Ain Sifni

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Ain Sifni
A street in Ain Sifni
A street in Ain Sifni
Ain Sifni is located in Iraq
Ain Sifni
Ain Sifni
Location in Iraq
Coordinates: 36°41′30″N 43°21′00″E / 36.69167°N 43.35000°E / 36.69167; 43.35000Coordinates: 36°41′30″N 43°21′00″E / 36.69167°N 43.35000°E / 36.69167; 43.35000IQ
Country  Iraq
Governorate Mosul Governorate
District Shekhan

Ain Sifni (Syriac: ܥܝܢ ܣܦܢܐ‎, Arabic: عين سفني‎‎, Kurdish: Şêxan‎, also called Shekhan or Ezidkhan) is a Yazidi village. It is one of the primary holy cities of the ethno-religious group of the Yazidis, and functions as a capital for them as it is the residence of the Princes of Shekhan, the leader of the Yezidi people, with the current prince being Tahseen Said. The city is also the seat of the Shekhan District in the Dohuk Governorate province in Iraqi Kurdistan.[1]

The town is mainly populated by Yezidis, with a small minority of Assyrian Christians in two churches.[2][3] The languages spoken in the town are the Kurdish dialect of Kurmanji, Arabic and Chaldean Neo-Aramaic.[4]


The name of the town comes from Aramaic, the language spoken by the native people of the town, the Assyrians. Its name comes from the words "aina," meaning "[water] spring," and "sapanna," meaning "sailor." The name of the town means "[water] spring of the sailor."


Beginning on August 10, 2014, Yazidi refugees have been fleeing to the town and Lalish from Sinjar through Syria after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant placed that city under siege.[5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Basic information about Shekhan District" (PDF). Christian Aid Program in Iraq. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ First Church-,35628.html
  3. ^ Second Church-,35598.html
  4. ^ "What you did not know about Iraq’s Yazidi minority". Al Arabiya News (Al Arabiya Network). Al Arabiya Institute for Studies. August 11, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Iraq crisis: the last stand of the Yazidis against Islamic State". The Telegraph. August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  6. ^ Soguel, Dominique (August 12, 2014). "World Middle East A sanctuary for Iraqi Yazidis – and a plea for Obama's intervention". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ Spencer, Richard (August 13, 2014). "Iraq dispatch: terrified Yazidi people seek refuge inside holy temple". The Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group Limited). Retrieved August 13, 2014.