About 200 Jewish families live here, whose Nassi is Mailum Jacob. Benjamin II (1859), p 78
The modern-day village this is connected to is not clear. Its name at first seems to suggest 'Barzan' but the author clearly pinpoints it in the Nahla valley between Akre and Pires. There is a village called Barzinar is the valley which might be the modern location. Because the author went on to summit Pires from here, I think it must be very close to there.
From Akra I proceeded over the Chair-mountain to Birsani. ... We reached the ancient town of Birsani, built on the summit of a mountain. (The town lies upon a hill between the Chair and Zibari mountains.) Benjamin II (1859), p 78
There was no proper bath for the women, as is prescribed by the religious laws, and I made representation upon this subject to the Elders of the community, when it was promised that this deficiency should be supplied. The ignorance of our Jewish brethren here is so great that they are not even capable of reciting a prayer; and nowhere, I must confess with pain, did I find them in such a debased state, and sunk in such moral degradation, as here. In company with a brother Israelite named Jonas, son of the Nassi Mailum Jacob of Birsani, and a Kurdish guide belonging to the Nestorian sect, I left the town. Benjamin II (1859), p 78-79
My weakened frame did not allow me to proceed further into the mountains [from Sandu], and I therefore returned to Birsani, in order to see if the promised bath for the women had been constructed. The community was assembled, the bath was soon arranged, and was solemnly consecrated; after which I made several improvements in their rites and ceremonies which were not in accordance with our customs and rules. Benjamin II (1859), p 71
Speaking of the route between Birsani and Akre,
No caravans pass through the recesses of the mountains I wished to investigate. The locality is the most desolate and dismal that can be imagined ... little known even to the inhabitants of the country, and but seldom visited. Rocky mountains and deep hollows in which enormous hordes of robbers conceal themselves, are the principal features of this wilderness. It was only with the greatest trouble that we could advance, and we were aways obliged to be on our guard, as we were not safe for a moment. Benjamin II (1859), p 78
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