entire Assyrian-populated regions of Nerwa and Rekan, there were twenty-five families living in Maydan.209 The church of Mar Gewargis of Church of the East distinction was destroyed along with the village in the same year.210
Sardāshte accepted an influx of refugees from Lower Tiyari following the First World War. The birthplace of bounty hunter Gewargis N’Belatha Benasimo, the village is also home to the old church of Mar Youḥannan. According to the 1957 census report, 250 individuals lived in Sardāshte. Approximately forty families resided in the village prior to the resistance movement. In 1961, Abdul-Wahid Hajji Malo, a tribal leader loyal to Mustafa Barzani, massacred thirty-two of the village’s men, including the priest, during the Kurdish armed autonomist movement.211 Its ninety families were displaced following the border clearings and ethnic cleansing of the region.212
Tirwanish, or Der Wanis, is named after a monastery dedicated to Mar Iwanius. It also hosted six other monasteries or churches.213 Its land title belongs to Malik Khoshaba Yosip of Lower Tiyari and to the brothers Khammo and Sliwo Be-Zizo.214 Since the displacement of the late 1970s, its Assyrian population has been discouraged from returning. The village is absent from the Omez map of 1961.
Avzerok (Avzerog) Khammo, also known as Lower Avzerok, was largely Armenian. The village’s name is etymologically Kurdish, meaning ‘yellow water’. According to the 1957 census, it had 176 inhabitants. Many of these Armenians arrived as refugees from Turkey during the First World War. The village was destroyed in 1975 along with its sister village, Upper Avzerok (Avzerok Shano), and its fifty families were displaced.215 The government allotted the village lands to Arab tribes during the Arabisation period of the 1970s. The village originally contained one church, dedicated to St Vartan, and one school.
Avzerok (Avzerog) Shano, also known as Upper Avzerok, was entirely inhabited by Assyrian in the period of this work. Before the government-sponsored destruction of many villages in 1975, its population comprised sixty families.216 The old church of Mar Gewargis, also known as Mar Mansour, was targeted during the military operations. The government resettled the village with an entirely Arab population.
Bajidda-Barave is located in the Slevani sub-district of Simele. The village had both an Assyrian and a Kurdish population and a school within village grounds. According to the census, its Assyrian inhabitants numbered 199 in 1957. In 1975, the village was attacked, and many houses were destroyed. Some of its thirty remaining Assyrian families were forced to flee.217 In 1976, the demography changed as the regime settled several Arab families in the village.218
In 1957, the Bajidda-Kandal Assyrian population numbered 127 persons. The village was destroyed in 1975 along with its sister village, Bajidda-Barave.
The village of Bakhluja (or Bachloudja, according to the 1961 Dominican map) is located east of Ṣoriya and southwest of Zakho, bypassing Avzerok Shanno. In 1957, its population numbered 209 inhabitants, and in 1975, it was home to eight families.219 In 1976 Arabs were settled in the village as part of the government’s ethnic cleansing campaign of northern Iraq.
Hawresk contained an Assyrian population with a tiny Armenian segment for many years during the twentieth century. By 1957, its population included 238 Assyrians. Prior to its destruction in 1975, Hawresk was home to ten families.220 It was known as the village of Leon Pasha al Armani, who had (p.304) accompanied the Assyrian leader (Agha) Petros Eliya in his battles with Turkish forces during the First World War.221
Ishkavdal (mentioned in Assyrie chrétienne as Škafdalé) faced destruction on numerous occasions, notably in 1961 and again in 1975, when the village’s twenty remaining families were displaced.222 J. M. Fiey mentions the hamlet briefly as seeing the return of some Assyrian families, most likely following a ceasefire.223 Prior to its annihilation in 1975, the village was also the site of a local school.224
Karrana was settled by refugees of the Hakkâri Baz tribe in 1920. It was first razed during the Simele genocide in 1933. Later, 110 people returned to rebuild the village.225 Karrana was destroyed again in 1976, and its population displaced.
In recent history, Mavan (or Mawana) was settled by Nestorian-rite Assyrian from the Tkhuma region and Rumta in Upper Tiyari, in 1920.226 Its inhabitants fled to Syria after the 1933 massacres, but the village was later settled by other Assyrian families. In 1957, its population totalled sixty-one. By 1975, the remaining ten families who had managed to survive the various conflicts in the region were forced to flee their village. Some returned following the government-sponsored destruction, only to be forcibly removed again in 1984.227
Reqawa, or Rekawa, was most recently settled in 1920 by refugees, predominantly adherents of the Church of the East, from Baz, Nochiya and Mar Bishu in Hakkâri. Most of these settlers fled again to the Khabur basin in Syria after the 1933 massacres. Those who remained were finally forced out from 1974 to 1976 during an increase in government military activity and external threats. The village was immediately resettled by Kurdish militia and their families.228
Alanish, sometimes Alanash, is located in the sub-district of Sindi. In 1913, it was home to seventy Catholics, with a priest, a church and a small chapel.229 By 1957, the population had risen to 264 inhabitants. In 1975, government forces targeted the village during the infighting between forces loyal to Mustafa Barzani and those loyal to the government of Iraq. Alanish’s ancient church, Mar Adde, and school were destroyed at this time. Its forty families who escaped were never able to return.230
Avkani’s name (also spelled Avgni and Avgani) is Kurdish, meaning ‘spring water’. The village was destroyed in 1976 during the border clearings, and its Assyrian inhabitants displaced. It is not mentioned on the 1961 Dominican map.
Bahnona is located close to Alanish in the Sindi sub-district of Zakho. Both Jews and Christians lived in the village until the expulsion of Jews from Iraq in 1948. It was home to 111 inhabitants at the time of the 1957 census. In 1975, the village was destroyed, and its thirty families displaced.231
Bajuwa was mostly settled by Assyrians from the village of Yarda in the Zakho region.232 In 1957, its population numbered seventy-nine, and in 1976, when the village was finally sacked, it was home to five families.
The village of Bedār, possibly Assyrian-Aramaic for ‘place of battle’ or ‘place of the sheepfold’, is well known for being the birthplace of the Syriac scholar Father Paulos Bedari.233 The village is located approximately 60 miles north of Mosul within the Catholic diocese of Jezirah. In 1850, between fourteen and twenty-one families dwelled in the territory, with one church.234 In 1913, its inhabitants numbered 400 Chaldean-rite villagers, with a (p.306) priest, church and school.235 By 1957, the population of Bedār had grown to 508, and in 1961 it reached 868 (ninety-five families). Just before its demolition in 1975 by the Iraqi regime, there were 130 Assyrian families in Bedār.236 The old church of the Virgin Mary also suffered ruin during this period.
Approximately ten families dwelled in the village of Benakhre prior to its destruction in 1975, during the government-sponsored military offensives in the region.237
The meaning of Dashtnakh (also spelled Dasht-Nakh and Dashtatakh) stems from dashta d’Nakh, or the ‘field of Noah’, following the story that pieces of a ship were found in the region that were later connected to the biblical flood narrative. Such naming of villages is prevalent not only in Iraq, but also in Turkey in the Jebel Cudi mountain range. Dashtnakh was settled by Assyrians from nearby Esnakh (Sanaat), three miles to the east, and was destroyed during the border clearings in 1975. Prior to that, it was home to fifteen families.238
Deirabūn, meaning ‘monastery of our Father’, is situated close to Feshkhābur on the Iraqi border with Syria. The village became infamous during the ethnic cleansing of the Assyrians in 1933. According to the 1957 census, it had a population of 657 inhabitants. In 1976, Arabs forcibly resettled Deirabūn, along Feshkhābur, three miles to the west. Though the village was predominantly Christian Assyrian, the Arabisation tactics of the regime transferred some Arabised Yezidi families into the region during that same year.239
Derashīsh, also known as ‘Ūmra and ‘Ūmra Shghisha, originally a Church of the East enclave, is mentioned by Tfinkdji in 1913 as home to 200 Chaldean converts, with a single church.240 By 1957, the population had increased (p.307) to 361 but then decreased drastically in the years of the armed autonomist movement from 1961 to 1963. By 1975, at the time of its destruction, the village was home to fifty families, with a school and the ancient church of Mar Ephrem.241
In the valley west of Zakho, Feshkhābur (also spelled Pešabūr) is located on the river Tigris on the Iraqi border with Syria and Turkey, approximately 30 miles south of Jezirah. The village’s name may derive from the Kurdish meaning ‘against the river Khabur’. During his journey to the region, Badger mentions the village as part of the Jezirah diocese of the Chaldean Church. At that time (1850), between sixty and ninety families lived in the village, served by two priests and one active church.242 By 1913, Tfinkdji reported 1,300 Catholic families in the town, with two priests serving one church and a school.243 During the First World War, Feshkhābur was attacked on 11 July 1915 by the sons of Muhammad Agha Atroshi.244 Four days later, according to French Dominican missionary Father Jacques Rhétoré, 900 people were killed when the Miran tribe sacked the town.245 Feshkhābur witnessed the passage of Malik Yako Ismael and his group from the Tigris to Syria during the 1933 uprising. According to the 1957 census, Feshkhābur had a population of 899 residents. It contained 175 homes, and 150 families were still living in the village after the remainder had fled in the aftermath of the 1961 uprising. In 1963, the Syrian army entered the village and Kurdish mercenaries, fursan, burned it down. In 1974, as a result of the renewed tensions, its inhabitants fled to Syria, crossing the Tigris, and remained there for six months. They returned to rebuild the village a year later. However, in 1976 the village was evacuated and its inhabitants forced to leave, due to its highly important military location near the Turkey–Syria border. Immediately following this incident, Arab families from Mosul were resettled in the region by the Iraqi regime. The village’s cultural and religious structures suffered during the civil war and during the relocation and destruction, including the fourteenth-century church of Mart Maryam. A church dedicated to Mar Gewargis was built in 1964 after the civil war.
Istablan, or Stablan had a population of five Assyrian families in 1961, which increased to twenty families by 1975.246 Following the destruction of numerous border villages in the Zakho region in 1974–5, the village was destroyed, and its church of Mar Addai was left severely damaged.
Qarawilla, or Qarawola, lies on the river Khabur on the Turkish border. In 1957, 334 individuals dwelled in this village. The previous regime destroyed it in 1975 and displaced its 100 families, destroying their seventy homes and the church of Mart Maryam. The village was resettled by Yezidis, who were displaced the to area by the Iraqi regime.
