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Sulaymaniyah (Kurdish: سلێمانی, Silêmanî; Arabic: السليمانية, as-Sulaymāniyyah), also called Slemani, is a city in Iraqi Kurdistan. Sulaymaniyah is surrounded by the Azmer Range, Goyija Range and the Qaiwan Range in the northeast, Baranan Mountain in the south and the Tasluja Hills in the west. The city has a semi-arid climate with very hot dry summers and cool wet winters. Sulaymaniyah served as the capital of the historic Kurdish principality of Baban from 1784 to 1850.
Sulaymaniyah city montage
|• Governor||Haval Abobakir |
|Elevation||882 m (2,895 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (UTC+3)|
|• Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC)|
The modern city of Sulaymaniyah was founded on 14 November 1784 by the Kurdish prince Ibrahim Pasha Baban who named it after his father Sulaiman Pasha.
The region of Sulaymaniyah was known as Zamwa prior to the foundation of the modern city in 1784. The capital of the Kurdish Baban principality (1649–1850), before Sulaymaniyah was a territory named "Qelaçiwalan". At the time of the Babani's rule there were major conflicts between the Safavid dynasty and the Ottoman Empire. Qelaçiwalan became a battleground for the two rivals.
Being of strategic importance and lying deep inside Safavid territory, there was concern that Qelaçiwalan would be attacked and captured if the Babani did not give the Safavids military support, as both Sultan Mahmud II and Nader Shah were trying to gain the support of the dispersed Kurdish Emirates. This obliged Mahmud Pasha of Baban in 1781 to think about moving the center of its Emirate to another safer place. He chose Melkendî, then a village but now a district in central Sulaymaniyah, to construct a number of Serahs for his political and armed units.
In 1783, Ibrahim Pasha of Baban became ruler of the Emirate and began the construction of a new city which would become the capital of the Baban Emirate. In 1784 he finished erecting a number of palaces for trade called Qeyserîs and bazaars, which were also used as baths, and began inviting people from the surrounding villages and Emirates to move to the newly established city. Soon Melkendî, which was originally intended to be the city itself, instead became one of its quarters and still is today. The new city of Sulaymaniyah was named after Sulaiman Baba who was the first Baban prince to gain control of the province of Shahrizor and its capital, Kirkuk. Sulaiman Baba invaded Iran, defeating forces from the principality of Ardalan in 1694. Ottoman Sultan Mustafa II assigned him the district of Baban, which included the town of Kirkuk.
In the early 1800s refugees from Ardalan moved to Sulaymaniyah including Mastura Ardalan, the widow of Khasraw Khani Ardalan, the ruler of the kingdom. Ardalan wrote an account of Kurdish history in Persian and was buried in Sulaymaniyah when he died in 1848.
In 1820, only 26 years after the creation of the city, a British man named Rech visited the city and estimated that its population was more than ten thousand, containing 2,144 families of which 2,000 were Muslim, 130 Jewish, and 14 Christian. Ottoman documents from 1907 suggest that there were 8,702 Muslim and 360 non-Muslim residents living in the city at that time. The Peshkawtin newspaper which was distributed in Sulaymaniyah in 1920 estimated its population to be around ten thousand. In September 2016, the First new Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Kurdistan was built in Sulaymaniyah.
According to Iraqi government documents, by 1947 the number of residents had increased to 23,475; by 1998 to 548,747, and in 2009 to 2,000,000.
Geography and climateEdit
The city is located in northern Iraq. Of the main population centers in the country, it is characterized by its cooler summer temperatures and its rainier winters. Average temperatures range from 0 °C (32 °F) to 39 °C (102 °F). In the winters, there can be a significant amount of snow.
Snow is not frequent in winter, but snow has fallen in Sulaymaniyah in January 2008, January 2010, February 2010, February 2011, March 2012, January 2013, and January 2015.
|Climate data for Sulaymaniyah|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−0.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||129
|Source: Climate-Data.org (altitude: 849m)|
Public education is free from primary school until graduation from university. The University of Sulaymaniyah was opened in 1968 with instruction in Kurdish, Arabic, and English. It has faculties in engineering, agriculture, the arts, science, and medicine. It is the largest university in South Kurdistan.
A new University of Sulaymaniyah was established in 1991, teaching in Kurdish, English and Arabic. And the second new university is Sulaimani Polytechnic University was established in 2012, teaching in Kurdish, English and Arabic.
In 2007 The American University of Iraq – Sulaimani, (AUI-S) was a new addition to the American universities in the Middle East, graduating its fifth class in 2016. Instruction at this private, not-for-profit liberal arts university is in English only, featuring a US-accredited program in English as a Second Language (ESL).
The Komar University of Science and Technology, (KUST) - Sulaymaniyah was established and licensed by the Ministry of High Education and Scientific Research in Kurdistan Region Government, by the official letter no. 17867/7 on 18 October 2009. KUST is a private university governed by a Board of Trustees and run by an Administration Council. Its main campus is located in Sulaymaniyah. KUST offered its first teaching classes in 2010 with an English language summer course (levels 1 and 3).
Sulaymaniyah is considered the center of the Sorani Kurdish culture in Kurdistan. It is recognized officially as the cultural capital of South Kurdistan. Development of Sorani as a modern literary language started in this city in the early 19th century, when many Kurdish poets such as Nalî, Piramerd, Muhamed Amin Zaki, Abdulla Goran, Muhamad Salih Dilan, Ahmad Hardi, Ibrahim Ahmad, Nuri Sheikh Salih Sheikh Ghani Barzinji, Sherko Bekas, and Bachtyar Ali published their works.
