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Duhok – Akri Territory

The center is Akri town, it is considered to be one of the large territories in the governorate. Akri was joined to Duhok governorate in 15th of July, 1992. The Region Goverment has appointed a Mayor for the territory and started in 14th of February, 1993.

The town is built on the extension of the mountain and the houses are graded nearby the summit in a beautiful way and forms a unique image which distinguishes the town than the rest of towns, it overlooks on two wide and deep valleys with fruit fields and inside the eastern valley, there is Seepa water fall which is visited by tourists to enjoy its beautiful view and the cool weather in the summer season in addition to the existance of Seedi Majthoub tomb. In the northern-western valley from the territory, there is the place of Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Gaylani which is famous in having plenty of water and dense trees, the narrow passage is named by his name, the place is visited by thousands of Dervishes and religious men for paying the visits. The building is extended right now and over the place, there is a mosque with a white dome.

Akri is one of the most ancient towns, its history belonged to chalky age which was the age of appearing villages and towns. It is thought that Akri was emerged in about (700 BC) as a settling center. It has been said that the one who established the town was called the prince (Zeyd) and named the town (Akri) because they were the followers of Zarashita and it is said that its name is derived from the Kurdish word (Agir) means fire.

In Akri there are locations affirm that the town was important before the birth of the Christ and after it. Some historians considered the town to be a part of Murage country and nearby there are ancient remains indicating a crowded history like (Showsh, Sharmin, Gondik).

It was mentioned in the books of Buldaneans Hamawi mentioned Akri in the dictionary of countries by saying (Agir is an invincible castle in Mosul mountains, the people of the castle are Kurds and it is in the eastern side of Mosul known by Agir Hamidiya). Iben Athear mentioned the town in many places and described the town of having a great deal of water and abundance of resources.

The town had a crowded history in the reign of the Kurdish prince (Issa Hamdi). In (528H) Emad Deen Zangi possessed the town and it was ruled by prince (Issa Hami) and when Badinan Emirate was established, Akri town submitted to the Emirate. The town was an important and strategic location for the Emirate, the town was ruled by one of the relatives of the pasha or a member from his family. The one who ruled the town from Mir Sevdina family was (Ismile Pasha the second) the last ruler of Badinan Emirate.

The first one who fortified the town was (Sultan Hussein Wali) in (956H).

The citizens depend on agriculture in both seasons in addition to fruit fields like olive, pomegranates, figs and peaches getting benefit from the water of spread springs in its valleys. Rice is grown widely and it is considered to be the best types of rice, beside the commerce since the town is considered to be the main commercial market in the area. In Akri, there are many sacred and archaeological locations like:

1- The carves of Gondik cave

Three carved scenes are found in the stone, two of them are outside the cave, the first scene or the upper one represents a standing hunter stabbed a mountainous goat and carrying a bow in his hands, wearing a short dress reached his knees and a belt in his waist, while the second scene or the lower one represents two people sitting on two chairs one is facing the other between them and behind them there are other people. It is thought that it is a scene of a feast or a festival like other familiarized scenes in the third thousand before the birth of the Christ.

The third scene is inside the cave on the right wall represnts a number of animals moving towards the man sitting on the chair.

The period of these carves is unknown but probably belonged to the end of the third thousand before the birth of the Christ since the people`s figures are similar to the images of Luluins in the carves of (Naramseen) or (Anubanini).

2- Akri castle

It lies on the top of the mountain which overlooks the town, in the castle, there are the remains of monasteries and carved caves in the face of the mountain.

3- Showsh castle

It was mentioned in the dictionary of countries as a very great and high castle, it lies to the north west of Akri town. It is said that Showsh castle is greater and higher than Akri castle, but smaller in area. The Showsh pomegranate seed is referred to Showsh. Many scientists, religious men and scholars appeared in Showsh castle.

4- The great Mosque

It is an ancient mosque and it is considered to be the greatest mosque in the town, the mosque lies in Sarai sector. It is said that the one who established the mosque was (Sultan Hussein Wali) and made a safe of books still some of them are existing at the present time.

After the formation of Region Government and the connection of the territory with Duhok governorate, the government offices continued supplying services to the citizens and many schools and health centers are opened. Electricity power and other projects are supplied to some villages.

The territory area is about (1047622) donnums and contains (16) villages beside the following districts: the seven tribes its center is Baradarash, Kirdaseen its center is Kirdaseen, Sowrichee its center is Bigeel, Nehele its center is Deenarta.

1- The seven tribes district

Its center is Baradarash town and joins the territory center by a paved road. It lies in the southern side of Nafkor plain which is famous in fertility and in its abundance in production. Baradarsh means the (black enterance) in Kurdish language.

The people depend on non-irrigated agriculture in their lands, therefore it is considered to be an important center in producing wheat, barley, chick-peas and lentils beside the summer crops like rice, tomatoes, onions, sun-seed flowers and other types of vegetables getting benefit from the water of spread wells for irrigation and they get benefit from the water of Khazir river by flowing brooks spread on the sides in addition to using water pumps.

They also breed the cattle and poultry. The district is regarded to be rich in resources, abundant production and flat plain lands. It was called (Murage) famous plain in geography in the books of Buldaneans with the exception of Baradarash heights. The people get benefit from (the great Zab) river which forms the eastern border for the district.