Esnakh, as Sanaat is referred to in the native Assyrian-Aramaic of the region, probably finds its meaning in the phrase ‘wall of Noah’ (as it sits on the mountainside), in reference to the biblical legends of Noah’s Ark found throughout the region (compare the derivation of Dashtnakh above). In 1913, it was home to 600 Chaldean-rite (150 families), with a priest, church and school.247 In 1957, the population totalled 585, and prior to its destruction in 1975 by the Ba‘th regime, it was home to 120 families, with a school.248 The ancient churches of Mart Maryam and Mar Sahdona were also destroyed. Due to its proximity to the border with Turkey, inhabitants of Sanaat would regularly visit villages in the Bohtan region and would traditionally marry people from the village of Harbol. This borderless image of the region was commonplace to Assyrians before the Western colonial division of the modern Middle East, showing that current borders are not reflective of the continuous Assyrian settlements of northern Mesopotamia and Anatolia.249
Shuwadin, or Shudin, is located approximately 3.5 miles west of Bazif. Approximately 120 inhabitants dwelled there in 1957. During the renewed internal strife Shudin was destroyed in 1975, and thirty-five families forced to flee.250
Yarda, its name Assyrian-Aramaic for ‘well’ or ‘tank’, is located in the sub-district of Sindi. In 1913, it was home to 250 converts to the Chaldean Church, with a priest and two churches.251 In 1957, the population totalled 280, and prior to its destruction in 1975 by the Ba‘th regime, it was home to sixty families with a school.252 The ancient church of Mar Addai was destroyed along with the village.
Bendawaye, or Beth Handawaya, is a small village three or four miles west of Alqosh. The village is close to an Assyrian bas-relief known as Šero Malakta, which is also the site of many monastic grottos.253 In 1913, this village contained 100 Chaldean-rite villagers, with one priest serving one chapel.254 Though Tfinkdji seems only concerned with the Catholic population, it is clear some Nestorians dwelled in the village, as well. During the Simele genocide in 1933, 124 people dwelled in the village, in thirty-six houses.255 By 1938, three families (numbering fifteen persons) of the Ashita clan retuned to the village, alongside the largely Yezidi population still living there.256 The church of Mar Gewargis once contained a New Testament, written circa 1772. Arabs were resettled in the village in 1976.257
In 1938, there were two, Church of the East-rite families of the Jilu tribe (ten persons), along with some Catholics and Yezidis.258 Fiey briefly mentions in his study that the village had three Catholic households and an ancient church dedicated to Mar ‘Abdisho‘, most likely the same monk who had given his name to the monastery of Nerem.259 The village was looted and destroyed during the Simele massacres, when it contained forty-one people in eighteen houses.260 Nāṣerīyā met with a similar fate as that of its surrounding villages from 1974 to 1975.
Koy Sinjaq District
Armota, Armūṭā or Harmota, lies just outside Koy Sinjaq, a two-hour drive from Sulaymaniyah. The village is a remote farming settlement and part of the Chaldean diocese of Kirkuk. In 1843 there were between twenty-five and thirty-eight families, with a priest serving one church.261 In 1913, Armota had around 100 Catholic adherents, with a priest who served the village church.262 Yohānnan Hormizd had converted three villagers, ‘Ainkāwā (‘Amkābā), Armota and Shaqlāwā, to Catholicism in 1779.263 The village’s name is explained in the local Assyrian-Aramaic dialect as meaning ‘land of death’. The etymology is based on a local legend of a plague that had once slain all of the villagers, or on a large battle between Christians and Muslims of the region. Another explanation may be a derivation ara‘ and nūṭā (with a shifting of ‘n’ to ‘m’), meaning ‘land of oil’. A fourth-century monastery, located in the mountainous region overlooking the village,264 faced numerous ravages including dynamiting during the Anfal campaign in 1988 while the village was transformed into an army camp.265 There was also a local school in the village. Villager Sabah Hana spent ten years in Abu Ghraib prison, and his brother was executed during this period.266
Annūnē, or more specifically ‘Ain Nūnē – Assyrian-Aramaic for ‘source of fish’, which is also reflected in its Kurdish name, Kani Masi – has been the centre of the Barwari-Bala sub-district since 1934. In 1850 between twenty and thirty families resided in the village, with one functioning church and a priest.267 During the First World War, Annūnē had approximately 350 residents; some twenty were killed, ten women were taken, and another 120 died in the Urmia region during the winter of 1915–16.268 Iskharia Gewargis was the town’s resident mukhtar in 1926–7, during the building of the first school in the Dohuk region. The building began at the behest of Qasha (p.311) Oraha Shlimun in 1924 and was completed in 1928. Classes were taught in Assyrian, English and French. Since Arabic was not spoken by many Assyrians in the north of Iraq, it was only added to the curriculum at a later date when required by the Iraqi government. When that occurred schoolmaster in Annūnē brought Rabi Hanna of Tel Esqof to instruct in Arabic. By the mid-1930s, there were more than 300 students from the Barwari region and two teachers, Qasha Dawid Toma and Gewargis Bikko.269 In 1938, seventy families dwelled in the village, along with their livestock: 743 goats and 247 sheep.270 According to the 1957 census, the village population then stood at approximately 400 individuals. As early as 1958, there were 612 students and 12 Assyrian teachers at the school in Annūnē.271
In 1961, during the onset of fighting in Iraq, Mustafa Barzani and 400 of his men requested permission to traverse the village toward Zakho and Syria. The village elders allowed passage only near Hayyis, rather than directly through the major Assyrian villages.272 Upon returning, Barzani’s numbers had swollen to more than 3,000 fighters, who then attacked Annūnē and killed every male above the age of fifteen, including two priests.273 The Assyrians of numerous Barwari villages came to the aid of the besieged Annūnē and repelled the attack from Barzani’s men, while the Iraqi government officials remained safe in the village centre.274 In 1968 Annūnē suffered napalm attacks by government forces.
Prior to its destruction by the regime on 27 February 1988, there were 180 families living in Annūnē (between 84 and 100 houses), with two schools and the two churches of Mart Shmuni and Mar Sawa.275 Mar Sawa dates from the tenth century with a restoration period in 1742. As with the entire Barwari region of Assyrian villages, the fields were eliminated and the apple orchards, the area’s greatest resource, burned indiscriminately. On one occasion, an Assyrian interviewee had been told that his house and land were to be confiscated and that he would be paid 30 dinars (approximately $90 US) for each of the 1,000-plus trees in his orchard. The man never received the payment.276
Arāden has always been a culturally significant village in the Sapna region, to the south of Barwari Bala.277 The large village is located within the ‘Amēdīyāh (p.312) diocese of the Chaldean church, along with the regional villages of Mangesh, Dawodiya, Ten and Inishke. Arāden is approximately 160 kilometres north of Mosul.278 Locals believe the etymology of Arāden as being ’ar‘a d-a‘den, or ‘the land of Eden’. The village sits at an altitude of more than 1,100 metres above sea level.279 In 1850, it was home to between fifty and seventy-five families, with a priest serving one church.280 In 1913, there were approximately 650 Catholic converts, with two priests and two schools.281 Around 1933, there were 515 Assyrians in total in Arāden.282 The town’s population in 1954 numbered 474 families, approximately 5,000 people.283 In 1957, Arāden’s population totalled 1,049, and in 1961 there were 350 families, around 3,000 inhabitants.284
Arāden is a pilgrimage hub for Assyrians of various denominations. There are three Chaldean churches in the village: one dedicated to the third-century saint Mart Shmuni, another to the fourth-century saint Sultan Mahdokht, and the third to Mar Awda, also from the fourth century. The church of Sultan Mahdokht is dedicated to a princess by the same name and her two brothers, who were baptised by Mar Awda but later martyred. When the churches were initially built is uncertain, but it is possible that one or all may be a millennium old. A more recent church was built and dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Feast days in Arāden include the 15 May shera (‘vigil’) and the 12 January dookhrana (‘remembrance’) of Sultan Mahdokht. Some of Arāden’s major personalities include Chaldean Bishop Francis, Chaldean Bishop Toma, Rayis Hermiz Sana and the former AUA secretary general Afram Rayis.
In the 1960s, the village was first bombed and then razed by 700 government forces; Kurdish irregulars under the leadership of Zabir Muhammad Zebari murdered at least seven villagers, including Nona Daniel.285 Though Arāden was rebuilt over the years, continued targeting resulted in the assassination of the Shimshun Elisha in 1974, and the murders of Sami Goriel and Salem Dawood in 1975. Dinkha Eshaya, the village mukhtar, was later assassinated in 1981.286 The Ba‘th regime destroyed the village again in 1987, at which time it accommodated an estimated 220 families and two schools.287
Argen, alternately Argin or Hargin (or Ergin, as referred to by Badger), is located in the mountainous region south of Jebel Gara near Ṭlanitha, (p.313) Armashe and Meze. In 1850, between ten and fifteen families made the village their home, with one operational church.288 By 1918, there were six families who had converted to Catholicism, numbering forty-one people, and seven families who remained faithful to the Church of the East (Nestorian). According to a League of Nations report, two families (seven men and five women) resided in the village along with their livestock: ninety-two goats and twenty-two sheep.289 In 1957, the population of Argen totalled seventy-nine. The village suffered much damage in the early 1960s, and though many of its inhabitants fled, some remained to rebuild.290 The village was then eliminated in 1988. Argen is of great importance as a cultural site due to its four churches: Mar Gewargis, Mart Maryam, Mar Abraham and Mar Quryaqos, which were all laid waste during the Anfal campaign.
Aṭush’s name is said to derive from a word meaning ‘spring of the mulberry trees.’ As early as 1850, there were between eleven and sixteen families in the village, with two functioning churches.291 In 1938, ten families (nine men and five women) dwelled in the village along with their livestock: eighteen goats and one sheep.292 By 1957, it was inhabited by seventy-five individuals. Prior to its destruction in 1988, there were twenty-five families in Aṭush. The churches of Mar Gewargis, Mar Abraham, Mart Maryam, and Mart Shmuni of the Church of the East all suffered complete destruction during the Anfal campaign.
