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Romani people in Iraq

  (Redirected from Kawliya)

The Kawliya or Qawliya (Arabic: كاولية or كاولي‎), also known as Zott and Ghorbati (known in English as Gypsies), is a community in Iraq of Indian origin, estimated to number over 60,000 people. Today they speak mostly Arabic, while their ethnolect is a mixture of Persian, Kurdish and Turkish, only spoken by the older generations. The largest tribes are the Bu-Baroud, Bu-Swailem, Bu-Helio, Bu-Dakhil, Bu-Akkar, Bu-Murad, Bu-Thanio, Bu-Shati, Al-Farahedah, Al-Mtairat, Bu-Khuzam, Bu-Abd, Bu-Nasif, Bu-Delli and Al-Nawar. Their main occupation is entertainment, and also small trades.

Gypsies (Kawliya / Zott / Ghorbati)
in Iraq
Total population
50,000+ (est.)
Arabic and Domari
Related ethnic groups
Gypsies in Syria

The Kawliya migrated from India approximately 1,000 years ago. Under the secular rule of Saddam Hussein, they lived peacefully among other ethnic groups.

Kawliya is also the name of a former village in the Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate near Al Diwaniyah, located about 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, where they live.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Shadid, Anthony (3 April 2004). "In a Gypsy Village's Fate, An Image of Iraq's Future". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 October 2016.

Further readingEdit