Qamishli

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Qamishli

Arabic: القامشلي

Kamishly view.jpg
Qamishli is located in Syria
Qamishli
Qamishli
Location of Qamishli in Syria
Coordinates: 37°03′N 41°13′E / 37.05°N 41.22°E / 37.05; 41.22
Country Syria
Governorateal-Hasakah
DistrictQamishli
SubdistrictQamishli
Established1926 (1926)
ControlAutonomous Administration of North and East Syria Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria
Elevation
455 m (1,493 ft)
Population
 (2004)[1]
184,231
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Area code+963 52
GeocodeC4564
Websitehttp://www.kamishli.com

Qamishli (Arabic: القامشلي‎,[2] Kurdish: Qamişlo ,قامشلۆ‎,[3][4] Classical Syriac: ܒܝܬ ܙܠܝ̈ܢ‎, romanized: Bēṯ Zālīn, lit. 'House of Reeds' or Syriac: ܩܡܫܠܐ‎, romanizedQamishlo[5]) is a city in northeastern Syria on the Syria–Turkey border, adjoining the city of Nusaybin in Turkey. According to the 2004 census, Qamishli had a population of 184,231.[1] Qamishli is 680 kilometres (420 mi) northeast of Damascus.[6]

The city is the administrative capital of the Qamishli District of Al-Hasakah Governorate, and the administrative center of Qamishli Subdistrict, consisting of 92 localities with a combined population of 232,095 in 2004. Qamishli was the capital of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria,[7] until it was moved to Ayn Issa.

Etymology

The city was initially a small village inhabited by Assyrians called Syriac: ܒܝܬ ܙܠܝ̈ܢ‎, romanizedBēṯ Zālīn meaning House of Reeds.[8] The current name is a Turkified form of this, as "Kamış" means "reed" in Turkish (the Turkish name for the city is Kamışlı).

Demographics

The President's street

With a population of 184,231 (2004 Census), Qamishli is among the 10 largest cities in Syria by population.

Qamishli is an ethnically mixed city. Kurds make up a majority of the city's population,[9] which also has many Arabs, Assyrians,[a] and Armenians. The city is considered to be a Christian center in Syria, and was a Christian-majority city for much of its history.[10][11]

Before the Syrian Civil War, the Christian population of Qamishli was about 40,000, of whom 25,000 belonged to the Syriac Orthodox Church, the biggest church in the city. As of 2014 it was believed that half of all Christians had left the city.[12]

Historically, Qamishli was also home to a significant Jewish community. The origin of the Jews of Qamishli (unlike the Jews of Damascus and Aleppo who are a mixture of Sephardi Jews and Musta'arabi Jews) is the adjoining city of Nusaybin, on the other side of the Turkish-Syrian border. In the 1930s the Jewish population of Qamishli numbered 3,000. After the escalation of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in 1947, the situation of the Jews of Qamishli deteriorated. The exodus of Jews from Syria peaked due to violence, such as the 1947 anti-Jewish riots in Aleppo. By 1963, the community had dwindled to 800, and after the Six-Day War it went down further to 150, of whom only few remain today.

History

Qamishli in 1964

The city dates back to the 1920s, when a sizable amount of Assyrians, escaping the Assyrian genocide carried out by the Ottoman Empire, fled from northwestern Iran and southern Turkey and built a small town which they initially called Bet-Zalin. One of the most important funders of the early development projects in the city was Masoud Asfar, an Assyrian who survived the Massacres of Diyarbakır (1895) as a young child. Masoud, along with stepbrother, whose last name was Najjar, established the Asfar & Najjar Corporation, a company that produced wheat in Qamishli. Throughout the 1920s–1940s, the Asfar & Najjar Corporation funded hospitals, Assyrian schools, and churches throughout the city. However, in the 1960s and until the late 1970s, when Assyrians constituted two-thirds of the city's population, the government of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Syria Region actively confiscated Assyrian farms, lands, and areas, causing an Assyrian exodus. At this same time, many Kurds, fleeing persecution from Iraq and Turkey, moved into the region. [13][14]

The city itself was officially founded as Qamishli in 1926 as a railway station on the Taurus railway.[15]

Statue of President Hafez al-Assad

Qamishli, the second largest city in al-Hasakah Governorate, is considered a center for both the Kurdish and the Assyrian ethnic groups in Syria. It was heavily settled by refugees from the Assyrian genocide. Assyrians were the majority in the city until the 1970s, when Kurds from the surrounding countryside moved into the city in numbers. Qamishli is renowned for its large Christmas parade, and Newroz and Kha b-Nisan festivals.

