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city in Iraqi Kurdistan
Dahuk (also spelled Duhok or Dohuk; Kurdish: دهۆک, Dihok; Syriac: ܢܘܗܕܪܐ Nūhadrā; Arabic: دهوك Dahūk) is the capital of Duhok Governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan, it is a Kurdish city with a population of approximately 250,000 inhabitants, consisting mostly of Kurds and Assyrians. The city is encircled by mountains along the Tigris river.
Sulemania (Kurdish: سلێمانی) is a very young city. It was founded in 1784 by Ibrahim Pasha Baban, a Kurdish prince, to be the capital of his principality. Since then it has been Iraqi Kurdistan’s cultural capital and home to philosophers, poets and writers. Its importance is not limited to Iraq, but for the whole of the Kurdistan region, which also encompasses parts of Turkey, Syria and Iran.
The 36 m high Mudhafaria Minaret dates back to the late 12th century AD and the reign of Erbil king Muzaffar Al-Din Abu Sa’eed Al-Kawkaboori. It has an octagonal base decorated with two tiers of niches, which is separated from the main shaft by a small balcony, also decorated. Another historical minaret with turquoise glazed tiles is nearby.
The largest mosque in Erbil, named after Jalil Khayat who took the initiative for construction, but passed away in 2005 before it could be completed. His sons finished the project in 2007. The mosque architecturally resembles the style of the Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo, and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. It is widely regarded as having one of the most beautiful interiors. It relies on a combination of islamic architecture and al-Abbasi design, except for the domes which are of Ottoman design. Standing 48 m tall, the main dome with a diameter of 20 m dominates the mosque. It is surrounded by 4 half domes and 12 quarter domes. With an area of 15 000 m², the mosque has a capacity of 1 500 to 2 000 visitors.
Constructed from 1978 to 1981 with labour from volunteers, the church was designed in a distinctive Babylonian style including a main gate modelled after the Ishtar Gate. It includes a large yard and expansive gardens.
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