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|Sulaymaniyah / Slemani
|• Governor||Bahroz Muhammed Salih|
|Elevation||882 m (2,895 ft)|
|Time zone||Arabia Standard Time (UTC+3)|
Sulaymaniyah or Slemani, (Kurdish: سلێمانی / Silêmanî), Arabic: السليمانية) is a city in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and also known as the cultural capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It is the capital of Sulaymaniyah Governorate. Sulaymaniyah is surrounded by the Azmer Range, Goyija Range and the Qaiwan Range in the north east, Baranan Mountain in the south and the Tasluja Hills in the west. The city has a semi-arid climate with very hot and dry summers and very cold winters. Sulaymaniyah served as the historic capital of the Kurdish principality of Baban from 1784 to 1850.
The modern city of Sulaymaniyah was founded on 14 November 1784 by the Kurdish prince Ibrahim Pasha Baban who named it after his father Sulaiman Pasha. Because it was founded as the capital of a powerful Kurdish principality, Sulaymaniyah has developed into a large city with a population of about 1.500.000 people. It is an important economic center for Iraqi Kurdistan and the cultural center for the Sorani-speaking Kurds. It has been named cultural capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq continuously since 1992.
The region of Sulaymaniyah was known as Zamwa prior to the foundation of the modern city in 1784. The capital of the Kurdish Baban principality (1649–1850), before Sulaymaniyah was a territory named "Qelaçiwalan". At the time of the Babani's rule there were major conflicts between the Safavid dynasty and the Ottoman Empire. Qelaçiwalan became a battle ground for the two rivals.
Being of strategic importance and lying deep inside Safavid territory, there was major concern that Qelaçiwalan would be attacked and captured if the Babanies did not give the Safavids military support, as both Sultan Mahmud II and Nadir Shah were trying to gain the support of the dispersed Kurdish Emirates. This obliged Mahmud Pasha of Baban in 1781 to think about moving the center of its Emirate to another safer place. He chose Melkendî, then a village but now a district in central Silêmanî, to construct a number of Serahs for his political and armed units.
In 1783 Ibrahim Pasha of Baban undertook the rule of the Emirate and began the construction of a new city which would become the capital of the Baban Emirate. In 1784 he finished erecting a number of palaces for trade called Qeyserî's and bazars, which were used as baths as well, and began inviting people from the surrounding villages and even Emirates to move over to the newly established city. Soon Melkendî, which was originally intended to be the city itself, instead became one of its quarters and still is today.
Sulaymaniyah has since its foundation been the center of Kurdish nationalism, and it was from here that Mahmud Barzanji sparked the first rebellion against the British occupation on May 22, 1919 with the arrest of British officials in Sulaymaniyah and declared an independent Kurdistan that same year. On 10 October 1921, a statement was issued in Sulaymaniyah, then the capital of Kurdistan, to establish the Kingdom of Kurdistan. Sheikh Mahmud Barzanji, now backed by the British, declared himself as the King of the Kingdom of Kurdistan
The British occupation declared Sheikh Hama Tahmas as king in order to silence the residents of Sulaymaniyah and stop their rebellion, but Sheikh Mahmud acted and ruled independently from the British, and wanted them out of the kingdom. As a result, in the same year, he was exiled for several years to the Andaman islands in India by the British occupation, only to return and raise another unsuccessful rebellion centered in Sulaymaniyah in 1923.
In January 1926 the League of Nations gave the mandate over the territory to Iraq, with the provision for special rights for Kurds. In 1930-1931,Sheikh Mahmud Barzanji made his last unsuccessful attempt to free Kurdistan, he retreated into the mountains, and later signed a peace accord with the Iraqi government and settled in the new Iraq in 1932. The first and oldest neighborhood in the city is called "Goizha" (kurdish: Goyija), which was named after the mountain overlooking the city. "Sabûnkaran" was of the cities first neighborhoods, its name means "those who make soap" in Kurdish, its residents were mainly involved in the soap industry. "Cûlekan" or the Jews neighborhood where it was mainly inhabited by Kurdish Jews. In the fifties and after the establishment of the state Israel, most of its inhabitants migrated to the newly created state. In 23 April 1982 a demonstration broke out in the city against the arrests and torture of the city's youths who were accused of palnning revolt against the ruling Arab Ba'ath regime.
In 1820 and after only 26 years of the creation of the city, a British man named Rech had visited the city and estimated that the number of its residents is more than ten thousand, containing 2,144 families of which 2,000 were Muslim, 130 Jewish, and 14 Christian families. Ottoman documents dating back to 1907 suggest that there were 8,702 Muslim and 360 non-Muslim residents living in the city. According to "Peshkawtin" newspaper which was distributed in Slemani in 1920 estimated its population to be around ten thousand. According to Iraqi government documents, by 1947 the number of residents had increased to 23,475; by 1998 to 548,747, and in 2009 to 1,000,000.
