Al Khalis, (Khalis or Al Khales), is a town roughly 15 kilometers (9 mi) north of Baqubah in one of the six districts of the Diyala Governorate. In the Arabic language, Al Khalis translates to the word pure. However, the name and the word hark back to the imperial Caliphate, Persian and Ottoman times when "Khalisa" stood for "exclusive", meaning the royal land/royal property exclusive to the royal house.
Al Khalis now is a collection of many neighbourhoods which was built around a tiny farming village known as Alibat. Alibat is a small farming village inhabited by a mix of sunnis and shia whom together coexisted and intermarried each other. Alibat is a compound word which translates to "Ali Sleptover". Ali is the cousin of prophet Mohammed and also the fourth Khalif in Islam. There is no historical record indicating that Ali indeed slept over in the village.
The Khalis district previously housed the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI, MEK, MKO) in Camp Ashraf. They are currently being housed at the former Camp Liberty near Baghdad International Airport. Ashraf City residents are all considered as "protected persons," under the Fourth Geneva Convention. However, this has not been upheld since the departure of coalition forces.
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