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For the city in Oman, see Sumail, Oman
File:Iraqvillagesumail2.JPG
File:Iraqvillagesumail3.JPG

Simele or Sumail (Assyrian: ܣܡܠܐ), Arabic:سميل) is a town located in the Iraqi province of Dohuk. The city is on the main road that connects Iraq to its neighbour Turkey. It is 14 kilometers west of the city of Dohuk.

Sumail in the early 20th century was a very small Kurdish village. An Assyrian community formed in Sumail during World War I and the mass migration from the Hakkari region of Turkey, due to the 1915 genocide by the Ottoman Empire against native Armenians and Assyrians.

The Assyrian people who resided in Sumail and its neighbouring area were subjected to another massacre on August 7, 1933, this time implemented by the Iraqi government. The massacre was the first genocide in Iraq's young history after the establishment of the new Iraqi state in 1921. Close to 3,000 Assyrians died during the 1933 massacre,[1] most of them in the village of Sumail. Thousands were forced to flee to Syria where they currently live in 33 villages of the Khabur area, in the Al Jazeera region.

The number of families in Sumail — Kurdish and Assyrian, Muslims and Christians — increased due to the geographical importance of the city and due to the destruction of smaller, nearby villages. Families were forced to migrate and to live in the larger cities and towns of the region.

Having migrated from the neighbouring villages, most Sumailian families depend on agriculture for their income. Many villages in that area have plenty of seasonal water plants, tomatoes, and other vegetables. Many other people of Sumail depend on trade as their source of income.

In 1992, Dohuk University's College of Agriculture was founded in Sumail.[2]

Around 170 Assyrian families currently live in Sumail centre. They are believers of the two main Christian churches in the region: the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. The Chaldean church is named St. Mary the Virgin. The Assyrian church is named Church Of Martyrs (in the honour of the martyrs of the 1933 massacre of Sumail.) Around 12 Armenian families live in Sumail as well.

Footnotes

  1. http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/iq350a.pdfFIDH report on ethnic cleansing in Iraq, which describes the Sumail massacre in the second paragraph of page 17.
  2. http://www.dohukuni.net/index2.php?p=colleges/colleges&m=menu_colleges

See also

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