© Google

© Google

Erbil, or Arbil, also known in Kurdish as Hewlêr, is the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan and home to the governing bodies of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

Erbil History and Culture

Erbil is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, dating back to 6,000 years B.C. It has been inhabited, over the millennia, by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Mongols and Ottoman Turks.

Today, the Kurds form the largest ethnic group in the city — estimates put the region’s population between 1.5 and 2 million, of which approximately 93% are Kurdish.

At the center of the city rests the Erbil Citadel, an ancient structure that dates back to 2,000 B.C. The oval-shaped structure has developed as generations on generations have built houses and homes upon one another. These homes were built out of mud clay bricks that were prone to disintegration in the sun and rain. You can read more about the Erbil Citadel by clicking the link above.

Erbil has been the center of Kurdish culture in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as Kurdish politics. The Kurdistan Regional Government is based in the city, and the affairs of the region are governed here.

Erbil Today

Erbil is also a governorate, one of three in Iraqi Kurdistan. Erbil is one of the safest cities in Iraqi Kurdistan, despite the so-called Islamic State having advanced to less than 100 miles from the outskirts of the city.

Erbil is known for its modern malls, ancient sites, and was appointed to be the 2014 Arab tourism capital by the Arab Council of Tourism.

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