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Nineveh (governorate) • נינוה • نەینەوا‎ • نينوى‎

Mosul/Nineveh Governorate is partially controlled by the Kurdistan Region.

alQosh is richly endowed with a plethora of historical sites such as the tomb of the Prophet Nohum. Lalish is the Yezidi's holiest site, located in a deep, green valley. It is required to be barefoot. Wednesday is the Yezidi's holy day, and Saturday is the Yezidi day of rest.

If this extensive plain, called a sterile waste, is but thinly peopled, it is not on account of the badness of the soil, which is good and was once cultivated, but owing to the insecurity caused by the ravages of the Yezidis, the Arabs, and the late Kurdish Bey of Rawandiz. ... If security was re-established, the inhabitants would speedily return from the mountains to re-occupy their now deserted villages, and the plain of Sinjar would be repeopled and cultivated as it was in former days. Wood, 1872, p 67

[Bar-Tela] has an aspect of opulence. The streets are paved, and the houses are solidly constructed. Besides their agricultural pursuits, the inhabitants weave linen for shirting, and hen dyed is also used for upper garments. All the Christian villages in the environs of Mosul, such as Al-Kush, the seat of the Syrian Patriarch, Tell-Uskuf, &c., are little towns, having from 500 to 1,000 houses. They are well-built, large, and commodious; and their inhabitants are better dressed, are at their ease, and their domestic arrangements have an appearance of comfort. Wood, 1872, p 69

At Tel Afar we find an interesting survival in the small Turkish settlement which still remains there. These Turks, who must have settled at Tel Afar early in the twelfth century, apparently lost all connection with the other invaders, and seem to have remained independent until the days of the reforms of Sultan Mahmud. At that time they were a thriving predatory indecent community. According to themselves, their history is as follows: They are escaped salves and runagates who settled in the ruins of the ancient city of Tel Afar. They formerly lived independently in a kind of commune, and, under an elected leader, held their own against the Shammar, even when the latter levied toll on Mosul. The great strength of the men of Tel Afar lay in the large and solidly built castle, the ruins of which now cover the hill overlooking the town. However, in the days of Reshid Pasha the Turks refused to admit the rights of the Constantinople Government, which reappeared, for the first time since the days of Heraklius, in those parts early in the thirties of the nineteenth century; consequently, the independent regime was brought to an end and the castle laid in ruins by a military expeditions. Sykes 1907, p 392

On the northern side of the Jebel Sinjar there is a particular salt marsh known as the Sea of Khatunieh; in the centre of this marsh here is an island connected with terra firma by a causeway. On the island there is a warren-like village inhabited by Arab fellahin. The village of Khatunieh is, I think, one of the most depressing spots I have ever visited, for its situation is gloomy and dreary beyond belief. The hills in the background are of a snuff-coloured yellow; the dull, brackish waters of the lake are darkened by rank black sedges, through which rustle an evil-smelling wind, heavy with the fume of the salt marshland; while the village itself is keeping with its surroundings, being only a collection of tumble-down huts, half built, half dug out of the ground, more like the lairs of wild beasts than the dwellings of human beings. Around the holes though which the inhabitants creep into these burrows, is collected the filth and rubbish of years, reeking with a sickening odour of decay. The miserable wretches who call these dens their homes are of the lowest of their race: diseased, poor, avaricious, and of such low mental calibre as to be almost half-witted. It would be hard to imagine more depressing company after a long and tedious journey. Yet they were loquacious, even beyond the wont of Arabs, and, chattering like apes, would give neither rest nor peace to me or my people until driven away by force. Sykes 1907, p 387


Wood, 1872

Richard Wood. Accounts and Papers of the House of Commons.

Sykes, 1907

Sykes, Mark. 1907. Journeys in North Mesopotamia.