|Regions with significant populations|
|North Mesopotamian Arabic
Syriac, Kurdish & Turkish
|Related ethnic groups|
|other Semitic peoples
The Mhallami, or Mhalmites, (Arabic: محلّمى, Mḥallamī; Syriac: ܡܚܠܡܝ̈ܐ, Mḥallmāye/Mḥallmoye; Turkish: Mıhellemi) are a Semitic people originating from the Assyrian/Syriac people. They originally spoke Aramaic and were Eastern Rite Christians, but are now primarily speakers of North Mesopotamian Arabic (qiltu variant) and Sunni Muslims of Shafi`i madh'hab.
"A small minority of the Syriacs, around 1%, has converted to Islam, but remain Syriac in culture and language... The flag of the Muslim Syriac minority is a vertical tricolor of violet, yellow and green, bearing a white crescent moon and five-pointed star on the upper hoist." Sir Mark Sykes, in his book 'The Caliph’s Last Heritage', p. 578 says that 'the Mahallemi' became Muslim to be able to eat meat during a Lenten famine. He writes, 'They speak a bastard Arabic, and their women wear red clothes and do not veil.
Mhallami of Lebanon
Lebanon had a population of 70,000 to 100,000 Mhallami prior to Lebanese Civil War. Their origin and legal status became a particular concern when they started to seek asylum in Western European countries en masse in early 1980s.
The first Mhallami cultural association of Turkey was founded in February 2008 in Hapsınas (Mercimekli) village of Midyat where the people still speak fluent Syriac. The association, jointly with the Syriac Cultural Association of Midyat, had organised the first international Mhallami conference in August 2008. Most of Mhallamis in Turkey live in Mardin and their famous place is Yerköy. It is a village that well known by the other name is Binardke. There are also 25 villages like that in the region.
- Organisierte Kriminalität: Schrecklich nette Familien; Spiegel Online (German)
- Nations Without States: A Historical Dictionary of Contemporary National Movements. by James Minahan (1996, Greenwood Press) p. 247f.
- Die Libanon-Flüchtlinge in Berlin Ralph Ghadban (German)
- Heinrich Freckmann, Jürgen Kalmbach: Staatenlose Kurden aus dem Libanon oder türkische Staatsangehörige? (Ergebnis einer Untersuchung vom 08.–18. März 2001 in Beirut, Mardin und Ankara), Hannover, Hildesheim, 2001; S. 3–4 (German)
- Mıhellemi Kültürü Üzerine Dernek Midyat'ta Kuruldu Bianet (Turkish)
- Mıhellemiler Hakkında mhalmi.com (Turkish)
- 1. Uluslar Arası Mıhellemi Konferansı Midyatsesi (Turkish)