Amadiya

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For the Ahmadi religious movement, see Ahmadiyya.
Amadiya
"Amediyah", "Amadia", "Amedi", "al-Amadiyah"
Amadiya bird's eye view
Amadiya bird's eye view
Amadiya is located in Iraq
Amadiya
Amadiya
Coordinates: 37°05′33″N 43°29′14″E / 37.09250°N 43.48722°E / 37.09250; 43.48722
Country  Iraq
Autonomous region  Kurdistan
Founded Before 3000 B.C.
Elevation 3,900 ft (1,200 m)
Population
 • Total 6,000
Time zone GMT +3
 • Summer (DST) GMT +3 (UTC)
Badinan Gate in Amedia, August 2009

Amadiya (Kurdish: Amêdî, also spelled "Amediyah", "Amadia", "al-Amadiyah" or other variations), is a small Assyrian and Kurdish town along a tributary to the Great Zab in the Dahuk Governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan.[1] The town is perched on a mountain, formerly only accessible by a narrow stairway cut into the rock. The history of this city goes back to 3000 years B.C. to the time of ancient Assyria, since it has always been a strategic place as it is built on the flat top of a mountain. For several centuries, after the expulsion of the caliphs from Baghdad, it was ruled by a pasha, a prince who was from the royal Abbas family, reputed to be one of the richest rulers in the region.[2] Amedi was the seat of the semi-autonomous Badinan Emirate, which lasted from 1376 to 1843.

The region in which the city rests is also believed to have been the home of the Magi or priests of Ancient Persia. Amedia is believed to be the home of some of the most significant Magi priests, the Biblical Magi or the "Three Wise Men", who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to see Jesus Christ shortly after his birth.[3]

There are also ruins from the Assyrian era and ruins of a synagogue and a church in the small town. At the turn of the 19th century, the population already numbered 6,000, of whom 2,500 were Kurds, 1,900 Jews and 1,600 Assyrians. [4]

Although Amedia is just 10 12 miles (16.9 km) from the Turkish border across the Beshesh Mountains, the only border crossing into Turkey is now at Ibrahim Khalil border on the road Amedia - Dohuk - Zakho, 56 miles (90 km) away. There was formerly a border crossing at Habur. Proximity to the border means that at the current time, the Turkish army has an unofficial military presence within the town, despite being deep within the Autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq. The city is situated 4,600 feet (1,400 m) above sea level. It is 1,100 yards (1,000 m) long and 550 yards (500 m) wide. It houses 6,000 citizens in almost 1,200 houses.[citation needed]

Amedia has a well-integrated community of Assyrians and Kurds that share the city and local social events.

The Jews of Amadiya[edit]

Amadiya was the birthplace of the pseudo-Messiah, David Alroy (fl. 1160). In 1163, according to Joseph ha-Kohen's "'Emeḳ ha-Baka", the Jewish population numbered about a thousand families and traded in gall-nuts. Alroy led a revolt against the city but was apparently defeated and killed in the process. [5] The Spanish Jewish historian R. Schlomo Ibn Verga (1450–1525) portrayed the Jewish community of Amedia at the time of Alroy as wealthy and contented. [6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Naval Intelligence Division (1944). Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Geographical Handbook Series. OCLC 1077604. 
  2. ^ Wright, George Newenham (1834). A New and Comprehensive gazetteer, Volume 1. T. Kelly. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  3. ^ Bailey, Betty Jane. Who are the Christians in the Middle East? Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (May 2003)
  4. ^ "Catholic Encyclopaedia". Appleton. 1907. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  5. ^ "Jewish Encyclopedia". 1906. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  6. ^ Lenowitz, Harris (1906). The Jewish Messiahs: From the Galilee to Crown Heights. Retrieved 2009-09-12.