Bālūka, also known as Bebālūk or Beth Bālūk, lies near the Turkish border and is not accessible by most vehicles. In 1850, it was home to between ten and fifteen families, served by a Nestorian priest and one functioning church.293 Around 1915, almost the entirety of Bālūka’s population was forcibly converted to Islam.294 By 1938, fourteen families lived in the village, along with their livestock: 176 goats and 116 sheep.295 In the years leading up to the census of 1957, some of its surviving Christian Assyrian residents returned, numbering an estimated fifty individuals. According to Majed Eshoo’s research, by 1961 there were twenty-five families (ten households) in the village and during the chaos in the region its headman and some villagers (p.314) were killed in an air raid by the Iraqi army. Prior to its destruction in 1976–8 during the border clearings, Bālūka was home to fifteen families, who were all forcibly removed from their homes.296 The church of Mart Maryam was destroyed during the same period. Though the village was emptied, a few families managed to return and attempted to rebuild until the Anfal operations. The air bombings took out the Bālūka Bridge and also left any stragglers to contend with a chemical cloud. The village was then taken over by pro-government Kurdish militia.297
Bāsh is located on the Iraq–Turkey border. In 1850, there were between twelve and eighteen families with a priest of the Church of the East.298 According to League of Nations documentation from 1938, Bāsh had ten Assyrian families of the Nestorian religious community (including approximately thirty men299), along with a variety of domesticated animals: 335 goats, 95 sheep, 7 oxen and 2 donkeys.300 In 1957, there were 150 individuals living in the village. By 1961, there were sixty Assyrian families (thirty-six households).301 Prior to the village’s initial destruction by the regime in 1977–8, there were fifty families and a school. Bāsh was rebuilt in 1981 by twenty families who had returned but was destroyed again in 1988.302 The churches of Mar Zakka (seventh century) and Mar Dawūd were destroyed, along with the rest of the village, and its inhabitants fled to Turkey. More than thirty-four villagers surrendered and attempted to return to Bāsh after the announcement of a general amnesty, but were never heard from again.303
Baz, or Bas, is located in the sub-district of ‘Amēdīyāh.304 In 1938, five families called the village home, along with their 104 goats and 12 sheep.305 In 1957, it was home to 130 individuals, and in 1961 there were forty families (twenty households) in the village. In 1961, the village suffered attacks by pro-government troops, Kurds loyal to Mustafa Barzani and the armed autonomist movement from the neighbouring village of Benaveh, which took possession of the historic church of Mar Abraham and later converted it into a mosque.306 The church of Mar Youhanna survived in ruined condition until 1988, when the entire village, then home to twenty families, was (p.315) destroyed.307 At least five villagers from Baz were reported missing during the Anfal campaign.308
Bebede, or Beth Bede, lies at the foot of the city of ‘Amēdīyāh and is built close to ruins of one of the most ancient Assyrian castles in the Sapna valley. The people of Bebede, skilled in ceramics, refer to themselves as ‘aṣlaye, or ‘originators’, for having lived in the village for millennia, whereas many villages in the Sapna valley had been abandoned and resettled, some on numerous occasions.309 Badger mentions the village as having twenty families, a church and a priest, but he also says that the village was destroyed and emptied of Assyrians during his travels.310 Whether the statistics given are pre- or post-destruction is unknown. According to a League of Nations report, in 1933 there were approximately 250 individuals living in the village.311 In 1938, ten families (twelve men and twenty-four women), along with fifteen goats and seven sheep, resided in the village.312 Bebede, which falls within the old Nestorian diocese of Mar Yeshuyau of Barwar,313 also became the headquarters for Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun following the migration from his original home in Quchanis (Hakkâri) until 1933, when he was exiled with his family to Cyprus. In 1957, the inhabitants of Bebede numbered 480, and in 1961, there were 100 families.314 The village was razed in 1961 by mercenaries under the leadership of Muhammad Zebari.315 Some Assyrians returned in 1963 and following years, but constant struggles with neighbouring Kurds (mostly from Arāden Islam, Upper Arāden) left little room for stability and development. In 1987, Bebede was destroyed, along with its school and the sixth-century church of Mart Shmuni, and its seventy-five families were displaced.316
Bebede’s notable personalities include Toma Yosip Toma, chairman of the city council of ‘Amēdīyāh in 1914 and during the First World War. According to Majed Eshoo, Toma was executed in Mosul by Ottoman authorities, along with his companion Petto Rayis from Arāden.317 The village attained a reputation for its school, which was established in 1908 by the English missionary Rev. William Wigram. The school was destroyed by the Ba‘th regime in 1988 and its foundation materials were appropriated for building an army barracks.318
Benāta (also spelled Beth ‘Ainātha), or ‘place of sources’, gets its Assyrian-Aramaic name from the variety of water springs in the vicinity. The Book of Governors describes the ninth-century village as being mentioned in a vision of Maran-‘Ammeh.319 In 1913 it was home to approximately 150 Catholic-rite Assyrians, with a priest and a chapel.320 Prior to 1961, there were still sixty families (thirty households) in the village. Following 1988, Benāta was emptied of Assyrians.
Blejanke (also Blejane) is well known among Assyrians as the home of Yousif Toma Hermiz Zebari and Rafael Nanno, members of the ADM who were later killed by the Iraqi regime. In its recent history, Church of the East-rite Assyrians of the Tkhuma region in Hakkâri settled Blejanke in the nineteenth century. In 1850, it was home to between eight and twelve families, with a Church of the East dedicated to Mar Gewargis.321 The villagers at that time came originally from Erdel (in Arbel province), which also had a Church, a priest and fourteen families.322 Erdel was evacuated by Agha Petros Elia when he sacked the nearby Kurdish stronghold of Barzan during the First World War. By 1938, four families (eleven men and twelve women) resided in Blejanke, along with their livestock: fifty-seven sheep and thirty-nine goats.323 In 1957, Blejanke had 238 inhabitants. When the village was attacked in 1961, there were approximately thirty houses.324 During the initial raid on the village that year, two villagers were injured and three killed; the remaining Assyrians fled to Sarsang. During this time, the government forces also fired various rounds of ammunition at the nearby monasteries of Mar Qardagh and Mar ‘Abdyeshu‘, causing large-scale damage.325 Though some returned to the village, it was destroyed again in 1987 by the Ba‘th regime, specifically for being the known home of several prominent nationalist leaders; its twenty-eight families were then displaced.326
In 1938 Bubawa, also spelled Bibava, was home to nine families, adherents of the Church of the East (thirty-two men and twenty-five women), along with their livestock: 213 goats and 55 sheep.327 The village was more recently (p.317) settled by the inhabitants of Daragale (located between Hayyis and Musake), who were forced to flee their village in Barwari-Bala in 1950. At the time of the 1957 census, eighty-five Assyrians resided in Bubawa. It was home to thirty-two families (twelve households) in 1987, when the Iraqi military destroyed it in order to build an artificial lake.328
Chammike was resettled by displaced families from Lower Tiyari in 1920. By 1938, eight families resided in the village, along with eighty-one goats and four sheep.329 In 1961, there were twenty families (ten households) in the village, and prior to its destruction in 1988 by the Ba‘th regime, Chammike was home to four families (two households).330 The village was abandoned due to constant pressure from neighbouring tribes.
Dawodiya, or Dawudiya, lies in the far west of the Sapna valley region and is built on an archaeological mound dating to the fifth century bc. The name of the village is said to derive from a monastery dedicated to Mar Daudo, located an hour north of the present village on the Hasn Birka road.331 In 1840, an unknown military leader built a military barracks in the town.332 In 1850, between thirty and forty-five Chaldean-rite families called Dawodiya home.333 By 1913, the population reached 300 people, with a school and a church served by a single priest.334 According to a League of Nations report following the 1933 massacres, 275 Assyrians lived in the village.335 In 1957, there were eighty households, totalling 524 people, and in 1961, there were 150 families, in 120 households.336 The village was destroyed in 1987, at which time there were eighty-two families and a school.337 The church of Mar Youḥannan, originally built in the seventeenth century, was destroyed in 1987. There was also a shrine dedicated to Mart Shmuni, which was damaged during the military campaign. Approximately five adults from Dawodiya disappeared during the Anfal operations from August to October 1988.338
Located in the Dohuk region and sub-district of Sarsang, Dehe, though on the map of Father Josephe Omez, seems more a part of the Barwar (p.318) region and is shown as lying just southwest of Baz. As early as 1850, there were between ten and fifteen families in Dehe, served by a priest.339 In 1920, an influx of Church of the East-rite families from the Upper Tiyari tribe settled there. At the time of the Simele massacres in 1933, there were 140 Assyrians in the village.340 Five years later, only twenty-nine people (both indigenous and non-indigenous) remained.341 By 1957 the population had recovered to 292 residents; and prior to the war in 1961, there were 100 families (twenty-two households), totalling approximately 600 people. The village, including its two schools, was destroyed in 1987, and the fifty remaining families were forced to flee.342 Around the village, there are ruins of churches dedicated to various saints, some from the tenth century. The fifth-century church of Mart Shmuni also suffered ruin during the uprooting process.343
Deralok, or Deira d-Luqa, ‘monastery or church of St Luke’, is situated on the Upper Zab River. The town’s name derives from the ruins of a monastery dedicated to Mar Luqa located in the surrounding area. It was settled by Nestorians of the Baz tribe in 1920 following their expulsion from their villages in the Hakkâri region. Many fled to the Khabur basin in Syria after the massacres of 1933. Prior to that, 130 individuals resided in Deralok.344 The regime turned Deralok into a collective town (mujamma) in 1978, settling there the displaced inhabitants of villages in the Nerwa and Rekan sub-districts. The people originally hailed from Qārō (thirty households), Lower Nerwa (five households) and Derigni (five households), with the rest originating from Wela.345 Originally, forty-five houses were built for Assyrians. A church dedicated to Mar Khnana was built in 1979. During the Anfal operations, the village was once again turned into a collective town.
The village of Dere (Assyrian for ‘monasteries’ or, more literally, ‘dwellings’) lies quite close to its sister village, Komāne; they are often referred to as a pair, Dere w-Komāne. Its etymology can most likely be traced to the area’s status as the site of the Mar ‘Abdyešu‘ and Mar Qardagh (p.319) monasteries. The fourth-century monastery of Mar ‘Abdyešu‘, at one time served by forty-two monks living in the nearby caves, was reportedly partially ruined during Badger’s initial visit in 1843. In 1850, however, Badger records that the villagers had restored it.346 In 1850, Badger recorded between twelve and eighteen families residing there, with one functioning church.347 In 1938, a League of Nations report cited forty-five autochthonous Assyrian families (425 people) living in the village (owned by them), along with livestock: 317 goats and 160 sheep.348 By the 1957 census, the population had grown to 323 residents. In 1961, there were 100 families (60 households) there, but many left the village due to the autonomist movement.349 Mar ‘Abdyešu‘ was also destroyed.350 In 1987, government soldiers destroyed Dere and the Mar ‘Abdyešu‘ monastery for the second time in less than thirty years (after its restoration following the 1961 campaign), and its remaining seventy families were forced to flee yet again.351 The majority of families who fled moved to nearby ‘Amēdīyāh, but found that also to be unsafe. After Anfal, a Dutch researcher, J. C. J. Sanders, recalls:
(p.320) I saw a new church with a white dome and a cross on top which had been bombed [a result of the Anfal]. The roof hung down to the ground … The church itself had two naves, the first sized ten by three and one-half meters, devoted to Saint Qardagh, pupil of Mar Awdisho/Odisho [‘Abdyešu‘], the one to whom the second nave, nine by four meters wide, was devoted.352
Sanders also mentions the possible entrance to a cave-shrine or monastery in the rock face of the mountain.
