Duhok (also spelled Dahūk) is a city in Iraqi Kurdistan, and the capital of the Kurdish Regional Government’s Duhok Governorate. The majority of Dohuk’s population is Kurdish, and there is a large population of Assyrians in the city and surrounding region.
Duhok is located near the Tigris river, and sits on the Dohuk river, home to the Dohuk dam. The dam was constructed in 1988 with the main purpose of providing water for irrigation. The city is situated at a strategic location between two mountain ranges — Bekhair to the northeast and Zaiwa to the southeast. Historically, the city has served as an important commerce passage for Iraq, Turkey and Syria, and it’s name is derived from the tax that was levied on passing caravans (Du meaning two; Hok meaning lump).
Providing a Home for Refugees
Duhok has borne the brunt of Kurdish refugees throughout the Ba’athist ethnic resettlements and regional conflicts over the last two decades. Under the protection of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), Duhok has rapidly urbanized to accommodate for the expanding population of 350,000. In addition to the Kurdish majority population, Duhok is home to Arabs, Assyrians, Armenians and Chaldeans.
Duhok has been called “the most peaceful city in Iraq,” and is home to the University of Duhok.
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