Amadiya (Amedi)

amadiya or amedi in iraqi kurdistan

Tucked away in the province of Duhok, hides the gem of a city, Amadiya (also spelled Amedi). Perched atop a tiny plateau, Amadiya is one of the greatest historical, cultural and geographical gems of Iraqi Kurdistan.

For centuries, Amedi has been home to Christians and Muslims, who have coexisted peacefully. Before the state of Israel was created, Amedi was also home to a large Jewish population. Today, nearly 6,000 people live in Amadiya, all of whom fit onto a tiny plateau that is only 1000 meters long by 550 meters wide.

The peaceful coexistence of multiple ethnicities and religions in Amadiya is exemplary in a region that is fraught with religious zealots and intolerance.

Amedi Geography and History

Amedi is a geographical spectacle that rises over 1000 meters out of a large valley. The city is surrounded by steep cliffs on all sides. The height of the city offers an incredible view of the surrounding landscape, one of the most picturesque locations in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Life on the plateau of Amadiya dates back, at least, 3000 BC, and the ancient Assyrians. The plateau has offered strategic value, as well as its great natural beauty. Over the millenia, it has been home to countless rulers, priests, and even a messiah. The Kurdish population in Amadiya is a relatively new phenomenon, when the ancient history is taken into consideration.

The proximity of the Turkish border has resulted in Amadiya being home to an unofficial Turkish military presence — even though the small city is located in Iraqi Kurdistan. The city is home to one small gas station, and has one ring road that surrounds the entire city.

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