The village of Derigni (also spelled Derigne and Dirgin) lies in the Sapna plain, three miles east of Dere. In 1850, Derigni was home to between forty and sixty Nestorian-rite families, with a single church and two priests.353 By 1938, twenty families (sixty men and fifty-seven women) resided in the village with livestock: 288 goats and 55 sheep.354 In 1957, the village was home to 130 Assyrians, and prior to its final destruction in 1988, there were forty families (thirty households) in the village, with a school.355 During the Anfal campaign, the ancient church of the Virgin Mary, built in 885, sustained damage in the village destruction. At least twelve citizens from Derigni disappeared during the campaign, including a mother and her six children.356
Derishke Naṣara lies just west of ‘Ain-Nune, along with its Kurdish counterpart, Derishke Islam. The etymology of the village name suggests a possible monastic community in the region. This village was famous for its iron deposits, which were mined and used to forge agricultural tools and other necessary implements. In 1850, it was home to between fifteen and twenty-two families.357 In 1915, during the massacres of the First World War, only 30 of Derishke’s 130 residents survived.358 In 1938, fifteen families, along with 158 goats and 72 sheep, called the village home.359 By the 1957 census, the village population had again risen to 167 persons. Prior to its destruction by the Ba‘th regime in 1988, there were fifty families (thirty households), with a school.360 The churches of Mar Youhanna (built in 1810) and Mar Shukh-Alaha lie in ruins. Interestingly, although the Assyrian village of Derishke (p.321) Naṣara was destroyed by air raids in 1988, Derishke Islam, inhabited by Kurds, was left unharmed.361
Following the Simele massacres, part of Dohuke’s population, of the Tkhuma tribe, fled to Syria. In 1936, thirty families inhabited Dohoke.362 By 1938, 22 families (fifty-eight men and fifty-nine women) inhabited the village, along with their livestock: 218 goats and 185 sheep.363 According to the 1957 census, roughly 120 people inhabited the village, and by 1961, approximately sixty families resided there.364 The village was burned in 1962, but some of its population returned to rebuild in 1964. The villagers were forced to flee again in 1965, but returned once more following the 11 March 1970 peace agreement, which briefly pacified anti-government forces. The fighting resumed in the mid-1970s, when pro-government militia attacked and destroyed the village from 1974 to 1977 and began confiscating its lands.365 Some villagers managed to return, but were expelled once again during the Anfal operations in 1988, which destroyed the village yet again and saw its surviving 60 families displaced.366
Eṣsān, or Ṣiyān, is the former home of no fewer than seven metropolitans. The local church is dedicated to Mar Quryaqos. Another church, dedicated to Mar Zaddiqa, lies at the summit of the Gara Mountains at an elevation of more than 2,000 metres.367 According to Badger, in 1850 Eṣsān had between forty and sixty families and a church served by a single priest of the Church of the East.368 By 1918, there were twelve families, numbering ninety people, who had converted to Catholicism. In 1957, the population of Eṣsān totalled 249, and in 1961, it was destroyed for the first time.369 The annihilation of the village in 1987 and 1988 included the destruction of its two churches and led to the displacement of its remaining population.
Hamziya had two churches, both dedicated to Mart Shmuni, built in the sixth century and twentieth century respectively.370 As early as 1850, between six and nine Nestorian-rite families lived in the village,371 and in 1913, (p.322) its population stood at 200, with a priest and a school.372 Around 1933, there were only fifty individuals in the village.373 In 1957, the population of Hamziya was approximately a hundred. In 1987, the then population of thirty-two families fled when the village was targeted for being the known home of dissidents, among them Youkhana Esho Shimon Jajo, one of the founding members of the ADM, who was executed by the Iraqi regime in Abu Ghraib prison in 1985.374
In 1850, Hayyis was reported as having between fifteen and twenty-two Church of the East families and one church.375 During the First World War, Hayyis fared better than many of the Barwari villages, as only one-third of its population perished.376 In 1938, a League of Nations report mentioned thirty-five families, along with 242 goats and 104 sheep, residing in the village.377 By the time of the Iraqi census of 1957, its population was listed at 194 individuals. In 1961, there were sixty families (thirty-five households). Hayyis was attacked in 1968, along with several other villages of the region. The destruction was quite severe, due to the amount of napalm dropped in the area. The village was not attacked in the 1977–8 border clearings, since, besides being quite remote, it remained within the region of Barwar under pro-Barzani pêşmerge control. In 1988, Hayyis, along with the Assyrian villages of Merkajiya and Musake, was the site of a chemical weapons attack. At the time of its destruction during the Anfal operations, it was home to fifty families (twelve households), with a school and the churches of Rabban Pithion and Mar Gewargis, which were levelled during the devastation.378
During G. P. Badger’s travels in 1850, Inishke (also Enishke) was home to between twenty and thirty families, with a priest serving one church.379 In 1913, there were reportedly some 250 Chaldean-rite individuals, with a priest serving one active church, and a school.380 By 1938, twenty families were residing in the village, amounting to thirty men and forty women, along with their livestock: fifty-five goats and forty sheep.381 In 1957, Inishke’s population numbered 333, according to the Iraqi census. (p.323)
By 1961, it was home to 120 autochthonous Assyrian families (fifty households).382 The village was not completely destroyed by the Ba‘th regime, but its lands were confiscated, and a presidential palace complex was built upon them. The five churches in the village included the newer Mart Shmuni church; the old Mart Shmuni church (last restored in 1885); Mar Gewargis church (last restored in 1830); Mar Quryaqos monastery; and the tenth-century ‘Red Monastery’ of Mar Yosip Busnaya on a nearby hilltop all left in ruins.383
In 1850, Jedide was home to between five and eight families adherent to the Church of the East.384 In 1938, eight families resided in the village with their livestock: 101 goats and 40 sheep.385 By 1961, there were 24 families accounting for the village’s ten households, along with five Kurdish families.386 Prior to its destruction in 1988 by the Ba‘th regime, it was home to thirteen families.387
As early as 1850, there were between twenty and thirty families in the village, with an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Around 1933, the village population numbered 110 inhabitants, including a large number of newer settlers from the town of Ashitha in Turkey.388 Twenty families resided in the (p.324) village in 1938, along with a number of livestock: 282 goats and 51 sheep.389 Prior to 1949, there were mentions of a tiny Jewish community in the village. In 1957, there were 190 Assyrians in Kani Balav; in 1961, there were seventy families residing in thirty-five houses.390 In 1988, the village was destroyed, along with its school and church. The villagers were then deported.391
The sister village of Dere, Komāne (also Kowane) had been a large settlement. Its cultural and religious edifices included the church of Mar Ephrem (Sassanid period), an eighth-century monastery dedicated to Mar Quryaqos, and a perhaps fourth-century monastery to Mart Maryam. There is also an old cave-shrine or grotto dedicated to Mar Sawa in the Gara mountains opposite Komāne.392 In 1850, there were between thirteen and twenty families in the village, with a priest and a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary that held allegiance to the Church of the East archdiocese of Mar Yeshu‘yab of Barwar.393 By 1913, most of the village had been converted to Catholicism, and Tfinkdji counted sixty Chaldean-rite Assyrians, with a chapel to Our Lady of Light and Life, while the number of Church of the East-rite individuals was unknown.394 By 1938, four families (nineteen people) resided in the village with their livestock: fifty-three goats and forty-one sheep.395 In 1957, Komāne had grown to 550 residents, and in 1961 contained about 150 families. In 1963, a primary school was built but, lamentably, the village and many of its antique buildings were looted and burned down by the pro-regime Zebari Kurds, led by Zubir Muhammad Zebari, in 1965.396 In 1977, the Iraqi government built 100 new houses in and around Komāne, turning it into a refugee collective town for eighty Kurdish families and twenty Assyrian families who had been forced out of their villages in the Nerwa region.397 A new church dedicated to the Virgin Mary was built in 1978 for the Church of the East of Nerwa, from the village of Wela, who also had their own priest. During the Anfal period, the village was used once again as a collective town.398
Little is known about Mahude, which is located near the Assyrian village of Havintka. It was settled by displaced families of the Lower Tiyari tribe in 1920. In 1938, six families lived in the village, along with farm animals: 278 (p.325) goats and 102 sheep.399 There were around eight Assyrian families residing there, along with several Kurdish families, at the time of its destruction in 1988.400
Merkajiya is located in the Barwari Bala sub-district of ‘Amēdīyāh. In 1957, it was home to forty-nine individuals. As with all the Barwari villages, Merkajiya was not left unscathed by the events of the 1960s. It was the site of napalm attacks in 1968. In 1970, the headman, Yukhanna Odisho Zaia, was assassinated in order to intimidate the villagers into leaving. Prior to its ruination in 1988 by the Iraqi military, twenty families residing in twelve households called the village home.401 Merkajiya was also the site of a known chemical attack during the Anfal offensive.402
Meze is located just south of the Gara Mountains in the old Church of the East diocese of Mar Abraham of Nerem. As early as 1850, between thirty and forty-five families (seven of them converts to Catholicism) resided in Meze (‘Mezi’ in Badger), served by a priest of the Church of the East.403 By the time of Tfinkdji’s arrival in 1913, the number of Chaldeans had increased to 100 individuals, including a priest.404 In 1957, Meze was inhabited by 179 people, who fled in 1961. The Chaldean church of Mart Shmuni and Mart Maryam of the Church of the East both lay in ruins following an attack by pro-government Zebari militiamen, who later squatted on its lands.405 The village was reportedly attacked and destroyed again in 1987.406
Musaka is located in the Barwari Bala sub-district of ‘Amēdīyāh. In 1938, nineteen families called the village home, alongside their 124 goats and 43 sheep.407 In 1957, it was home to 128 villagers. Little remains of the ancient church dedicated to Mar Yosip, which was destroyed, along with the school and the remainder of the village, in 1988, displacing its thirty-five families.408 Along with Hayyis and Merkajiya, Musaka was the site of a known chemical attack.409 (p.326)
Lower Nerwa is a five-hour walk from the nearest road.410 In 1938, it had seven Church of the East families (including approximately twenty-five men), along with a variety of domesticated animals: 144 goats, 73 sheep, 4 donkeys, 2 oxen and a mule.411 According to the 1957 census, 149 Assyrians lived in Lower Nerwa, and in 1961 there were thirty-two families (approximately twenty-five households).412 Prior to the final evacuation of the village by the Saddam regime in 1978, there were sixty families living in Lower Nerwa.413 During the border clearings, the seventh-century church of Mar Khnana was eliminated along with the village. Many Assyrians from Lower Nerwa who survived the destruction were forcibly moved to the collective town of Deralok.
In 1850, there were between ten and fifteen Church of the East-rite families in Qārō, with one priest.414 In 1938, League of Nations documentation identifies nine Assyrian families of the Nestorian religious community (including approximately forty men), along with a variety of domesticated (p.327) animals: 397 goats, 83 sheep, 7 oxen, 2 donkeys and a mule.415 In 1961, there were forty-two Assyrian families (eighteen households). Prior to Qārō’s first destruction by the regime in 1977–8, there were fifty families and a school.416 In 1981, parts of the village were rebuilt by a small contingent of returnees. The entire village was once again ruined in 1988, and the remaining families were forced to flee. More than thirty-five Assyrians of the village had fled and attempted to return during the general amnesty offered by the Iraqi government, but none were seen or heard from again.417 Qārō’s three churches – Mar Gewargis, originally built in the seventh century and last restored in 1810; Mar Quryaqos; and Mar Younan – still lie in ruins.
