"Facts about Iraqi Kurdistan" As Sulaymaniyah by Robin020

As Sulaymaniyah Travel Guide: 25 reviews and 48 photos

The Kurdistan Region in Brief
 With a population of over 4 million and rapidly increasing, the three governorates of Dohuk, Erbil and
Suleimaniah cover approximately 40,000 square kilometres - larger than the Netherlands and four times
the area of Lebanon.
 The Region is geographically diverse, from hot and dry plains to cooler mountainous areas with natural
springs and snowfall in the winter.
 Since March 2003 not a single coalition soldier has died nor a single foreigner been kidnapped in the
areas administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). With the cooperation of ordinary
people, the Kurdistan Region’s security forces have kept the area safe and stable. Security responsibility
was formally transferred from the Multinational Forces to the KRG in May 2007.
 The capital and seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government is Erbil, a city known locally as Hawler.
The Citadel in Erbil is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited settlements.
 The Kurdistan Regional Government exercises executive power according to the Kurdistan Region’s
laws as enacted by the democratically elected Kurdistan Parliament. The current government, led by
Prime Minister Barham Salih, assumed office on 28 October 2009.
 Iraq’s Constitution recognises the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Kurdistan Parliament as the
region’s institutions, and the Peshmerga guard as the legitimate regional forces.

The current coalition government consists of several political parties that reflect the diversity of the
Region’s people, who are Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syriac, Turkmen, Yazidis and Kurds living together in
harmony and tolerance.
 Since the Anfal genocide campaign by Saddam Hussein’s Regime in the 1980s, more than 65% of the
razed villages have been rebuilt.
 The Kurdish language is distinct and is in the family of Iranian languages, such as Persian and Pashto.
There are two main dialects, Sorani and Kurmanji.
 The Kurdistan Region has seven universities, including the English language University of Kurdistan-
Hawler in Erbil which opened in September 2006, and the American University of Iraq in Suleimaniah,
which started its first programme in autumn 2007.
 A new, liberal foreign investment law was ratified in June 2006, providing incentives for foreign investors
such as the possibility of owning land, up to 10-year tax holidays and easy repatriation of profits.
 The Kurdistan Region has international airports in Erbil and Suleimaniah, with direct flights to and from
Europe and the Middle East. Erbil International Airport has expanded considerably, adding a large new
terminal in 2010. IATA scheduled carriers that fly to the Kurdistan Region include Austrian Airlines,
Lufthansa, Royal Jordanian, Gulf Air and Middle East Airlines (MEA), and more IATA members are
planning to start flights to Erbil. Several charter companies also fly to the Kurdistan Region from Europe
and the Middle East.


for more info go to Kurdistanwebsite

The religion of Kurds

Yezidism

Distantly related to the Cult of Angels, Yezidism is a specifically Kurdish religion. Today all Yezidis are Kurds. There was a time when most Kurds were Yezidis. But Yezidis are still considered the living memory and conscience of the Kurds.

Confronted with the ruleing policy of the Ottoman caliphate, the Yezidis were unfairly denonced as Devil’s Worshipers, and fell victim to dreadful massacres over hundreds of years.

Yezidism recently opened up its secrets to the outside world. Its texts, rites and holy places became accessible. Still a mystery surrounds this religion.
Yezidism was long incorrectly described as a kind of Sufism. Yezidis holy men were recognized as Sufis. So were their religious hierarchy, and their prayers. Their pilgrimage to Shaykh Adi's shrine, (Shaykh Adi, 1073 -1162, preached Sufism) which takes place in the second week of October every year, in Lâlesh (North Iraq), was compared to the pilgrimage to Mecca.

But the Yezidi religion has little to do with Islam. For the Yezidis, Xwedê (“The One who created Himself”), the Universal Spirit, created the White Pearl, or the Original Cosmic Egg, and placed it on the back of the bird named Anfar, whom He created as well. But when Anfar took flight, the White Pearl fell off its back, and broke.


On Sunday, the first day of the Creation, Xwedê, in the First Epoch, gave birth to the angel Azâzil, also called Malak Tâwus (The Peacock Angel). Then Xwedê gave birth to another angel every day for the following six days. These seven angels were responsible for the material world, created from the remains of the original pearl.

Yezidis venerate Fire, Sun, Earth, Water and Air. They believe in symbiosis with nature. And they assign the greatest importance to moral principles such as honesty, pacifism and tolerance of other religions.

Contrary to ignorant legend, Yezidis do not believe in the personification of Evil. Good and?Evil coexist under God’s control. Man is solemnly responsible for his actions.? God gave him the ability to think, then to decide.

The Yezidis believe in reincarnation, through which they reach a new level.?But because this, it is impossible to convert to Yezidism. You have to be born a Yezidi. The Yezidis are divided in two different castes, the group of the lawmen “murid”, and he group of the religious men, this one being subdivided into the castes of the Sheikhs and the Pirs. The castes in the Yezidi religion define mainly religious functions.?Contact between the castes being crucial for the preservation of the religion.

Today there are between six hundred thousand and one million Yezidis, mostly in Iraqi Kurdistan (where their holy town of Lâlesh is situated), and in Western Europe. Some other communities are located around Cizre and Mardin in Turkey, Northeastern Syria, Georgia and in Armenia.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Kurdish culture
  • Cons:NONE
  • In a nutshell:A journy to the Authentic Kurdish culture and memorable experience
  • Intro Updated Feb 3, 2012
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Robin020

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