Geography and climate 
The city is located in the northern part of the Iraq and although the weather in the summer is rather warm, with temperatures ranging from 15 C (60 F) to 40 C (104 F) and some times up to 45 C (113 F). In the winters, there are a significant amount of snow and the Sulaymania temperatures are both dense in the summer and dry and windy in the winter. The city is actually known as the "windy-city" in the region among Kurds. One of the reasons for that is the mountains that surround the city. From north, there are mountain Goizha and to the south Chwarta, forcing the air in the city to be condensed and compacted and often quite rainy.
|Climate data for Sulaymaniyah, Iraq (1950-2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.9
|Average low °C (°F)||−0.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||129
|Source: WorldClim Global Climate Data|
Sulaymaniyah governorate has much fertile land such as the Sharazur and Bitwen plains which are considered two of the most fertile plains in the Middle East. Historically, Sulaymaniyah was mainly agricultural and one of the major suppliers of wheat and other agricultural products. Its role declined due to the policies of Saddam Hussein aimed at reducing the city's economical potential as it was a center of the Kurdish revolution.
In 2004 the Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis in Iraq released a in-depth survey of Sulaymaniyah Governorate in which they surveyed each city. In this survey one can see the economic boom of 2003 mentioned earlier.
Iraqi Kurdistan has become a safe haven and a tourist attraction for Iraqis and non-Iraqis due to its beauty and security. It was home to more than 60,000 tourists in 2009. Sulaymaniyah attracted more than 15,000 Iranian tourists in the first quarter of 2010, many drawn by the fact it is not subject to strict laws faced at home. Newroz 2010 drew an exodus of Iranian tourists choosing to celebrate the event in the region.
- Sulaimani Museum: It is the second biggest museum after the national museum in Baghdad. It is home to many Kurdish and ancient Persian artifacts dating back to 1792–1750 BC.
- Amna Suraka Museum (Kurdish:"Red Intelligence Museum"): Located in a former Ba'ath intelligence headquarters and prison, it draws particular attention to the Ba'ath regime's brutal treatment of local Kurds. Visitors are guided through the prisons and interrogation rooms. The museum features many Soviet-era armored fighting vehicles.
- Zamwa Gallery: Open year-round, it displays the works of the artists of the city.
- Aram Gallery: Another place for artistic activities. It started the night cinema project where people can go to watch Kurdish and foreign films.
- Chavy Tourism City
- Newroz amusement park and zoo
- Bowling Center
- City Star games center
- City Cinema
- Daiyk park
Education is free from primary school until graduation from university. The University of Sulaymaniyah was opened in 1968 with instruction in Kurdish, Arabic, and English. It has faculties in engineering, agriculture, the arts, science, and medicine.It is the largest university in Iraqi Kurdistan. The University was moved during the 1980s to Erbil which is now known as the Salahaddin University.
In 2007 The American University of Iraq – Sulaimani, The American University of Iraq – Sulaimani (AUI-S) was a new addition to the American universities in the Middle East, holding its first classes in October 2007. Instruction is in English only.
In 2008 the University of Human Development was opened in Qaradax with three colleges and four departments. Its first year courses include law, politics, computer engineering and English language.
Kurdistan University of Science and Technology (KUST) - Sulaymani was established and licensed by the Ministry of High Education and Scientific Research in Kurdistan Region Government, by the official letter no. 17867/7 on October 18, 2009. KUST is a private university governed by a Board of Trustees and run by an Administration Council. Its main campus is located in the city of Sulaymani, in Kurdistan- Iraq.
KUST offered its first teaching classes in 2010 with an English language summer course (levels 1 and 3).
Sulaymaniyah is considered the center of the Sorani Kurdish culture in Kurdistan. It is recognized officially as the cultural capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Development of Sorani as a modern literary language started in this city in the early 19th century, when many Kurdish poets such as Nalî, Piramerd, Muhamed Amin Zaki, Abdulla Goran, Muhamad Salih Dilan, Ahmad Hardi, Ibrahim Ahmad, Sherko Bekas, and Bachtyar Ali published their works.
The city is known for its open, relatively liberal and tolerant society when compared to other cities of Kurdistan and Iraq.. In 2006 the Movement for Change started in Sulaymaniyah and challenged what it called the "corrupt" and "nepotistic" Kurdish Government. The movement gained massive support from the city.
Sulaymaniyah assumes its own style of music which have borrowed from traditions of the city, Muhamad Salih Dilan is widely considered to be the greatest singer from the city and had the greatest role in developing Kurdish maqam.The city is also considered to be the birthplace of modern Kurdish music, the key figures in this field are Karwan Osman (born in 1968) who was executed by the Ba'ath regime in 1991 after in his imprisonment for one year in the Abu Ghraib prison and more academically Xalîd Reşîd.
