Bebadi (Syriac: ܒܝܬ ܒܥܕܝ), is an Assyrian village located at the side of the Mateena Mountains overlooking Sapna valley, in the Amedi District of Dohuk province in Iraqi Kurdistan. The village is located directly west of the ancient rocky fortress of Amadia, which was built during the era of Assyrian Empire. The residents of Bebadey are followers of the Assyrian Church of the East, and for a short period during the 20s the small village even functioned as the See of that church, as its previous see in Qodshanis was destroyed by the Muslim Turks in 1918 during the Assyrian Genocide. It is said that the village was built some 900 years ago, at which time the village’s church of “Mart Shmony oo Bnooneh (Saint Shmony and Her Sons)” was first founded as well.
Prior to 1961 civil war between Kurds and Iraqi government, there were nearly 80 families (500 people) living in Bebede. The village was self-sufficient, and its economy functioned around domestic animals and farming such as crops, vegetables and fruits. The village was regarded as a summer resort for vacationers from other parts of Iraq as well due to its climate and rustic beauty. However, Tourism is now far from generating any income due to fact of absence of facilities that attract tourism. The security and stability issues in the region are other factors making it hard to attract tourists.
Bebadi is the birthplace of famous Assyrian singer, Shlimon Bet-Shmuel.
1961 - present
After the 1961 conflict, most villages in the northern part of Iraq were either partially or totally destroyed. In Bebadi, the majority of houses in this village were eradicated in the period between 1961 and 1977. As a consequence, many residents were forced to leave their village and take refuge in nearby towns as result of economic hardship, instability and war. Nevertheless, Bebadi was never completely deserted until 1987, when the village was leveled to ground, with the exception of the church and a few buildings which were damaged but not destroyed. At this time, the remaining residents were forcibly removed from their village to other cities; some of them took asylum in western countries.
After the uprising in the aftermath of the Gulf war in 1991, and the designation of the region as a safe haven under the protection of allied forces, Assyrian people started returning to their villages and a large portion of this village was rebuilt in the 2000s due to the efforts of the Supreme committee of Christian affairs established by Sarkis Aghajan, an Iraqi Assyrian who during that time had a high position in the Kurdish Government.