Feyli Kurds

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Feyli Kurds (Kurdish: Feylî, Faili or Pahlî, Arabic: الفیلیة Al-Fayliah) are a group of southern Kurds living in Baghdad and the Diyala Province of Iraq around Khanaqin and Mandali.

Feyli Kurds speak Feyli, a southern dialect of the Kurdish language. The roots of the Feyli Kurds go back to the Iranian immigrants of the first millennium BC. They embraced Islam in the early stages of the Islamic conquest and colonisation of Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Iran. Archaeological evidence from the Ilam Province in Iran does indicate though that a significant proportion of Feyli Kurds were Nestorian Christians until the 18th Century. When the Safavid dynasty (1507-1721) held sway over Persia, Feyli Kurds switched to the Shiite Gafarean doctrine under Persian influence.

Different orientalists emphasis and assure the root and language of the Feyli Kurds like Sir John Malcolm, Brown, Laurie, Hassle, Henry Field and many others.

As for the name of "Feyli", there is more than one explanation. In his book (The lexicon of countries, in Arabic Mujam al-Buldan) Yaqout al-Hamawi mentions in 13th century that the Feylis are those who reside the mountains separating Iran and Iraq. In addition, that they are as huge as "elephants", as the word "fil" means elephant in Arabic. Another explanation goes to a different direction as it says that the name belong to the ruler of the mentioned area. The historical fact on the roots of the name of the "Pahli" is fully clear. As M.R. Izady notes in his book (The Kurds: A Concise Handbook, London, 1992) the territory inhabited by the Feyli, Pahli, Feyli Kurds was known as "Pahla" meaning Parthia since the 3rd century AD. The Arabic texts recorded the name as FAHLA or BAHLA. Arabic lacks the letter "P" from Fahla and it has since then evolved to Faila and later Feyli.

But what can be assured is that the Feylis are still there in spite of the trials of those who deny their existence and want them to be loosed in other entities.

There are many who have discussed this subject in their books, such as Khesrau Goran who discussed it in his book "Kurdistan through your eyes" volume I Stockholm 1992 P 152: 161.

Contents

[edit] Kurdish Feyli's homeland

Since the ancient times, the Feylis have lived in the border area between Iraq and Iran, which consists of the Zagros Mountains and cliffs. They live on the two sides of this mountain in Iran and Iraq and they call it Kabir Kuh, in other words "The great mountain".

The areas in the Iraqi side from north to south are the following: Khanaqin, Shahraban (now it is called Al - Meqdadia), Mandalie, Badrah, Zorbateyah, Jassan, Al – Kut and Al-Azizyah. In addition to number of cities in the area of Shaikh Sa’ad, Ali Sharqi, Ali Gharbi and Al – Kofah which is 170 km south of Baghdad.

However, as early as the first decade of the 20th century, many Failis moved to Baghdad and lived in its center. So there are some areas which are named after them such as the Kurdish quarter, the Kurdish alley, and the Kurdish Street.

On the Iranian side, the Kurdish live in the following area from north to south: Qassre Sherien, Kermanshah, Karand, western Islam Abad (former Shah Abad), Sarepol-e-Zahab, Gilan, Ilam, Saleh Abad, Moseyan, Badrah, Dehloran and Andimashek.

The basic activity of the people of the border area is agriculture and sheep herding. They plant corn, barley, wheat, and summer vegetables as well as fruits on the mountains or on the flats. There are also some natural sources in the area such as oil (petroleum) at Naft Khanah (Iraq), Naft-Shahr, Dihluran (Iran), and natural gas at Tange Bidjar (Iran).

In the northern area people use the Al-Wand River which flows out from Harunabad & Gelan regions (Iran) towards Khaneqin before joining the Deyala River which pours into the Tigris River. There are also a few channels, wells and springs that help with the irrigation and domestic water use.

As for the weather, it is dry at summer but the mountains are usually covered with lays of snow, which melts in summer to irrigate the lands. In summer, many people move with their sheep to the tops of the mountains because there are wide areas of grass and when the winter comes, they go back to their villages. Some Kurds work in trade and goods exchange and other free works (urban professions).

The Kurdish people have proved to be so persistent and civilized as they studied hard to join the universities of the main cities and got good jobs. In his book "Ameroir of Baghdad" issued by Al-Rais publishing house, Cyprus 1993 the ex minister Mosa Al -Shabandar describes the life of the Faili Kurds. It is very difficult to give an accurate estimate of the Faili Kurds' population, as many of them in Iraq have been deported and ethnically clensed, however some estimate that about 2.5 millions lived in Iraq, and 3 million in Iran.

[edit] Tribes and clans

The Faili Kurds consists of many tribes and clans. Some of them are based on the name of their tribesman or the place they are living in, sometimes they take vocational names. Here we list some of them: Ali Sherwan tribe and his four sons Cheragh Wandi, Safar Wandi, Her Wandi, Dara Wandi, Malek Shahi tribe, Jamal Wandi tribe, Jaberi tribe, Ansari tribe, Laki tribe, Ckalhor tribe, Zouri or Zhohairi clan, Qaitoli clan, Khezell or Khaza`al clan, Showhan clan, Mousi clan and many more.

[edit] The Feili Kurds in the Iraqi society

The existence of the Faili Kurds in Iraq has never been marginal, on contrary it has been elective on all levels and participated in all political, social, cultural, and economical activities as explained hereunder:

[edit] Politically

The Feyli Kurds suffered the worst oppression by Saddam and his Batthist government. They have contributed and taken part in the political activities such opposing all the dictatorial governments of Iraq and fighting beside other Iraqi people against their enemy. Through joining the national Iraqi parties such as the Iraqi communist party, the Kurdish Democratic Party KDP and the National Kurdish Association.

Many of the Faili Kurds become active cadres in some organizations such as Al- Da’awa Islamic Party, Islamic Action Org., and other Islamic and democratic parties in the past and recently.

The Faili Kurds has presented many martyrs defending their existence and the rights of the whole Iraqi society. We may call to minds that there were few cadres of the Failis in Al- Ba`ath Party during its reign 1963 – 1968, but Saddam’s regime got rid of them as it did with many others.

[edit] Socially

The Feyli Kurds has a very effective rule in social life as they have part in establishing the social centers, clubs, youth and women associations. This rule has been assured by the existence of so many famous Feyli Kurds in different fields. They also have taken part in establishing religious institutions and spreading the religious awareness. The Feyli Kurds also have had a great interest in studying religion and science.

[edit] Economically

The Feyli Kurds have had a great economical and commercial weigh especially in Baghdad, and also have had great capitals, companies and factories. This great weight pushed Saddam to confiscate their capitals and properties and expel them to Iran , claiming that they are not genuine Iraqis and that they are Iranians. The injustice that happened to the Feyli Kurds is same as what happened to the Jew during the II World War in Europe.ar:أكراد فيلية

Feyli Kurds

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