It is the only city in Iraq that regularly celebrates world music day or Fête de la Musique. In one trip to the city a journalist working for BBC writes about Sulaymaniyah's distinct culture: "Culture is hugely important to Kurdish people, especially in Sulaymaniyah, but there is a strong pull to the west – the modernisation and consumerism – driven perhaps by the satellite televisions they have had access to since they started running their own affairs."
"And at the university, students mill around the campus, chattering with each other and doing some last minute cramming for their exams. Remarkably in this part of Iraq, the war only stopped lectures for a few weeks. " There are probably more women than men and they are happy to air their views to anyone who asks."
The city is dependent on road transport. 0n 20 July 2005 Sulaimaniyah International Airport opened, with regular flights to various eastern and European destinations such as Ankara, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Malmö, Munich, Eindhoven and Düsseldorf as well as Middle Eastern cities like Dubai, Amman, Doha, Beirut, Damascus and Istanbul.
2011 Sulaymaniyah protests 
In February 2011 multiple demonstrations took place in Sulaymaniyah against corruption and lack of services. The protest escalated and lasted for more than 40 days causing clashes between security forces and demonstrators until an eventual crackdown on the demonstrators left 10 dead and several hundred wounded.
Notable people 
- Hadhrat Mawlânâ Khâlid-i Baghdâdî (1779–1827), sufist and Islamic thinker
- Nalî (1800–1873), Poet.
- Salim (1800–1866), Poet.
- Kurdi, Mustafa Bag Mahmood Bag Ahmed Bagi Saheb-Qran (1809-1849) Poet.
- Mahwi (1830–1906), Poet.
- Said Pasha Kurd, (1834-1907) Ottoman Statesman.
- Ahmed Bag Tofiq Bag, (1898-1963) First Governor of Slemani.
- Mustafa Zihni Pasha (1838–1911) Ottoman official, Kurdish nationalist.
- Şerif Pasha, (1865-1951) Ottoman Diplomat, Ambassador and Statesmwn.
- Haji Mala Saeed Kirkukli Zada (1866–1937), Minister of Justice in the Kingdom of Kurdistan.
- Mustafa Yamulki (25 January 1866 - 25 May 1936), Minister of education in the Kingdom of Kurdistan.
- Piramerd (1867–1950), poet and journalist.
- Mahmud Barzanji (1878 – 9 October 1956), king of Kurdistan(1922–1924)
- Muhamed Amin Zaki (1880–1948), historian, statesman and politician.
- Kak Ahmedi Shekh (1887-1792), Islamic Religious Figure.
- Taufiq Wahby (1891–1984), linguist, politician and poet.
- Ahmad Mukhtar Baban (1900–1976), Prime Minister of Iraq 1958.
- Sheikh Nuri Sheikh Salih Sheikh Ghani Barzinji (1896–1958) journalist and poet.
- Abdulla Goran (1904–1962), founder of modern Kurdish poetry
- Fayaq Bekas (1905-1948), Poet.
- Hamdi, Poet.
- Ibrahim Ahmad (1914–2000), novelist, poet and translator.
- Mohammad Qudsi ( 1919–1947 ) An officer in the army of Republic of Kurdistan.
- Ahmad Hardi (1922—2006), poet.
- Muhamad Salih Dilan (1927–1990), a prominent musician and poet.
- Shahab Sheikh Nuri (1932–1976) Kurdish freedom movement activist in Iraq.
- Jamal Nebez (born 1933), linguist.
- Mahmoud Othman (born 1938), Politician.
- Sherko Bekas (born 1940), a prominent contemporary poet.
- Nawshirwan Mustafa (born 1944), politician and media proprietor.
- Dilshad Meriwani, (1947-1989) Actor, Poet, Writer, Songwriter, Film Director, Historian, Activist and Journalist.
- Rizgar Mohammed Amin (born 1958), chief judge.
- Bachtyar Ali (1960) intellectual, novelist
- Barham Salih (born 1960) politician, former PM of Iraqi Kurdistan.
- Mariwan Kanie (born 1966), intellectual.
- Xalîd Reşîd (born 1968), Musician
- Osman Hajy Marouf (born 1954), Worker-communist politician.
Notable Landmarks 
- Copthorne Hotel Baranan Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Sarchinar Main Street
- Jaff Towers, Sarchinar Rd
- Azadi Park (Freedom Park), Khak St/Azadi Park St
- Kurdistan Central Bank and Stock Exchange, Khak St
- Grand Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Zargata St
- Qaiwan Towers, Salem St
Notable companies 
Asia oil company
Sulaymaniyah is the partial setting in the young adult novel Kiss the Dust.