Sardarawa (sometimes spelled Sardawara or Sirdarao) was resettled by Assyrian refugees from Hakkâri after the First World War. In 1938, eight families (fifteen men and fifteen women) dwelled in the village, alongside nine goats.418 According to the 1957 Iraqi census, its inhabitants numbered ninety-nine people. Sardarawa was destroyed by the Saddam regime in 1987, along with its church. The thirty remaining families were forced to flee to Assyrian areas elsewhere in Iraq. A presidential palace was later built on the villagers’ land, further solidifying Sardarawa’s total destruction.419
In 1920, Sikrīne (also Segrin) was settled predominantly by Assyrian refugees of the Tkhuma tribe, who then fled to Syria after the 1933 massacres. In 1938, four families (ten men and seven women) resided in the village, along with their livestock: ninety-eight goats and three sheep.420 Just prior to the exodus from the village, the population numbered approximately sixty-five. Other Assyrians later resettled Sikrīne, and in 1957, the population stood at 475. In 1987, the Ba‘th regime destroyed the village, along with its school, and its thirty-seven families were displaced.421
In 1850, Tāshish, or Tārshish, was home to between twenty and thirty families, served by a Church of the East priest and one functioning church.422 By 1938, sixty families dwelled in the village, alongside their 320 sheep and 122 (p.328) goats.423 In 1957, its population totalled 163 individuals. In 1961, there were sixty families (thirty households) in the village, and prior to being attacked by the pro-regime militia during the Anfal operations, it was home to seventy families, with a school.424 The church of Mar Quryaqos (restored in 1850) and a shrine dedicated to Mart Shmuni were once part and parcel of the village.
Referred to as Keni on some British topographical maps, Ten, or Tin, is a fifteen-minute drive from the monastery of Abraham, which is ‘now a 100 meter by 50 ruin, called “House of the Painters”.’425 Ten has long been inhabited and contains many markers of its cultural significance. In 1850, between thirty and forty-five families and a priest serving one church dwelled in the village.426 By 1913, the population of Ten had increased to 450, served by two Chaldean-rite priests and a school.427 Following the 1933 massacres, there were 200 Assyrians living in Ten.428 By 1938, thirty-three people resided in the village with their livestock: ninety-three goats and forty-six sheep.429 In 1957, the village population totalled 362, and in 1987, when the Ba‘th regime destroyed it, there were forty-five families dwelling in the area.430 The ancient church of Mart Shmuni was also eliminated at this time. An hour’s drive from Ten, in Zawitha, west of the village of Bamarne, is the famous monastery of Mar Abraham (‘Abraham the weeper’), dating back to at least the tenth century, whose ruins were still visible as late as 1956.431 Two Assyrians from Ten were abducted and disappeared during the Anfal operations from August to October 1988.432
Tuthe Shemaye’s (written as ‘Toshambic’ in some League of Nations documents) etymology may be connected to an abundance of elana d’tuthe, or mulberry trees, in the region. It was part of athran meetha, ‘our dead land’, a term for the Assyrian region of Barwari Bala, which lost its tribal independence and fell under the jurisdiction of various Kurdish aghas. During G. P. Badger’s wanderings in Mesopotamia in 1850, he remarked that between ten and fifteen Assyrian families lived in Tuthe Shemaye.433 In 1938, nineteen families, thirty-three sheep and thirty-three goats resided (p.329) in the village.434 By 1957 its population totalled forty-five individuals. In 1961, there were fifteen Assyrian families (six households) living in the village, as well as three Kurdish families.435 Prior to its destruction in 1988 by the Ba‘th regime, it was home to ten Assyrian families and the old church of Mar Gewargis, which met with the same fate as the rest of the village structures.436
In 1850, Wela (also Welah) had between ten and fifteen families, with one priest and one church.437 In 1938, there were seven families in Wela, consisting of twenty-six males and an unknown number of females, along with a variety of livestock including 145 goats, 87 sheep, 7 oxen, 1 donkey and 1 mule.438 By the 1957 census, there were fifty-nine individuals in Wela. Later, in 1961, there were sixteen families (nine households), and prior to the evacuation by the Ba‘th regime in 1977, twenty families resided in Wela.439 The churches of Mart Shmuni (perhaps seventh century) and Mart Maryam were first destroyed at this time.440 The village met with devastation yet again in 1987 and 1988 during the Anfal operations.
It may be of note to mention the Nahla d’Malka or ‘valley of the king’ subdistrict as having a longstanding and continuous Assyrian habitation. Though much of it was abandoned for years due to persecution, the resettlement of Hakkâri Assyrians was in a sense a remigration into the region.
The village of Bilmand was rebuilt by Assyrians from Lower Tiyari in 1920 following their exodus from Hakkâri. By 1938, ten families resided in the village, comprising forty men and thirty-six women and children, along with 354 sheep and 333 goats.441 In 1957, the village population totalled ninety-one. One of its residents, Odisho Iyut, saw his nearby lands in Korawa village confiscated and occupied by neighbouring Kurds in 1959.442 There were approximately 150 Assyrians living in the village in 1977.443 At the time of its destruction in 1987, Bilmand was residence to 35–40 families, with a school.444 The village is absent from the 1961 Dominican map.
Cham (also Chamme) ‘Ashrat was settled in 1922 by refugees from Upper Tiyari. Numbering around seventy people, most of these settlers fled to Syria and settled in the Khabur basin after fleeing the massacres at Simele and surrounding villages in 1933.445 Cham ‘Ashrat was later settled by tribesmen of Lower Tiyari, and by 1957, the village population totalled ninety-five, approximately twenty-five families, living in thirteen homes.446 The village was destroyed during the Anfal period in 1988, along with its one church dedicated to Mar Ephrem, and its remaining twenty-five families were displaced.447
Cham Chale, located in the Nahla sub-district, was settled in 1922 by tribesmen from Lower Tiyari. In 1938, it was home to thirteen families (twenty-nine men and thirty-six women), along with their livestock: 168 goats and 90 sheep.448 According to the 1957 Iraq census, the village population numbered fifty-one inhabitants. Cham Chale was initially plundered in 1963, and its population fled following the civil war. The village was repopulated and in 1977 had sixty persons dwelling within it before it was destroyed yet again in 1988 as part of the Anfal operations.449
The name of Cham Rabatke may derive from Kurdish for ‘river of the monks’, speaking to a historic monastic community in the region.450 Through the centuries, people left and emigrated to and from the region. More recently it was settled by refugees from Lower Tiyari in 1920. Following the 1933 massacres, an estimated ninety Assyrians survived in the village.451 In 1938, six families remained, with sixteen men and twenty-six women and children, along with 368 goats and 273 sheep.452 By 1977, ninety-eight people resided in the village.453 Before being destroyed in 1987, Cham Rabatke was home to forty-five families (thirty households).454 The Assyrians of the former village were relocated to ‘Aqra and left there by military and government forces to build dwellings from raw materials found in the area. Most villagers lived months in tents with no forthcoming government aid.455
In 1922, following the First World War, Assyrians from Lower Tiyari settled Cham Sinne. A report by the League of Nations mentions forty families of the Church of the East ecclesiastical background before a malaria outbreak later that year which decreased their number to twenty-five (142 persons).456 By 1957, the village population numbered approximately 130 inhabitants. When the village and church of Mar Ephrem were destroyed by the regime in 1987, there were thirty families in Cham Sinne.457
Some nine families were settled in Guhana (also Kohana) in 1938.458 Local Assyrians purchased the land in 1955 from the Iraqi government, and by 1961 there were twenty families who called the village home.459 In 1986 Guhana was targeted and its thirty-five families were forced to flee.460
The village of Hazarjot (also Hazarjift), as well as all the adjacent farming land, was purchased in 1925–6 under the supervision of the Chaldean church for refugees from the village of Sat in Hakkâri. Between 1920 and 1933, Nestorian-rite families from Lower Tiyari in Hakkâri also settled in Hazarjot.461 In 1938, Hazarjot included thirteen Assyrian families, ten Jewish families and twenty Kurdish families. The non-human animals numbered ninety goats and fifty sheep.462 According to the 1957 census, the population stood at 178 people. There were more than twenty-five families living in the village when it was exposed to burning and plundering by Zebari irregulars from 1961 to 1963.463 Though the majority of its population remained, that tragedy was repeated in 1972, causing more residents to flee. Much of Hazarjot’s population returned in 1975 and remained. The village was destroyed again in 1988, along with the church of Mart Maryam. Prior to the destruction of the Anfal campaign, Hazarjot was home to thirty-five families, with a school.464
Hizane, Lower and Upper
Hizane (sometimes Hizanke), in the Nahla region, was resettled by Assyrians from Lower Tiyari in 1920. By 1938 Lower Hizane had five families (p.332) comprising fifteen men and ten women and children, along with 251 sheep and 187 goats, while Upper Hizane had twenty-eight families numbering seventy-seven men and seventy-eight women and children, along with 293 sheep and 281 goats as livestock.465 In 1957, the village’s population numbered 254 inhabitants: 210 in Lower Hizane and 44 in Upper Hizane. In 1961, there were forty-two households in Hizane. The village was razed and burned in 1964 and 1969 by government irregulars.466 By 1977, Upper Hizane numbered twenty people and Lower Hizane 145.467 In 1987, it was home to 110 families, with a school.468 The old church of Mar Gewargis (restored in the 1950s) was also destroyed by the Ba‘th regime.469 Some individuals of the village who were targeted include Yalda Eshoo Zadoq, Toma Enwiya Toma, Eshoo Goriel Khoshaba and Mikhael Lazar Mikhael.470
Kashkawa was settled by families from Lower Tiyari in 1920 (along with the majority of the Nahla region). In 1933, 134 inhabitants lived in the
(p.333) village.471 By 1938, there were twenty families (131 persons).472 According to the 1957 census account, approximately 180 villagers dwelled within Kashkawa. When attacked by pro-government Kurdish irregulars in 1963, its thirty households were burned and inhabitants forced to flee, since the village was known to have significant sympathisers involved in the anti-government activities of Assyrians, Kurds and others.473 Among those men singled out for elimination were Daniel Toma, Moshe Zaia and Youkhana Shammas, who were all eventually killed. Some of its population returned following the ceasefire on 11 March 1970, but were soon to be threatened once again.474 Before being destroyed along with its church Mart Shmuni again in 1987, Kashkawa was home to 100 families, with a school.475
Khalilani is located in the sub-district of Nahla (or Nahla d’Malka). It was settled by families from Lower Tiyari in 1920. In 1938, seven families, amounting to twenty-four men and twenty women and children,
Meroke (also Merugee and Miroki), most likely a corruption of Mar Awgen or ‘St Eugene’, was settled by Assyrians from Lower Tiyari in 1920. In 1938, eight families dwelled in the village, amounting to twenty-six men and thirty women and children, along with 219 sheep and 188 goats.479 In 1957, the village held around seventy residents. Meroke was home to thirty-five families (fifteen households), with a school, just prior to being bulldozed by the military operations of 1987.480
Suse, the name probably derived from the Assyrian for ‘horses’, is also known as Cham Suse and Barraka d’Qaddisha. It was home to a cultural structure called gippa d-qaddisha, ‘the saint’s cave’. According to a League of Nations report concerning the settlement of the Assyrians following the 1933 massacres, 200 people inhabited the village.481 It was destroyed during the Anfal operations.
