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Arabic: 'as-sulaymānīya

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Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

City in northeastern Iraq with 700,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), 900 metres above sea level in the Zagros Mountains.
Sulaymaniyah is the capital of the governorate with the same name, and part of the Kurdish Autonomous Region.
Sulaymaniyah is predominantly a Kurdish city, and has been a centre for Kurdish nationalism. It is the main city of one of two leading Kurdish parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
Many of the buildings in the city have been destroyed in the military fights between Kurdish groups in the 1990's.
There are two roads to Sulaymaniyah, one from Kirkuk, 365 km to the west, and one to Ba'quba, 330 km south.
The economy of Sulaymaniyah is based upon the farming in the area, for which Sulaymaniyah is the trade and administrative centre. Produce include tobacco, fruit, cereals and livestock. There is a tobacco-processing plant in town. Products are sold both to other parts of Iraq, as well as to Iran.
Sulaymaniyah has since long been a popular tourist destination among Iraqis, because of the fresh and cool mountain air in the summer.

1781: Sulaymaniyah is founded by a local ruler naming it after the pasha (rule) of Baghdad at the time.
1968: University of Sulaymaniyah opens.
1973: An institute for medical technology opens.
1996 September 7: Troops of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Masud Barzani, and supported by the Saddam Hussein, drives the forces of PUK out of Sulaymaniyah.
October 12: A popular revolt drives the forces of KDP out of the city, allowing the PUK to return.

By Tore Kjeilen