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Duhok- Sheikhan Territory

The center is Ainsifene town and now it is out of the control Region Government so the center is transferred to Atrosh town, the word (Sifen) means wooden in Aramya and mentioned by this name in kildan sources, in books of Buldaneans like Iben Futi and Shamsadeen Thahabi by this name, but it was named Sheikhan because of the existance of tombs belonged to Sheiks (religious men like the tombs of sheik Addi Bin Musafer Hakari, beside the tombs of sheiks (Hassan, Shams and Fakheradeen).

Sheikhan territory is considered to be a small Emirate appeared on the ruins of lower Dassen Emirate in the sixth Hegri century. The abode of the prince is in (Ba`adri) village, but the administrative territory is Ainsifene town. The territory border has been shrunk after 14th of July, 1958. Bashik district has been skinned from the territory in (1959) and joined to Mosul territory and then to Hamdanya territory.


AL-Qush district has been skinned from the territory in (1970) and joined to Telkef territory, two districts remained within Sheikhan and they are Mizouri and Mereba.

Sheikhan is one of the territories which suffered clearly from arabicised policy and by the displacement of the Kurdish citizens from their villages to enforced collective towns specially built to inhabit them. Their agricultural lands have been taken from them and given to Arabic families inhabited in the Kurdish villages. The Kurdish families have been dismissed from the territory center after the relapse of (1975) and sent outside the territory, the Kurdish Azideans have been displaced from their villages and inhabited in near (Mahat and Ba`adri) collective towns.

The nature of the territory lands are mountainous with some plain areas beside the plain land of Mereba district which is regarded an extension to Nafkor plain (Marge plain) and Barbin plain, these plains are well-known in fertile lands, different types of cereal is grown in addition to growing summer crops getting benefit from the water of Gomil and Khabir rivers.

The most important mountains in the territory are Khere, Atrish, Berifka, Sheikh Addi and Chiyapank. In the territory, there are several ancient positions belonged to the Assyrian reign such as:

1- Khenis remains

They were mentioned in Assyrian writings, in the near by, there are carves and an irrigating orgnizer belonged to the reign of king Sanhareeb in (691 BC) they brought pure and fresh water from Gomil river to Ninava the capital by a canal built by stones in some places, the distance was about (80)KM. Sanhareeb put hewns near Khenis village carved in the foot of right bank of the river, these hewns represented him standing in front of the Assyrian gods standing on special animals belonged to them, there are cuneiform writings near the hewns in which Sanhareeb described his project to provide water to Mosul and some other deeds also mentioned the destruction of Babylon city. A visitor may see a statue from stones in this place falling in the water, the statue contains pictures of winged oxen. Near the statue there is the front of the canal carved in the foot of the mountain with gates to orgnize the water, some of them were seen in the recent years, some of the remains were used as temples for monks in the late ages.

2- Charwana viaduct

It is one of the eighteen canals had been dug for water flow in Sanhareeb project to supply water to Ninava, stones were used in building the canal which reached two million stones, the average of each stone was (50*50*65)CM with five curves. A delegation from Chicago university inspected this viaduct in (1932- 1934) and found a chamber belonged to Sanhareeb, in the chamber he put down information about the builiding of this viaduct.

3- A number of tombs and sacred places are found in the territory like the tombs of Sheikh Addi in Lalish valley, (Takiya) a place for worshiping the God belonged to the famous poet Sheikh Nur Deen in Berifka, beside a large number of caves, hills and ancient positions and locations. The territory area is about (1333) sqkm and contains (115) villages with two districts, they are:

1- Mizouri district

The center is Atrosh town and it is the center of Sheikhan territory, it joins Duhok governorate by a paved road which joins Duhok city to Akri territory and Erbil governorate. The villages of the district were destroyed before and during Anfal campaign except the district center and the citizens were displaced and instead of them, some Arabic Families were inhabited in the area.

The district is well-known in having dense forests and excellent pasture lands, the people get benefit from them in breeding the cattle. Also the people depend on agriculture to earn their living by growing winter crops like wheat, barley, chick-peas, lentils and others getting benefit from Shemkan plain in addition to the flat and plain lands on the sides of Gomil river, they grow fruitful trees like apples, pears, peaches, pomegranates and fields of different kinds of grapes beside summer crops such as rice, tomatoes, vegetables and tobacco which is considered to be a famous crop in the district by getting benefit from the water of spread springs, rivers and Belkeb, Belan and Azakh small rivers. The most important mountains in the district are Khere, Sari Atrish, Berifka, Geli-Qerik and Zirwa, there are many places which are suitable to be resorts to receive tourists coming for rest and tourism if attention is given to them like Geli Belkeb, Duhok Archaeology Office listed (56) ancient locations in the district like Zaradishta fire bench in Basifri and Beri caves.

After the holy uprising and the formation of Region Government, the hands of building and reconstruction reached the villages.

2- Mereba district

The center is Chera enforced collective town. The district joins to territory center by a paved road, it contains (72) villages were destroyed and the Kurdish citizens were displaced before Anfal campaign and inhabited in enforced collective towns like (Chera, Kalakchi, Qassrok) while the villages in the plain were inhabited by Arabic tribes (Hadideens and Laheebs) and the Kurdish citizens were displaced. Also Azideens were displaced from their villages in Bassik area (Mamrasha, Muska, Muqoble, Mahmmuda, Betnar, Baqassri, Kis castle, Kandala, Chirwana) and inhabited in Mahat collective town.

The district lands are famous in having fertile plains and with high rates of production since they are extension to Nafkor plain (Murage plain).

The people earn their living by growing winter crops like wheat, barley, chick-peas, lentils and others in addition to summer crops like rice, potatoes, tomatoes, sesame, sun-seed flowers and other types of vegetables getting benefit from the water of Gomil and Khazir rivers, khazir river forms the eastern border for the district beside the water of spread springs and surface wells which are well-known in their flowing. The people are interested in breeding the cattle.

(Cheya pank-Sari Kokhia) mountain forms the northern border for the district, there are many archaeological locations in the knolls and hills of (Mila Basseka) and they are still in sight.

After the holy uprising and the formation of Region Government, the Arabic tribes left the Kurdish villages and places and the original Kurdish citizens returned to their villages and started to look after their lands, the Region Government with NGOs take part in the erection and reconstruction operations.

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