Zouli, or Zhouli, was settled by families from Lower Tiyari in 1920, and usually divided into upper and lower regions. In 1957 the village population totalled eighty-eight. In 1977, Upper Zouli numbered thirty inhabitants and Lower Zouli twenty-five.482 Before being destroyed in 1987, Zouli was home to thirty-four families, who were forced to flee to Mosul and other regions populated by Assyrians.483
Babilo was settled by the Baz tribe in the 1920s. Around 1933, they numbered sixty-five people. In 1957, the village population stood at 111, and in (p.335) 1961 there were twenty-five families (sixteen households). In 1988, Babilo was destroyed as part of the Anfal campaign and its thirty-five families were left homeless.484 There is reportedly an old grotto church dedicated to Mar Yosip near Babilo.485
Chavrik, or Avrik, was divided into an upper and lower region, both settled by Assyrians. The village was destroyed by the Hussein regime in 1987 during the Anfal operations.
Little is known of Der-Alush, though its name indicates that it may have been the site of a monastery. The village was destroyed in 1987.
Gund Kosa, its name probably partially derived from the Kurdish word for ‘village’, gündük, lies along the river Khabour in the sub-district of Doski. In recent history, Gund Kosa and three nearby villages were settled by Lower Tiyari tribesmen in 1922. After the events of 1933, only 150 Assyrians remained in the village.486 The settlers of the four villages garnered some help from neighbouring Kurds in the village of Akmala and managed to form a small militia that repelled various attacks against the Assyrians in the region, thus saving Gund Kosa from the Doski Kurdish tribe and granting refuge to numerous families fleeing the Simele atrocities.487 The population of the village in 1938 consisted of twenty-eight families and their livestock: 345 goats and 217 sheep.488 The population of another village, Spindarok,489 who survived the Simele massacres fled to and settled in Gund Kosa. More than 170 families dwelled in the village then. At the time of the 1957 Iraqi census, 136 people resided in Gund Kosa. It is the birthplace of curate Zaia Bobo Dobato of the Church of the East, who was targeted by the government, including with various assassination attempts. Dobato escaped to Urmia, and there worked to bring the Assyrian predicament to the attention of various NGOs and the international community.490 In 1988, Gund Kosa was home to eighty families, with a school and church, when it was targeted during the Anfal (p.336) operations.491 At least thirty-three villagers disappeared during the destruction of the village.492
Malta, or Ma‘althaye, is located west of the Rabban Hormizd monastery of Alqosh, on the mountainous border. It is part of the Catholic diocese of ‘Amēdīyāh. Its name comes from the Assyrian-Aramaic word meaning ‘gateway’, as it is literally the gateway to the mountainous region north of Nineveh. Above the village are four reliefs carved into the mountain by the ancient Assyrian king Sennacherib, as well as a monastic hermitage. According to Badger’s accounts, as early as 1850 there were between twenty and thirty _families in Malta, with one active church.493 In 1957, there were thirty households (130 people) and in 1961, there were seventy families.494 The village was destroyed again in 1986 along with the churches of Mar Zaya and Mar Awda.495 Due to its proximity to Dohuk, Malta was used as a collective town for hundreds of Kurdish families brought from villages ruined by the Iraqi regime during the Anfal campaign.496
Armashe, also spelled Harmash, possesses an ancient Assyrian stele carved into the rock face nearby. In 1850, there were between fifteen and twenty-two families and a church within the village, all under the Church of the East diocese of Mar Abraham of Gündük (Nerem), in the mountainous region south of Jebel Gara.497 Many of its villagers originated from the Tkhuma region in Hakkâri. In 1913, there were 310 Chaldean converts, with a priest serving one church.498 In 1957, the village population totalled 204 (thirteen households), and before being destroyed in 1987 by the Ba‘th regime, Armashe was home to fifty-five families, with a school.499 Assyrian villagers of (p.337) both Armashe and Azakh were resettled in Atrush, which had been set up as a collective town.500 The church of Mart Theresa suffered some damage during the Anfal period. There is also a small church to Mar Ephrem dating back to the seventh century.
In 1850, Azakh, or Adekh, contained between fifteen and twenty-two families and a church. The village, like Armashe, Meze and Ṭlanitha, lay in the mountains south of Jebel Gara.501 By 1913, there were 300 Chaldean-rite individuals, with a priest and a school, though the number of Church of the East adherents was unclear at that time.502 In 1957, the village population totalled seventy-eight individuals, and before being destroyed in 1987, Azakh was home to a total of fifty families (twenty households).503 The church of Mar Gewargis, first built in 1535, and the grotto dedicated to Mar Abraham were once part of the once-thriving town before being bulldozed during the Anfal.
Bebōze, or Beth Bōzi, is part of the region known as Shemkān. In 1850, there were between ten and fifteen families and one church in the predominantly Catholic village.504 The village’s existence is also attested to in Syriac manuscripts, as in 1888 a monk named Nicholas Nōfāl of Tel Keppe copied a manuscript in the village for the monastery of Rabban Hormizd.505 By Tfinkdji’s time in 1913, there were 120 Chaldean-rite villagers, with one priest.506 Bebōze was first destroyed in 1976.507 The village was resettled but, along with the thirteenth-century church of Mart Shmuni and the seven shrines dedicated to her children, was devastated again in 1987 by the Iraqi military.
Birta (sometimes Bire), a half-hour walk from Tilla, is located in the western part of the old Church of the East ecclesiastical region of Margā.508 Birta’s name derives from the Akkadian word birtu ‘fortress’ and the village is the location of a burial complex belonging to an Akkadian king. This village is but one of many sites referred to as Birta, due to the ruins of a fortress in close proximity. In 1913, sixty people lived in the village.509 While under (p.338) attack during the armed resistance movement in 1961, Birta’s people abandoned the village, which was later settled by Iraqi government irregulars from the Zebari tribe.510 The ancient monastery of Mar Gewargis and the fifth-century hermitages around the village had been continually damaged by military and paramilitary activity and fell into further disrepair after 1961.511
Deze, or Dizze, has had a longstanding Nestorian and Chaldean ecclesiastical presence. Located not far from the Yezidi shrine of Sheikh Adi, Deze lies in the same region as Bedul, Beboze, and Meze, all part of the Chaldean diocese of ‘Amēdīyāh. In 1850, it was home to between twenty and thirty families.512 By 1913, there were eighty Chaldeans in the village, but the number of Nestorian adherents was unknown.513 The original inhabitants fled in 1933 because of the local persecution, and the ownership of the lands passed into the hands of Kurdish landowner Ibrahim Haj-Malo Mizouri.514 In 1974, Assyrians from Shuwadin (near Zakho) settled in Deze to work its fields. Prior to its destruction by the Ba‘th regime in 1987, there were ninety families (thirty households) in Deze, with a school. The ancient stone church of Mar Christopher was also destroyed.515
Tilla, or Tella, walking distance from Birta, is mentioned quite early in Syriac sources as the place of origin of a copy of the Book of Superiors, dated to 1701, and a book of hymns dated to 1720.516 According to Georg Hoffmann, Tilla was also referred to as ‘Tellā Bīrtā’, perhaps since both Tella and Birta refer to various sites with ancient lineage in the region; Tilla is one of many sites of the same name. In 1913, there were 340 Chaldean-rite villagers in Tilla, with a priest serving one church, and a school.517 Tilla was destroyed in 1987, along with its three churches; the third-century church of Mar Isḥaq, and another dedicated to Mart Maryam, were among those eliminated. A mound dedicated to Mart Shmuni (a remnant of an older ancient religious site), from which Tilla’s etymology probably derives (tella meaning ‘mound’ or ‘hill’), was also despoiled during the village’s destruction.
Jilu tribesmen settled in Badaliya (or Badariyah or Badriyah) in 1920, but fled to Syria after the 1933 massacres, and an Arab landowner, Muhammad Beg, took ownership of the village. By 1938, fifteen families had returned to the village, totalling seventy-five persons.518 By the 1957 census, its Assyrian population stood at 234. Before the last Assyrians were evacuated in 1987 to make way for a government-run poultry project, sixty families inhabited the village, with a school.519
Bakhitme, or Beth-Khatme, ‘the place of the seals’ (probably in reference to a place where documents or deals were signed or agreed to), is famous for being the location of the martyrdom of Mar Daniel, to whom a church was later dedicated (rebuilt in 1984).520 In its more recent history, Nochiya tribesmen settled Bakhitme in 1920, but fled to Syria after the massacres
(p.342) of August 1933. The village was again settled by eighty Assyrian families in 1956. Bakhitme was purchased in 1957 from the Arab sheikhs who owned it, giving its approximately 230 residents hope for continued growth.521 However, in April 1987, the village was entirely destroyed, including two schools and three churches (Mart Maryam and Mar Gewargis), and its 140 Assyrian families deported.522
Gera-Gora is referred to as Kera-Gora by Eshoo. Some of its more recent inhabitants hailed from Tkhuma and Rumta in Upper Tiyari and settled in the village following the First World War.523 After the massacres of 1933, many of the villagers fled to Syria, and the village was immediately resettled by other Assyrians from the neighbouring towns. According to the census account of 1957, approximately 200 villagers dwelled in Gera-Gora. Most recently, according to information gleaned by the AAS field mission in 2004, the village was forcibly abandoned in Badaliya in 1987.524
Hejerke (also Hizeerke and Hizirki), located just northwest of Sheze, was settled by Baz tribesmen following the First World War. In 1933 there were approximately eighty-five individuals in the village, and in 1938 the League of Nations reported twenty-five families along with significant livestock: 572 goats and 180 sheep.525 By 1957, the population had been reduced to forty-one.526 The Iraqi regime attacked the village in 1984, and later destroyed it in 1987, when Hejerke’s remaining eight families were forced to flee.
Kharab Kulk can possibly be identified as the Ḥarbai mentioned in Syriac sources. The monastery of Mar Isaac is located nearby.527 Kharab Kulk was settled by Nestorian-rite Assyrians from the former patriarchal see of Qochanis in Hakkâri following the massacres of Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians in Asia Minor during the First World War.528 The village was first overrun in 1961 during the civil war, and again in 1987.