Diplomatic Missions 
- Islamic Republic of Iran, Girdi Consulkhana
Sister Cities 
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2012)|
- Arbil, Kirkuk, Dahuk.
- Sanandaj, Mahabad.
- Van, Diyarbakir.
- Tucson, Arizona.
- Kharkov, Ukraine.
Photo gallery 
Men rally at the day of the Kurdish new year Newroz; Events like this gained the city its reputation of being the centre for Kurdish patriotism
See also 
- "Kurdistan Regional Government". KRG. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Sulaimaniyah\'s population exceeded one million and a half million". Kurdiu.org. 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Twitter / botanosman: Finally a standard spelling". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "The Leading Suly Government Site on the Net". sulygov.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "سلێمانی - ویکیپیدیا" (in Template:Ck icon). Ckb.wikipedia.org. 1957-04-26. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Recent Weather in Iraq – Sulaimaniya". Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- "Iraq under cold front bringing snow and below zero temperatures". Indian Muslims. Kuwait News Agency (KUNA). 11–12 January 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2013. "BAGHDAD, Jan 11 (KUNA) -- Snow fell on large areas of Iraq following two days of low temperature. Dr. Daoud Shaker, head of the Iraqi weather bureau told the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) snow fell in Baghdad during two hours in the morning on Friday after coming under the effect of two pressure systems, one cold originating from Siberia and the other warm coming from the sea. He said the temperature on Friday was "below zero in several Iraqi areas" resulting in snowfalls Thursday in several western areas. But the snowfall continued on Friday along with the low temperatures, he added. He predicted that the snowfalls and rain would subside as of Friday night paving the way for subzero temperatures in the next few days that could reach six degrees Celsius below zero specifically at night. He added that the snow that fell on Baghdad has melted. But in Kirkuk and several northern cities including Suleimaniah, snow fell again on Friday along with very low temperatures. According to weather sources, up to four millimeters of snow fell on Kirkuk Friday."
- "Snow covers Sulaimaniya". National Iraqi News Agency (NINA). 26 January 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2013. "Sulaimaniya (NINA) –The city of Sulaimaniya witnessed a heavy fall of snow that covered the entire city since Monday midnight. Reporter of the National Iraqi News Agency said “The citizens of Sulaimaniya woke up on Tuesday morning to see their city covered with snow and the street painted in white color.” A source from Sulaimaniya Forecast department expected “The fall of snow to continue till Tuesday afternoon.” The wave of rain and snow is coming from the Mediterranean and its effect will last till late in the evening of Wednesday,” the source added. The source mentioned “The city did not witness falling of this amount of snow for years, since the fall of snow was limited on the mountains area around the city during the last three years.”"
- "Heavy Snow Blankets Sulaimaniya". Iraq Updates. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Unusually heavy snow hits Iraq’s Sulaimaniya". Al Arabiya. Reuters. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013. "An unusually heavy snowstorm blanketed Sulaimaniya city, in northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, on Saturday (January 12) as severe weather conditions continue to sweep through the region. Most of the city’s streets, cars and buildings were covered in white following a spell of exceptionally cold weather. Some of the ice-covered streets were closed off, and some residents went outdoors to play with the snow and chop fire-wood to keep themselves warm. “The weather is very nice and the snow creates a nice atmosphere. The weather here is always hot especially in the summer. We wish to see such a snowfall every year, this is a gift from God” said Ahmed, a citizen from Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. The snow in northern Iraq comes as wintry storms have swept through the Middle East, in the most severe weather to hit the region in decades. A major storm hit the eastern Mediterranean last week, causing death and destruction in Middle Eastern countries that are built for harsh summers rather than snow, sleet and incessant rain. At least 17 people have died due to the storm in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Schools in some areas have been shut for days. Meteorological agencies in Israel and Lebanon both called it the worst storm in 20 years. Another unusually heavy rainstorm hit Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces in December last year, leaving large parts of the capital flooded."
- "WorldClim Global Climate Data Grids". WorldClim. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
- "Sulaymaniyah". Investpromo.gov.iq. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Rudaw.NL, dé Opinieblog…". Rudaw.nl. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Rudaw.NL, dé Opinieblog…". Rudaw.nl. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Suleimaniya Museum: a small place for a great civilization". KurdishGlobe. 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "University of Sulaimani". Univsul.org. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- [dead link]
- "Kurdistan diary: Day Three". KurdishGlobe. 2006-10-28. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- "Wusha Corporation". Wusha.net. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- اعلام خواهرخواندگی سلیمانیه عراق و ناپل ایتالیا , Kurdpress (Persian), 30 April 2013.
Media related to Sulaymaniyah at Wikimedia Commons