Amedia bird view


Badinan Gate in Amedia, August 2009

Amedi (also spelled "Amediyah" or "Amadia" or "al-Amadiyah" or other variations), is a small Kurdish city in the Iraqi Dahuk Governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The town is perched on a mountain, formerly only accessible by a narrow stairway cut into the rock. For several centuries, after the expulsion of the caliphs from Baghdad, it was ruled by a pasha, a prince who was from the royal Abbas family, reputed to be one of the richest rulers in the region. [1]

The history of this city goes back to 3000 years B.C., since it has always been a strategic place as it is built on the flat top of a mountain.

The region in which the city rests is also believed to have been the home of the Magi or priests of Ancient Persia. Amedia is believed to be the home of some of the most significant Magi priests, the Biblical Magi or the "Three Wise Men", who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to see Jesus Christ shortly after his birth.[2]

There are also ruins from the Assyrian era and ruins of a synagogue and a church in the small town. At the turn of the 19th century, the population already numbered 6,000, of whom 2,500 were Kurds, 1,900 Jews and 1,600 Chaldeans. [3]

Although Amedia is just 17 kilometres from the Turkish border across the Beshesh Mountains, the only border crossing into Turkey is now at Ibrahim Khalil border on the road Amedia - Dohuk - Zakho, 90 kilometres away. There was formerly a border crossing at Habur. The city is situated 1400 metres above sea level. It is 1000m long and 500m wide. It houses 6,000 citizens in almost 1200 houses.

Amedia has a well-integrated community of Christians and Muslims that share the city and local social events.

The Chaldeans of Amedia

Amedia used to be the seat of a diocese of the Chaldean Catholic Church. The Diocese originally existed under another name. At the turn of the 20th century it was split into three dioceses: Amadia, Zakho, and Akra. In 1895, the Dioceses of Amadia and Akra were provisionally united. [4]

According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, in the 19th century the Dominicans of Mosul had a summer residence in Amedia and there were a number of Protestant missions with schools.

The Jews of Amedia

Amedia was the birthplace of the pseudo-Messiah, David Alroy (fl. 1160). In 1163, according to Joseph ha-Kohen's "'Emeḳ ha-Baka", the Jewish population numbered about a thousand families and traded in gall-nuts. Alroy led a revolt against the city but was apparently defeated and killed in the process. [5] The Spanish Jewish historian R. Schlomo Ibn Verga (1450-1525) portrayed the Jewish community of Amedia at the time of Alroy as wealthy and contented. [6]


  1. Wright, George Newenham (1834). "A new and comprehensive gazetteer, Volume 1". T. Kelly. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  2. Bailey, Betty Jane. Who are the Christians in the Middle East? Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (May 2003)
  3. "Catholic Encyclopaedia". Appleton. 1907. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  4. "Catholic Encyclopaedia". Appleton. 1907. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  5. "Jewish Encyclopedia". 1906. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  6. Lenowitz, Harris (1906). "The Jewish Messiahs: From the Galilee to Crown Heights". Retrieved 2009-09-12. 

Coordinates: 37°05′33″N 43°29′14″E / 37.0925°N 43.48722°E / 37.0925; 43.48722ar:العمادية ca:Amadiya da:Amediyeku:Amêdîno:Amediye ckb:ئامێدی

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