Mar Yaqob, or Mar Yaqo, is located east of Hejerke and northwest of Sheze. According to Majed Eshoo, it sits just atop a mountain referred to by Assyrians as Bakhira, or Beth Khira, loosely translated as ‘place of freedom’.529 Mar Yaqob is known in Kurdish as Qashafir. During Badger’s journeys in 1850, Mar Yaqob was home to between twenty-one and thirty-two families, with a chapel and later a school, served by a priest.530 During Tfinkdji’s travels in early 1913, he recorded 150 Chaldean-rite Assyrian villagers with a chapel and a school but no priest.531 The Dominicans later built a large monastic academy in the 1920s. A monumental grave was built for the Dominican Father Besson, who died during an epidemic in the region.532 Mar Yaqob was damaged first in 1976 and finally destroyed in 1988, at which time it was home to twenty Assyrian families.533 The mausoleum of Father Besson was also destroyed.534
Sheze, or Shiyoz, is located just north of the village of Simele. Like Malta and Mar Yaqob, Sheze lies along the mountain range to the west of Rabban Hormizd, within the ‘Amēdīyāh diocese. In 1850, between twenty and thirty families lived in the village, but Badger does not mention a functional church, quite peculiar for a village of approximately 150 people.535 In 1913, there were approximately 210 villagers, with a Chaldean-rite priest serving the
(p.344) church of Mar Gewargis, along with a school.536 In 1957, there were a total of 417 Assyrians in Sheze, but in 1987 the village was destroyed, along with its school and church. The eighty families that remained were forced to flee to friendlier territory.537 The ruins of a monastery dedicated to Mar ‘Ishoyab also lie near the village.
Surka was originally inhabited by both Christians and Yezidis. In 1957, the village’s population totalled 196. In 1987, before its inhabitants were evacuated to make way for a poultry project by the Iraqi government, there were thirty families in the village, with a school.538
The name Bersive may be rooted in the Assyrian bera d’sawa, or ‘old man’s well’. The village was settled by refugee families from what is now Turkey, descendants of Mamo, a priest in the fourteenth century.539 In 1913, there were 400 residents in the village, served by a Chaldean-rite priest and a church.540 In 1957, the census accounts estimated 786 inhabitants; in 1961, there were a total of 240 families (220 households).541 Bersive was attacked numerous times in the 1960s by passing warplanes. Some of its population fled and later returned after a lessening of hostilities in the civil war. By 1976, the Iraqi regime had turned Bersive into a collective town, settling 560 Kurdish and 40 Assyrian families who had been forced out of more than twenty villages along the border region with Turkey during the first border clearings in 1974–5.542 The Chaldean church of Mar Gewargis, dating from the twelfth century, lies in the centre of the village. The church of Mar Ephrem of the Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorian) was consecrated in 1970 and located on the village outskirts.543 Bersive was utilised as a collective town again in 1988.544 In 1990, on the eve of the Gulf War, there were 160 Assyrian families in Bersive.545
The village of Hizawa is located in the sub-district of Sindi. It was turned into a collective town during the Anfal period, changing its demography.546 Little is known about its two original ancient churches. (p.345)
According to the 1957 census, Levo had a population of 616 residents (350 families, 150 homes). During the rebellion in 1961, the village was targeted by various air raid bombings. Levo continued to be targeted by raids, lootings and bombings, by both state and non-state actors for the next twenty-seven years, until 1988.547 Most physical structures suffered major damage or were destroyed completely, including its Chaldean-rite church dedicated to Mar Abraham. Three citizens were killed during the Anfal operations at Levo: Sabriya Maroge Sliwa, Amira Odisho Khosho and Jibrael Odisho Khosho. Another Assyrian, Saber Khayri Youkhana, disappeared.548 Levo’s 140 families were displaced after the Anfal operations.
Mala ‘Arab was resettled in 1916 by refugees from Lower Tiyari, but a year later they moved to Gund Kosa. In 1922, Mala ‘Arab was again settled by Assyrians from the villages of the Margā region.549 At the time of the 1957 census, Mala ‘Arab’s population totalled 237 individuals, and by 1961 there were approximately 120 families (fifty households) in the village.550 The village was burned and razed by Zebari Kurds in 1963.551 In 1970, its population returned following the 11 March ceasefire between the government and Kurdish forces, and began rebuilding the village, including a school, until (p.346) 1988 during the Anfal operations, when Mala ‘Arab was once again destroyed and its sixty Assyrian households dispersed.552
Mergasūr most likely finds its etymology in an Assyrian-Aramaic phrase meaning ‘pasture of Ashur’. According to the 1957 census, it was home to 186 individuals, and by 1961, there were 170 families (eighty households) in the village.553 Prior to its demolition by the Iraqi government in 1988, Mergasūr was the dwelling place of 60 households, with a school.554
Nav Kandal (Naf Kandal) is a remote village. In 1957, it was home to 240 individuals, and in 1961, there were 150 families (approximately sixty households). The old church dedicated to Mar Yawsep served as its cultural and religious centre. Just prior to its purging in 1988, Nav Kandal was home to 110 families, with a school.555 The church of Mar Yawsep was destroyed along with the village dwellings in the same year. There are 250 families from Nav-Kandal elsewhere in Iraq and in the diaspora.556
Pireka is located in the sub-district of Guli. According to the 1957 Iraqi census, it was home to 108 individuals. The village was initially destroyed during the border clearings in 1978, and at the time, was home to ninety Chaldean-rite households (approximately thirty-five households) and a school.557 The village was rebuilt over the next few years, but was destroyed again in 1984.
The birthplace of the Syriac scholar Alphonse Mingana, Sharanish (French spelling Chéranésch) is possibly named after an ancient princess known as Shiranoosh. In 1913, it was home to 600 townsfolk, with a Chaldean-rite priest serving the two churches of Mart Shmuni and Mar Quryaqos.558 In 1957, the population reached 384, and in 1961 there were eighty households when the village was destroyed and much of its lands confiscated by Zebari Kurdish irregulars.559 Some villagers returned over time and rebuilt, and in 1978, Sharanish was home to a total of 160 Assyrian families (2,000 people), (p.347) with a school.560 The village was targeted once again in 1987 and its remaining eighty families displaced.561 The ancient churches of Mart Shmuni and Mar Quryaqos were both destroyed during the devastation.
Haruna was destroyed by the Ba‘th regime in 1987. It was home to a majority of Yezidis, with a small Christian population.562
(1.) Nicholas al-Jeloo, ‘Characteristics of Pre-19th Century Assyrian Christian Architecture East of the Tigris River: An Evaluation and Analysis Based on the Study of 114 Examples from Across the Region’ (MA Thesis, Faculty of Theology, Leiden University, 2006).
(2.) Numbers of people, churches, animals, schools etc. are given when possible. Also for the majority of village data, the Assyrians are mentioned by their ecclesiastical and tribal affiliations when known. The Dominican map served as the initial source for geographic coordinates and aided in corroborating the ethnographic data.
(3.) All the Assyrian villages of this region were privately owned by Sayid Taha and the heirs of Ismail Beg, with the exception of Hawdian, which was owned by Mulla Osa Agha of the Baliki tribe. The Assyrians cultivated the land and paid tribute and had been doing so since 1921. Known crops were wheat, barley, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as tobacco. Note also that the wording of the League of Nations report calls the Assyrians fellahs or ‘cultivators’. See League of Nations, Report on the Economic Conditions of the Assyrians in the Northern Provinces in Iraq, 21. Similar to most Native American nations, some Assyrians did not ‘own’ their land in the sense of having the acquired land deeds associated with it. During the early years of the United States, the US government regularly attempted to designate ‘land owners’ by written deed. As this trait was not one followed by Native American/Aboriginal culture (i.e., a person owning land distinguished by a piece of parchment or paper), it is generally not recognised as a legitimate marker of indigeneity. Also note this region was not reproduced on Josephe Omez’s Dominican map of 1961.
(5.) C.C. (Darbandoke), interview with author, 17 February 2008, Toronto; Iraq: Continuous and Silent Ethnic Cleansing – Displaced Persons in Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraqi Refugees in Iran (Paris: FIDH/International Alliance for Justice, 2003), 42.
(7.) B.B. (Harīr), interview with author, 17 February 2008, Toronto.
(10.) P.W. (Diyana), interview with author, 17 February 2008, Toronto.
(11.) Though Diyana was destroyed again in 1974, very little information could be found concerning that period, making its inclusion in this appendix more proper.
(15.) B.B. (Harīr), interview, 17 February 2008, Toronto.
(16.) ‘Kurdish minister has no objection to Assyrian Christian administrative area’, Assyrian International News Agency, 26 February 2006, http://www.aina.org/news/20060225231434.htm (accessed 23 July 2014).
(20.) A. M. Hamilton, Road through Kurdistan: The Narrative of an Engineer in Iraq, new ed. (London: Faber & Faber, 1958), 158–9.
(21.) Ralph Solecki, Shanidar: The First Flower People (New York: Knopf, 1971), 73–5.
(22.) B.B. (Harīr), C.C. (Darbandoke), I.Y. (Diyana) and P.W. (Diyana), interviews with author, 17 February 2008, Toronto.
(23.) ‘‘Amēdīyāh’, Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd ed. (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007).
(24.) Amir Harrak, ‘Northern Mesopotamia in a 19th Century Syriac Annalistic Source’, Le Muséon: revue d’études orientales 119.3–4 (2006), 298–301.
(25.) George Percy Badger, The Nestorians and Their Rituals (London: Darf,  1987), vol. 2, 174.
(26.) J. C. J. Sanders, Assyrian-Chaldean Christians in Eastern Turkey and Iran: Their Last Homeland Re-charted (Hernen, Netherlands: AA Brediusstichting, 1997), 63.
(28.) American consulate in Tabriz to Secretary of State, 19 October 1961, NA/RG59/787.00/10-1961; Tabriz to Secretary of State, 25 October 1961, NA/RG59/787.00/10-2561; Tabriz to Secretary of State, 1 November 1961, NA/RG59/787.00/10-161.
(p.349) (29.) Avshalom H. Rubin, ‘Abd al-Karim Qasim and the Kurds of Iraq: Centralization, Resistance and Revolt 1958–63’ Middle Eastern Studies 43.3 (2007), 369–70.
(34.) B.B. (Harīr), C.C. (Darbandoke) and I.Y. (Diyana), interviews with author, 17 February 2008, Toronto.
(41.) ‘Abdyešu‘ Barzana, Šinnē d-‘Asqūtā: Qrābā d-Dayrabūn w-Gunḥā d-Simele (Chicago: Assyrian Academic Society Press, 2003), 232–8.
(p.350) (42.) R. S. Stafford, ‘Iraq and the Problem of the Assyrians’, International Affairs 13.2 (1934), 176.
(46.) D.T. (Blejanke), K.S. (Dūre), Y.D. (Annūnē), Y.G. (Bebede) and Z.Y. (Annūnē), interviews with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(47.) Simo Parpola and Michael Porter, The Helsinki Atlas of the Near East in the Neo-Assyrian Period (Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Corpus Text Project, 2001), 19.
(48.) J.-M. Fiey, Assyrie chrétienne (Beirut: Imprimerie Catholique, 1963), vol. 1, 225–35.
