Duhok's city center is a growing metropolitan hub but feels family- and clan-oriented.
Duhok is at the nexus of Rojava, Basure, and Northern Kurdistan. Duhok means small village in Kurdish, and is also transliterated as Dohuk, Dehok, or Dahok. It is known in Syriac as ܢܘܗܕܪܐ Nohadra.
Duhok is the center of the Badini Kurdish population. The city is in a wide valley with the White Mountain to the north, the Dakhan/Shinodohkha Mountain to the south, and Mamseen Mountain to the east. The Sumeal plain is to the east. Two rivers meet in the southwest of the city and are essential for irrigating the intense agricultural output of the area. It is shaped like an irregular rectangle. There is an oil pipeline inits northwest. Also, it has a strategic international road.
Duhok city is the capital of Duhok District, which in turn is capital of Duhok Governorate. Duhok city is in an extended wide alley, bound by White Mountain to the north and the great Dahkan (Shindoxa) mountain to the south. Two small river flow in the city: Duhok River, which flows north-south from Khaziava village (it has an irrigation daw built on it at Gali Duhok). The second river is small and is called Hishkarow river, hich comes from the northeast near Barebuhar village and to the southwest. Both rivers meet in the southwest of the city. The water of both rivers is used for irrigating riverside orchards.
It is strategically located between Gali Duhok and Gali Kashafer, which lead to Darala Sheikha Gali. These narrow passages had roads and paths connected to Assyria, Urartians, Kutians, and Mitanians.
Duhok (district center)
Gundi Lower Malta
Gundi Upper Malta
Hartman the historian thinks that it was known as (Jahok) in the reign of Bassious and there is
another opinion says that the word Duhok consists of two syllables (Dih) means the village and
(Ok) means or a sign of small things, so it means (the small village) and there is a third opinion
which we support it more than the rest, says that the word (Duhok) contains two words (Du)
means (two) in Kurdish language and (Hok) means (lump), so they mean (two lumps) as a sign
of receiving taxes because some historians and story- tellers said that the prince of Duhok city
(Ak- Shindow) in the reign of Nouzi Kingdom was taking two lumps from the baskets as a tax
from the passing caravans which carried wheat and barley. The words(Geri Bassi) are another
clue to show that the third opinion is true, (Geri Bassi) was the position used as a check point and
this point lies in the entrance of Duhok narrow passage.
Duhok city joined to Badinan Emirate in the reign of Sultan (Hassan Beck Bin AL- Emir
Saifadeen) who died in (٩٤٠H.), its castle witnessed murdering one of the princes of Badinan
Emirate (Qubad Beak Bin Sultan Hussein Wali) who ruled from (٩٨١ H.) to (٩٨٩ H.), Duhok
city remained under the control of the Emirate until its collapse in (١٨٤٢ AC.) then it was joined
to Mosul Brigade and after that Duhok territory was formed in (١٢٩٠ H.)(١٨٧٣ AC). When
Mosul Brigade was collapsed by British armies and after the first world war, the management of
Duhok territory was given to an Iraqi official called (Ahmed Azawi) he was the chief of the
police in the territory and became the assistant of the political ruler. Then Sir line was appointed
as the political ruler of Duhok territory untill the foundation of Iraqi goverment, so (Fatah beck)
was appointed to be the Mayor of the territory and started in ١st of April, ١٩٢٢. In ٢٧th of May,
١٩٦٩ Duhok governorate was formed and the city became the center of the governorate.
Duhok city is famous of having many fruit fields and celebrated grapes but in the recent years
and according to Baath policy seeking to deprive the Kurdish citizen from his land, therefore the
government registered the lands and fields in the name of Duhok municipality then changed
them into residential areas, so nothing left except the fields on the banks of both rivers which
give alot of resources and income to the citizens who depend on agriculture to earn their living.
The city is extended constructively from its southern, western and eastern sides after the
emigration processes from villages and country- sides by AL- Ba`ath regime, therefore a lot of
them refuged inside the city and made its parts public residential guarters and after the public
uprising the commercial movement was flourished and it became an important trade center in
Kurdistan Region. The city is surrounded by mountains from three directions, the White
mountain in the north, Shindokha mountain in the south and Mamseen mountain in the east while
in the western direction, the city is opened to Sumeal agricultural plain.
In ٢٦th of October, ١٩٩١ the Interior Ministry of Iraqi regime issued a law numbered (٥٩٤) to
pull out the official s and establishments from the governorare but no- one carried that order out
and the offices continued in their work and to give services to the citizens under the supervision
of Kurdistan Forehead until the selection of the parliament in ١٩th of May, ١٩٩٢ and the
formation of Kurdistan Region Government in ٤th of July, ١٩٩٢. Then a new governer was
appointed for the governorate he started his duties in ١٠th of September, ١٩٩٢.
Duhok city is the center of the governorate and the territory. The territory area is about (١٠٧)
sqkm. It contains (٧) villages and they are (Upper Malta, Lower Malta, Gavarik, Shindokha,
Shakheki, Baroshki and Nizarki) and these villages became quarters of the city.
It has about 500,000 inhabitants, mostly consisting of Kurds and Assyrians. According to some sources, the name "Dohuk" comes from Kurmanji Kurdish meaning "small village".
Circled by mountains along the Tigris river, Dahuk has a growing tourist industry. Dahuk's population grew extremely since the 1990s as the rural population moved to the cities, mostly consisting of Kurds though. The University of Dohuk, founded in 1992, is a renowned center for teaching and research in Dohuk.
Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States during the Iraq War, Dohuk and Iraqi Kurdistan in general have remained the only safe places for foreigners. No reconstruction was necessary as no fighting occurred there while there has been considerable foreign investment, especially from Turkish businesses. Today, many new buildings, shops and minimalls can be seen unlike in areas outside Kurdish control. http://www.i-acci.org/News/dhok.htm
The city's strategic importance dates back to Assyrian times when the roads passing through it connected the empire with other ancient kingdoms. It was part of the Badinan Emirate, a Kurdish principality like the principalities of Baban and Soran, which contracted or expanded as the powers ruling the area (the Ottoman Empire or Persia) became stronger or weaker. ... St Thomas the Apostle (Doubting Thomas) is said to have passed through the Dohuk area en route to India. Dabrowska and Hann, p 176