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Ankawa is located in Iraqi Kurdistan
Ankawa is located in Iraq
Coordinates: 36°13′45″N 43°59′37″E / 36.22917°N 43.99361°E / 36.22917; 43.99361Coordinates: 36°13′45″N 43°59′37″E / 36.22917°N 43.99361°E / 36.22917; 43.99361
Country Iraq
Autonomous region Kurdistan Region
ProvinceErbil Governorate
 • Total30,000 (refugees included-100,000)[1]
 The town received thousands of primarily Christian Refugees from Baghdad and Mosul in 2014

Ankawa (Kurdish: Enkawa ,ئەنکاوە‎,[2][3] Syriac: ܥܲܢܟܵܒ̣ܵܐ‎, Arabic: عنكاوا‎, romanizedankāwā) is a predominantly Assyrian suburb of Erbil in Kurdistan Region, outside the city limits.[4] It is seen as the "Chaldean Quarter" of Erbil. It is located 8 kilometres (5 mi) north-north-west of downtown Erbil, just outside the ring road that is Erbil's city limits. Ankawa is also considered to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.[5]


Ankawa was originally called Beth Amka, which later morphed to Amku-Bad, Ankawa, and finally Ankawa. The name of the town is mentioned in Bar Hebraeus's book entitled "A Brief History of the Countries," where he states: "Mongolian troops attacked the area of Erbil on Sunday July 1285 and reached some villages.....including Ankawa." The shrine of Mary also known as "Mariamana was built after the ancient Roman designs. [6]

Ankawa has many archaeological sites, including "The Hill," which was recorded as an archaeological site in Iraq in 1945. It is also home to St Joseph's Cathedral (Umra d'Mar Yosip), the seat of the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil.[4] Ankawa used to be a small village that is located Northwest of Erbil, But nowadays it's more like a city.[7] The city has recently become a principal settlement for Christians in Iraq. One of the main reasons for the town's rise is due to the ISIS takeover of the Nineveh Plans, because a fair amount of those who fled came to Ankawa. The Assyrian Church of the East, which after several decades of being located in the United States, has decided to move their Patriarchal see to Ankawa.[4]

Ankawa Akkad Sports Club[edit]

It was 1992 during spring time when a group of young/older athletes with the help of sport experts, started the action of constructing a sports club in Ankawa. Many meetings occurred until 11/06/1992 when the first sport’s gathering was at one of the churches in Ankawa which was Mar Gorges.[8]

Christianity in Ankawa[edit]

Chaldean Catholic Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Ankawa.

Ankawa's name is mentioned in several ancient books of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, as well as in ancient Greek works. During the construction of St. Gorgis church in 1903 a grave was found which dates back to 925 AD. Although Christianity may have come to Ankawa earlier, this is the oldest remaining evidence of Christianity in Ankawa. According to several ancient sources, Christianity came to Ankawa by the two apostles Addai and Mari.

Chaldean Catholic Archbishops of Erbil[edit]

  • Mar Stéphane Babaca, 1969-1994
  • Mar Hanna Markho, 1994-1996
  • Mar Jacques Ishaq, 1997-1999
  • Mar Yacoub Denha Scher, 2001-2005
  • Mar Rabban Al-Qas, apostolic administrator, 2007-2010
  • Mar Bashar Matti Warda, 2010 – present


  • St. Gorgis church (927)
  • St. Joseph Cathedral (1978-1981)
  • St. Qardakh church (2006)
  • Um Almaona church (2010-2015 )
  • St. Peter and Paul Church (2017)


Within the last 10 years Ankawa has developed rapidly educationally and technologically. Now, many tourists visit Ankawa from Baghdad, mostly from the southern cities. The town has been through a long construction period, there are international schools as well as restaurants available today inside. After the fall of Mosul, many Christians who had been displaced came to Ankawa and have been provided with personal needs by the church and international organizations. [9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pictures Show Aftermath of ISIS Looting, Plundering Assyrian Town". Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Serperiştê Teqandina Hewlêr û Enkawa hat kuştin" (in Kurdish). Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  3. ^ "توركیا كردە تیرۆریستییەكەی ھەولێری سەرکۆنە كرد". Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Richard Spencer, Iraq crisis: The streets of Erbil’s newly Christian suburb are now full of helpless people, The Daily Telegraph, August 08, 2014
  5. ^ Home page. "الرئيسية". (in Arabic).
  6. ^ Zebari, Aziz Emmanuel. "Ankawa".
  7. ^ User, Super. "عنكاوا". (in Arabic).
  8. ^ Home page. "قناة عشتار الفضائية".
  9. ^ Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. "Distinguished Lecture Series - Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda, CSsR".

External links[edit]