(49.) David Wilmshurst, The Ecclesiastical Organization of the Church of the East (Leuven: Peeters, 2000), 362. Wilmshurst’s estimates are based on numbers extracted from Joseph Tfinkdji, ‘L’Église chaldéene catholique autrefois et aujourd’hui’, Annuaire pontifical catholique 1914 (Paris: Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1913), 499, and elsewhere.
(52.) Tfinkdji, ‘L’Église chaldéene catholique autrefois et aujourd’hui’, 499. Tfinkdji fails to mention the chapel in his research notes.
(54.) Georg Hoffmann, Auszüge aus syrischen Akten persischer Märtyrer (Nendeln, Liechtenstein: Kraus,  1966), 207.
(55.) E. A. Wallis Budge, The Book of Governors: The Historia Monastica of Thomas Bishop of Marga ad 840 (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1893), vol. 2, 226.
(57.) Majed Eshoo, ‘The Fate of Assyrian Villages Annexed to Today’s Dohuk Governorate in Iraq and the Conditions in These Villages Following the Establishment of the Iraqi State in 1921’, tr. Mary Challita (2004), Assyrian General Conference website, http://www.assyriangc.com/magazine/eng1.pdf,12 (accessed 9 July 2014).
(58.) Frederick A. Aprim, Assyrians: From Bedr Khan to Saddam Hussein – Driving into Extinction the Last Aramaic Speakers (F. A. Aprim, 2006), 211.
(59.) League of Nations, Settlement of the Assyrians of Iraq, 0.69.1934.VII, Geneva, 18 January 1934, enclosure II, 9.
(p.351) (60.) B.B. (Harīr), C.C. (Darbandoke) and I.Y. (Diyana), interviews with author, 17 February 2008, Toronto.
(62.) B.B. (Harīr), C.C. (Darbandoke) and I.Y. (Diyana), interviews with author, 17 February 2008, Toronto.
(64.) League of Nations, Report on the Economic Conditions of the Assyrians in the Northern Provinces in Iraq, C.296.M.172.1938.VII, Geneva, 10 September 1938, 17.
(66.) B.B. (Harīr), C.C. (Darbandoke) and I.Y. (Diyana), interviews with author, 17 February 2008, Toronto.
(67.) A major liturgical work used by the Church of the East.
(81.) Wilmshurst, The Ecclesiastical Organization of the Church of the East, 161. The manuscripts can be found in MSS ‘Aqra (Voste) 17 and ‘Aqra (Habbi) 53, 91.
(83.) D.T. (Blejanke), K.S. (Dūre), Y.D. (Annūnē), Y.G. (Bebede) and Z.Y. (Annūnē), interviews with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(88.) According to AAS, ‘Field Mission Iraq 2004’, the relief was dynamited by treasure hunters at some time in the five years preceding the report. See also Badger, The Nestorians and their Rituals, vol. 1, 390; Taufiq Wahby, ‘The Rock Sculptures in Gunduk Cave’, Sumer 4.2 (1948).
(100.) Fiey believes Badger to have exaggerated the Jewish population greatly, which is highly probable. See Fiey, Assyrie chrétienne, vol. 1, 259; Badger, The Nestorians and Their Rituals, vol. 1, 389.
(104.) D.T. (Blejanke), K.S. (Dūre), Y.D. (Annūnē), Y.G. (Bebede) and Z.Y. (Annūnē), interviews with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(120.) Fallah is generally used in Kurdish to refer to Assyrian Christians, even in the Tur Abdin, which would speak to its general usage in the Kurmanji dialect. The term is most likely originally a borrowing from Arabic fallah., denoting ‘worker’ or ‘peasant’.
(123.) K.S. (Dūre) and Y.D. (Annūnē), interviews with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto. Fursan Salahaddin or the Knights of Saladin were a Kurdish mercenary group. For further information, see Habib Ishow, Les Structures sociales et politiques de l’Irak contemporain: pourquoi un état en crise? (Paris: Harmattan, 2003), 89.
(127.) K.S. (Dūre), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(133.) Justin Perkins, A Residence of Eight Years in Persia among the Nestorian Christians; with Notices of the Muhammedans (Andover, MA: Allen, Morrill & Wardwell, 1843), 22–30.
(135.) Hirmis Aboona, interview with author, 11 October 2007, Mississauga, Ontario.
(136.) George Black, Genocide in Iraq: The Anfal Campaign against the Kurds (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993), 37. (p.354)
(137.) S.A. (Dūre), interview with author, 2 July 2007, Toronto.
(138.) Al-Thawra, 18 September 1978.
(146.) William Walker Rockwell, The Pitiful Plight of the Assyrian Christians in Persia and Kurdistan (New York: American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, 1916), 54.
(149.) K.S. (Dūre), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(164.) Rev. F. N. Heazell and Mrs Margoliouth, Kurds and Christians (London: Wells Gardner Darton, 1913), 151–2.
(170.) Amir Odisho, ‘Dūrī’, al-Fikr al-Masihi, July–September 1996, 24–5.
(171.) K.S. (Dūre), Interview, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(177.) Edward Lewes Cutts, Christians under the Crescent in Asia (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge / New York: Pott, Young, 1877), 354.
(233.) Ismet Chériff Vanly, The Revolution of Iraki Kurdistan, Part 1: September 1961 to December 1963 (Committee for the Defense of the Kurdish People’s Rights, 1965), 27.
(244.) David Gaunt, Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim–Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia during World War I (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2006), 244.
(245.) Jacques Rhétoré, Les Chrétiens aux bêtes: souvenirs de la guerre sainte proclamée par les Turcs contre les chrétiens en 1915 (Paris: Cerf, 2005), 321.
(248.) Iraq: Continuous and Silent Ethnic Cleansing, 40.
(249.) Ephrem-Isa Yousif, Parfums d’enfance à Sanate: un village chrétien au Kurdistan irakien (Paris: Harmattan, 1993)
(264.) AAS, ‘Field Mission Iraq, 2004’.
(266.) Marcus Stern, ‘Worlds apart on Chaldean crisis’, San Diego Union Tribune, 12 March 2003.
(269.) Y.D. (Annūnē), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(271.) Y.D. (Annūnē), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(273.) Baghdad to State, ‘Kurdish Revolt – Continued; Government Pretends Kurds Crushed; Reports Massacres in Christian Villages’, 10 January 1962, NA/RG59/787.00/1-1062.
(p.359) (274.) Y.D. (Annūnē), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(276.) Z.Y. (Annūnē), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(277.) Georg Krotkoff, A Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Kurdistan: Texts, Grammar, and Vocabulary (New Haven, CT: American Oriental Society, 1982).
(278.) Habib Ishow, ‘Un Village irakien, «Araden» en 1961’, Cahiers de l’Orient contemporain (1966), 6–9.
(279.) Michel Chevalier, Les Montagnards chrétiens du Hakkâri et du Kurdistan septentrional (Paris: Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 1985), 112.
(283.) Afram Rayis, ‘Araden: A Living Village in Garbia’, Assyrian Star 55.1 (2003), 32.
(p.360) (299.) For some reason only the number of ‘males’ are mentioned in the report.
(309.) Y.G. (Bebede), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(318.) Y.G. (Bebede), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(321.) Badger, The Nestorians and Their Rituals, vol. 1, 393. Badger does not mention a church in Blejanke.
(324.) D.T. (Blejanke), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(329.) League of Nations, Report on the Economic Conditions of the Assyrians in the Northern Provinces in Iraq, 10. Chammike is the only one of twenty-five Barwari villages mentioned in the League of Nations report as being owned by the government and occupied by ‘non-autochthonous’ (non-indigenous) Assyrians – essentially settlers from Hakkâri.
(361.) Y.D. (Annūnē), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(p.363) (383.) D.I. (Inishke), email correspondence, 10 January 2008.
(392.) The Gara mountain range is also identified with the region of Dasen – ‘which rising near Da’udiya in the west extends along to the Upper Zab and away to the east into Gebel Pir Hasan Beg’ (Budge, The Book of Governors, vol. 2, 67).
(402.) Y.D. (Annūnē), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(p.364) (409.) Y.D. (Annūnē), interview with author, 24 February 2008, Toronto.
(442.) Mikhael Benjamin, Nineveh Center for Research and Development (NCRD), Qaraqosh, Iraq, email correspondence, 2 February 2007
(443.) Leadership of Dohuk, leadership of the branch of al-Nasir division, unit leader, to the leader of al-Nasir division, Response to Letter from Bishop concerning Nahla, 15 October 1985 (1–2), ADM Archives, Ba‘th Secret Files and Correspondence, Iraq.
(449.) Leadership of Dohuk, leadership of the branch of al-Nasir division, unit leader, to leader of al-Nasir division, Response to Letter from Bishop concerning Nahla, 15 October 1985 (1–2), ADM Archives, Ba‘th Secret Files and Correspondence, Iraq. However, in Iraq: Continuous and Silent Ethnic Cleansing, 41, Cham Chale is mentioned as having been destroyed in 1963 only.
(453.) Leadership of Dohuk, leadership of the branch of al-Nasir division, unit leader, to leader of al-Nasir division, Response to Letter from Bishop concerning Nahla, 15 October 1985 (1–2), ADM Archives, Ba‘th Secret Files and Correspondence, Iraq.
(467.) Leadership of Dohuk, leadership of the branch of al-Nasir division, unit leader, to leader of al-Nasir division, Response to Letter from Bishop Concerning Nahla, 15 October 1985 (1–2), ADM Archives, Ba‘th Secret Files and Correspondence, Iraq.
(469.) Bahra 2 (1988).
(477.) Leadership of Dohuk, leadership of the branch of al-Nasir division, unit leader, to leader of al-Nasir division, Response to Letter from Bishop Concerning Nahla, 15 October 1985 (1–2), ADM Archives, Ba‘th Secret Files and Correspondence, Iraq.
(p.367) (482.) Leadership of Dohuk, leadership of the branch of al-Nasir division, unit leader, to leader of al-Nasir division, Response to Letter from Bishop Concerning Nahla, 15 October 1985 (1–2), ADM Archives, Ba‘th Secret Files and Correspondence, Iraq.
(489.) The Assyrian villages destroyed during the Simele incident were mostly resettled by neighbouring Kurds, as was the case in Spindarok. The village was also the site of a chemical attack during the Anfal operations.
(508.) The bastion of Assyrian (specifically Church of the East) Christianity from the seventh to the ninth century, including much of northern Iraq from Zakho to Nerem.
(520.) Mikhael Benjamin, NCRD, email correspondence, 2 February 2007
(528.) Royal Government of Iraq, Correspondence Relating to Assyrian Settlement from 13th July, 1932, to 5th August, 1933 (Baghdad, Government Press, 1933), 48.
(532.) Professor Amir Harrak, conversation with author, 10 February 2008
(534.) Professor Amir Harrak, conversation with author, 10 February 2008