Duhok Archaeology Office recorded (33) ancient locations since the lands of the district are full of hills, some of these locations are: Bamrazi hill, Rovia, Zanganan, Hasithia, Gerdapan and others.

The district area is about (896) sqkm and contains (76) villages.

After the formation of Region Government, the district witnessed a quality leap since schools and health centers are spread in the villages and hundreds tons of seeds, chemical and agricultural medicines are distributed to farmers and the hands of erection and reconstruction reached the villages.

2- Gerdaseen district

The center is Gerdaseen town and joins to the territory center by a paved road.

Gerdaseen means (the green hill) in Kurdish language, the people depend on argriculture to earn their living specilly the one depends on the water of rains for irrigation since the district lands fall within the guaranteed rains area and also the lands fall within the famous plains (Nafkor- Murage) with fertility and abundance in production. The district is considered to be the main source in producing wheat, barley, chick-peas and lentils beside the summer crops like rice which is a famous product in the area, tomatoes, sun-seed flowers and other types of vegetables by getting benefit from the water of spread wells for irrigation in the villages, they also get benefit from the water of surface wells since the area is distinguished by the easiness of water flowing from these wells and in many cases they do not need water pumps to pull out water from the well but flows by itself.

The majority of the district lands are flat and plain with few simple hills and heights which are benefited in grazing the cattle which are regarded to be an important source in the life of the people who are famous in breeding the sheep and processing dairy products especially the cheese.

The district contains (88) villages. After the formation of Region Goverment, the district witnessed a development concerning the spread of schools and health centers. The hands of erection and reconstruction reached the villages in the district.

3- Sowrichee district

The center is Bigeel town. It lies to east of the territory center and joins to the territory by a paved road, it lies on the southern foot of (Sada) mountain in a valley full of farms, fruit trees and a flowing water fall.

The people depend on agriculture to earn their living especially non-irrigated crops because its lands are considered to be an extension to (Nafkor- Murage) plains with fertility and abundance in production. The lands are distinguished of having crescent hills and wavy areas. In plain areas, winter crops are grown like wheat, barley, chick-peas and lentils beside summer crops like rice with high quality called (Shash Mah). In some villages, fruit trees are grown like figs, peaches, pears, apples, pomegranates and others. The people get benefit from the water of spread springs in the villages for their agriculture in addition to the Brishow tributary which flows from the lands of Nahla district and passes in the middle of the district lands to the great (Zab) river beside the water of the great (Zab) river which forms the eastern border for the district. Beside the agriculture, the people are interested in breeding the cattle which are regarded to be an important source for their living, the most important mountain in the district is (Sada) which forms the northern border for the district. Duhok Archaeology Office listed (27) archaeological locations like Qalada castle which was mentioned in (Sharfnama) by this name and it was inhabited by the Kurds and of strategic importance in the reign of Badinan Emirate.

The district contains (44) villages. After the formation of Region Government, the district witnessed an important development, the strategic road from Duhok to Erbil passes in the middle of the district, (Qandil bridge) was built on the great (Zab) river. The hands of erection and reconstruction reached the villages and (Bekhma, Bey) villages were reconstructed once again.

4- Nahle district

In the past, its center was in (Pera Kapra) village but because of administrative reasons and the shortage in transportation roads, the center was transferred in (1955) to (Dinarta) village which joins the territory center by a paved road nowadays, (Dinarta) village lies in the middle of Nahla valley, to the north, there is Pires mountain and to the south, there is Zanta mountain and Sari Agiri mountain. The word (Nehal) which means low valley because it lies between two mountains (Pires) and (Sari Agiri).

The people depend on agriculture to earn their living, the area is well-known in growing rice beside the fruitful trees which spread in the recent years since they started to grow apples, peaches, pears, apricots and some natural plants (trees) like oaks, gallnuts and trees for wood and coal. Growing cereal is regarded to be the last degree of their interest like wheat, barley, lenrils and chick-peas grown in very small and narrow areas because the majority of its areas are mountainous with the exception of (Hareen) plain. The water of springs spread all over the district forms some small tributaries especially in Nahle area where Brishow small river flows, consisting of:

(A) Gerbeesh- Seyan- Shazana- Dinarta- Zanta- Zherava- the great Zab.

(B) Naqab- Amada- Zanta.

Beside the great Zab river which forms the northern eastern border for the district. They also get benefit from the water of the small river (Khazer) which flows from (Kafia) village and forms the northern western border for the district. The most important mountains in the district are (Sari Agiri) and (Sada). They form the southern border for the district, the famous mountain (Pires) divides the district lands in the middle, beside (Bani, Sari Helowra and Kadana) mountains.

Duhok Archaeology Office recorded (31) archaeological locations like Amada, Davari, Gerbeesh, Haran, Helowra, Pira Kapra and others.

There are many tourism places with natural views and fresh water like (Geli Zanta, Gerbeesh, Geli Pires, Geli Spindar near Amada village). The district lands are covered with dense forests including natural fruitful trees like oaks, gallnuts, wild pears and others.

The district contains (109) villages, the majority of these villages were destroyed before and during Anfal campaign, after the formation of Kurdistan Region Government, most of these villages were erected and reconstructed in the district once again.

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