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Circassians in iraq

The meaning of «circassians in iraq»

Circassians in Iraq (Adyghe: Ыракъым ис Адыгэхэр, romanized: Iraqım yis Adıgəxər; Arabic: الشركس في العراق‎) refers to people born in or residing in Iraq who are of Circassian origin.[1] Like all Iraqis, Circassians in Iraq faced various hardships in the modern era, as Iraq suffered wars, sanctions, oppressive regimes, and civil strife.[1][2]

Iraqis of North Caucasus origin mainly originate from Circassia.[1] The migration of North Caucasians to Iraq goes back many centuries, peaking in the aftermath of the Russian–Circassian War with the Circassian genocide of the 1860s. The Circassians ame to Iraq in two waves: directly from Circassia, and later from the Balkans. Chechens and Dagestanis also settled in Iraq throughout the Ottoman era. Circassians also settled in large numbers in other neighbouring countries including Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine.[1]

The name "Circassian" usually denotes speakers of Northwest Caucasian languages only, however in Western Asia the name may denote North Caucasus peoples in general,[1] including Chechens and Dagestanis, who speak Northeast Caucasian languages.

The overall number of Circassians or people of North Caucasus origin in Iraq is estimated to be between 30,000 and 50,000,[3] however the total number is unknown.[1][2] It has been reported that there are 30,000 Adyghe families in Baghdad alone.[1] It is understood that many North Caucasians have ethnically assimilated into the Iraqi population, becoming Arabicized or Kurdicized.[1]

Surnames such as Al-Daghestani, Al-Shishani ("Chechen"), and Al-Sharkas ("Circassian") are common among Iraqis of North Caucasian descent.

North Caucasians have settled in all parts of Iraq, from Dohuk in the north to Basrah in the south.[1] The largest communities are in Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah, Diyala, Kirkuk, and Fallujah, with smaller communities in Najaf, Hillah, Mosul, Kut, Basrah, Tikrit, Erbil, Nasiriyah, Diwaniyah, Dohuk, Ramadi, Amarah, and Tuz Khormato.[1]

There are also several Circassian villages throughout Iraq, including a neighbourhood in Baghdad.[1]

North Caucasians in Iraq have integrated into Iraqi society while preserving their traditional culture and customs, such as the Adyghe Xabze. They continue to preserve certain traditions in wedding ceremonies, birth ceremonies, and other special occasions, and to cook their traditional cuisine.[1]

In 2004, the Al-Tadamun Society of Iraqi, Chechen, Dagestani and Circassian Tribes was formed in Kirkuk. This cultural organization seeks to bring together Iraqis of North Caucasian heritage.[1] "Al-Tadamun" can be translated as "Solidarity".

North Caucasians in Iraq are predominantly Muslims like their ethnic counterparts in other countries. It is possible that a minority may also identify with Shia Islam, the majority faith in Iraq.

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