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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  Iraqi Kurdistan
Province Erbil Governorate
Municipality Ankawa
Population (2011)
 • Total 30,000 (refugees included-100,000)[1]
  The town received thousands of primarily Christian Refugees from Baghdad and Mosul in 2014

Ankawa or Ainkawa (Kurdish: Enkawa‎, Syriac: ܥܲܢܟܵܒ̣ܵܐ‎, Arabic: عنكاوا‎‎, ‘ankāwā) is a predominantly Chaldean populated suburb of Erbil, outside the city limits.[2] It is seen as the "Chaldean Quarter" of Erbil. It is located five miles north-north-west of downtown Erbil, just outside the ring road that is Erbil's city limits.


Ankawa was originally called Beth Amka, which later morphed to Amku-Bad, Ankawa, and finally Ankawa. The name of the town is mentioned in different historical books, including 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."

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.[2] The city has recently become a principal settlement for Christians in Iraq. One of the main reasons for the cities rise is due to the ISIS takeover of the Nineveh Plans, because a fair amount of those who fled went here. The city's rise has even attracted the eye of the Assyrian Church of the East, which after several decades of being located in the United States, has decided to put its faith in the security of Iraqi Kurdistan by moving their Patriarchal see to Ankawa.[2]

Original families[edit]

Al Adhamat: one of the original families.

Al Oghana: they have immigrated from kweysenjaq.

Al Armtnay: they originally from Armota.

Al Bradosti: they have migrated to Ankawa after leaving the Bradost district, participating in building several churches in Ankawa.

Al Barkha: there is no credible source that describes their origin.

Al Palander: they have migrated to Ankawa from the area of Batas.

Al Qji: it is the name of their mother or sister being a part of the famous tribe Al Jajila.

Al Husseini: they have migrated from Telkef, named according to their sir name Husino.

Al Handula: they have migrated from Kweysinjaq.

Al dawdoka: their origin is unknown.

Al Dkhoka: their origin is unknown.

Al Sinjaqli: they have migrated from kweysinjaq.

Al Syawish: the original people.

Al Shangula: they have migrated from MarSniqa.

Al Shamaya: they have migrated from Telcef.

Al Shani: they have migrated from MarAudisho.

Al Qaasha Askar: no one has found out if they are the origin or not. But, their name came from one of the very first priests in the city.

Al kaka: It has been mentioned they are from heza.

Al Gilyana: they are one of the original families.

Al Kandalan: (Al Kwda) they have migrated to Ankawa.

Al Maleh: known as the Jembay they have migrated to Ankawa.

Al Maqdasi: they have migrated to Ankawa.

Al Sher : some sources say the have migrated from shaqlawa

records of Ankawa[edit]

-The first school in Ankawa was built in 1921.

-The first doctor in Ankawa was Suad Yousif Atto Yousif born in 28/11/1942, and died in Holland in 1998.

-One of the oldest churches in Ankawa is saint Gorges churches dates back to 800s.

-One of the very first teachers in Ankawa was Loqa Kaka.

-One of the very first priests in Ankawa was named Askar.

-Ankawa has an IB school which is called (Mar Qardakh International School). The school got its name from saint qardakh and it was built in 2011. IB Schools are very rare from all around the world

Most famous traditional song[edit]


Aya matha d mtoshetha b dalyatha plga sliwa dg mabhr enatha.x2

Ymi ymi Ankawa pshla dmii detht jwanqa yrqle w pshtl glii.x2

Ankawa ayat yma w baba w akhona w khatha majrokh talakh dma aw dmayatha.

Ma orkhathah batil w nashakh hir bakhy talo zor w rab marir.x2

Ankawa ayat yma w baba w akhona w khatha majrokh talakh dma aw dmayatha.

Laryat elt daneht kam shoqilakh qadom b aqlo kolo bt daarilakh.x2

Ankawa ayat yma w baba w akhona w khatha majrokh talakh dma aw dmayatha.

Yala yala kathwokh elt gwdane Ankawa tat manshokh kolo mqahran.x2

Ankawa ayat yma w baba w akhona w khatha majrokh talakh dma aw dmayatha.

Jmaatan brkht lkhorawatha w khzman banokh athran natrokh kol dokan.

Ankawa ayat yma w baba w akhona w khatha majrokh talakh dma w dmayatha.x4

The song was sung by Ankawa's most famous singer, Hindren Majid. The song describes how peaceful and lovely Ankawa's original people were and still are. He tries to show his love and ready to sacrifice himself towards his city Ankawa. He tries to highlight the devastating moments that Ankawa's people went through since the Baath regime and now, when they are considered as a minority. The song evokes the old good days in Ankawa, before the rapid development through construction and living standards. It unites and fulfil people's hearts.

Archbishops of Erbil since 1968[edit]

Mar Estiphan Babaka 1968-1994

Mar Youhana Markho 1994-1996

Mar Jak Ishaq 1997-2001

Mar Yaqoub sher 2001-2004

Mar Raban Al-Qas 2005-2010

Mar Bashar Warda 2010

The history of Christianity in Ankawa[edit]

Ankawa's name has been mentioned in several ancient books of Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrian as well as on ancient Greek works. During the construction of St. Gorgis church in 1903 there has been found a grave where it dates back 925 AC. They have found several graves and historical writing but, most of them were neglected due to the lack of education and Ankawa messed educational situation. That is the reason why this is the only piece found and kept up to our present day. Although, the origin of Christianity is older, but historically the only prove has been left is dating 925 AC. According to several ancient sources, the Christianity has entered Ankawa by the two Messengers Ady and Mary.


  • St. Joseph Cathedral (1978 - 1981)
  • St. Gorgis church (927)
  • Um Almaona church (2010-2015 )
  • St. Qardakh church (2006)


Apparently within the last 10 years, Ankawa developed rapidly educationally and technologically. Now, many tourists visits Ankawa from Baghda, mostly from the southern cities for Ramada. The town has been through a long construction period, there are international schools as well as restaurants available today inside. Most residents are Christian, but many Curds have lived in Ankawa for years. After the fall of Mosul, many Christians have headed to Ankawa and are provided with personal needs by the church and international organisations.


External links[edit]