The city is known for its open, relatively liberal and tolerant society when compared to other cities of Kurdistan. According to Al-Jazeera, the city has a Chinatown as a result of attracting foreign investment. Around 500 Chinese people reside in the city according to Al Arabiya.
Sulaymaniyah is the only city in South Kurdistan that regularly celebrates world music day or Fête de la Musique. In one trip to the city, a journalist working for the BBC wrote about Sulaymaniyah's distinct culture: "Culture is hugely important to the Kurdish people, especially in Sulaymaniyah, but there is a strong pull to the west--modernisation and consumerism--driven perhaps by the satellite televisions they have had access to since they started running their own affairs...And at the university, students mill around the campus, chattering with each other and doing some last-minute cramming for their exams. The war only stopped lectures for a few weeks. There are probably more women than men and they are happy to air their views to anyone who asks."
Since 2003 Iraq has seen a huge economic boom. Sulaymaniyah's economy today relies on tourism, agriculture[better source needed] and a number of small factories, most of which are involved in the building trade.
In 2004 the Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis in Iraq released an in-depth survey of the Sulaymaniyah Governorate in which they surveyed each city. In this survey one can see the economic boom of 2003 mentioned earlier.
The city was visited by more than 60,000 tourists in 2009. Sulaymaniyah attracted more than 15,000 Iranian tourists in the first quarter of 2010, many drawn by the fact it is not subject to strict laws faced at home. Newroz 2010 drew an exodus of Iranian tourists choosing to celebrate the event in the region.
- Sulaimani Museum: It is the second biggest museum after the national museum in Baghdad. It is home to many Kurdish and ancient Persian artifacts dating back to 1792–1750 BC.
- Amna Suraka Museum (Kurdish:"Red Intelligence Museum"): Located in a former Ba'ath intelligence headquarters and prison, it draws particular attention to the Ba'ath regime's brutal treatment of local Kurds. Visitors are guided through the prisons and interrogation rooms. The museum features many Soviet-era armored fighting vehicles, also it's defined as a dedicated museum for Sulaymaniyah only.
- Hadhrat Mawlânâ Khâlid-i Baghdâdî (1779–1827), sufist and Islamic thinker
- Haji Kak Ahmedi Sheikh grandfather of king Mahmood Barzanji, (1792 - 1876), Islamic scholar and mufti.
- Salim (1800–1866), poet.
- Nalî (1800–1873), poet.
- Mahwi (1830–1906), poet.
- Said Pasha Kurd, (1834-1907), Ottoman statesman.
- Mustafa Zihni Pasha (1838–1911), Ottoman official, Kurdish nationalist.
- Saeb (1854–1910), poet.
- Şerif Pasha, (1865-1951), Ottoman diplomat, ambassador and statesman.
- Mustafa Yamulki (1866-1936), Minister of Education in the Kingdom of Kurdistan.
- Haji Mala Saeed Kirkukli Zada (1866–1937), Minister of Justice in the Kingdom of Kurdistan.
- Piramerd Tawfeq Mahmoud Hamza, (1867–1950), poet and journalist.
- Mahmood Barzanji (1878–1956), king of Kurdistan (1922–1924)
- Muhamed Amin Zaki (1880–1948), historian, statesman and politician.
- Mufti Penjweni (1881–1952), poet.
- Mala Abdul Karimi Muddaris (1905–2005), Muslim scholar.
- Taufiq Wahby (1891–1984), linguist, politician and poet.
- Sheikh Nuri Sheikh Salih Sheikh Ghani Barzinji (1896–1958), journalist and poet.
- Ahmad Mukhtar Baban (1900–1976), prime Minister of Iraq 1958.
- Abdulla Goran (1904–1962), founder of modern Kurdish poetry
- Ibrahim Ahmad (1914–2000), novelist, poet and translator.
- Jamal Nebez (born 1933), linguist.
- Nawshirwan Mustafa (1944-2017), politician, historian and media proprietor.
- Ahmad Hardi (1922—2006), poet.
- Sherko Bekas (1940-2013), contemporary poet.
- Bachtyar Ali (born 1960), novelist
- Mariwan Kanie (born 1966), intellectual.
- Barham Salih (born 1960) politician.
- Muhamad Salih Dilan (1927–1990), musician and poet.
- Shahab Sheikh Nuri (1932–1976), politician.
- Dilshad Meriwani, (1947-1989), actor, poet, writer and journalist.
- Rizgar Mohammed Amin (born 1958), judge.
- Mahmoud Othman (born 1938), politician.
- Xalîd Reşîd (born 1968), musician
- Taha Baban, author, actor and lawyer
- Adnan Karim, (born 1953), artist
- Ali al-Qaradaghi, (born 1949), Islamic scholar and economist
- Islamic Republic of Iran, Girdi Consulkhana
Twin towns – sister citiesEdit
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BAGHDAD, Jan 11 (KUNA) -- snow fell on large areas of Iraq following two days of low temperatures.
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Sulaimaniya (NINA) –The city of Sulaimaniya witnessed a heavy fall of snow that covered the entire city since Monday midnight. Reporter of the National Iraqi News Agency said “The citizens of Sulaimaniya woke up on Tuesday morning to see their city covered with snow and the street painted in white color.”
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An unusually heavy snowstorm blanketed Sulaimaniya city, in northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, on Saturday (January 12) as severe weather conditions continue to sweep through the region.
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Media related to Sulaymaniyah at Wikimedia Commons