21st century

In March 2004, during a chaotic soccer match, the Qamishli riots began when visiting Arab fans from Deir ez-Zor started praising Saddam Hussein to taunt the Kurdish home fans. The riot expanded out of the stadium and weapons were used against people of Kurdish background. In the aftermath, at least 30 Kurds were killed as the Syrian security services took over the city.[16] The event became known the "Qamishli massacre".

Qamishli streets during Christmas

In June 2005, thousands of Kurds demonstrated in Qamishli to protest the assassination of Sheikh Khaznawi, a Kurdish cleric in Syria, resulting in the death of one policeman and injury to four Kurdish civilians.[17][18] In March 2008, according to Human Rights Watch,[19] three more Kurds were killed when Syrian security forces opened fire on people celebrating the spring festival of Newroz.

Syrian Civil War

With the Syrian Civil War and the Rojava conflict from 2011, the city grew into a major political role, being the de facto capital of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES). Part of the city, as well as an area to the south which includes Qamishli Airport, remain under the administration of the Syrian government.

Unlike many Syrian cities, Qamishli has not seen large-scale fighting during the war, although it has been affected by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attacks in 2015 and 2016, as well as brief skirmishes between AANES and regime forces in 2016 and 2018. Qamishli is home to Chirkin prison, which houses detained Islamic State militants.[20]

Government

2015 division of the city

The Syrian government remains in control of a large part of the centre of the city as well as a substantial rural area to the south, including the airport, the border crossing, various government buildings, and many residential neighborhoods. The Damascus government still organises the production and the distribution of the harvest in the southern countryside, and organizes flights between Qamishli and other Syrian cities, as well as Beirut. Most of the city is under the administration of the AANES.[21]

Climate

The Köppen climate classification subtype for this climate is "Csa" (Mediterranean climate; dry-summer subtropical climate). The summers tend to be dry and warm, with July being the hottest month of the year, while the winters are usually cold and wet, with January being the coldest month and having an average of 11 days of rain. In total, around 53 days of rain occur every year.[22]

Climate data for Qamishli (1961–1990, extremes 1952–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.6
(74.5)
23.0
(73.4)
32.0
(89.6)
36.4
(97.5)
41.0
(105.8)
46.0
(114.8)
48.5
(119.3)
47.3
(117.1)
44.0
(111.2)
38.6
(101.5)
29.8
(85.6)
27.0
(80.6)
48.5
(119.3)
Average high °C (°F) 10.6
(51.1)
12.6
(54.7)
16.9
(62.4)
22.0
(71.6)
29.1
(84.4)
36.0
(96.8)
40.3
(104.5)
39.5
(103.1)
35.3
(95.5)
27.7
(81.9)
19.5
(67.1)
12.6
(54.7)
25.2
(77.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.1
(43.0)
7.8
(46.0)
11.4
(52.5)
16.0
(60.8)
22.2
(72.0)
28.3
(82.9)
32.2
(90.0)
31.5
(88.7)
27.5
(81.5)
20.9
(69.6)
13.6
(56.5)
8.0
(46.4)
18.8
(65.8)
Average low °C (°F) 2.3
(36.1)
3.5
(38.3)
6.2
(43.2)
10.2
(50.4)
14.7
(58.5)
19.6
(67.3)
23.2
(73.8)
22.7
(72.9)
19.3
(66.7)
14.4
(57.9)
8.8
(47.8)
4.1
(39.4)
12.4
(54.3)
Record low °C (°F) −11.3
(11.7)
−9.5
(14.9)
−6.7
(19.9)
−2.9
(26.8)
4.6
(40.3)
10.7
(51.3)
15.3
(59.5)
15.8
(60.4)
9.8
(49.6)
1.2
(34.2)
−3.0
(26.6)
−6.7
(19.9)
−11.3
(11.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 78.3
(3.08)
70.5
(2.78)
65.0
(2.56)
66.3
(2.61)
29.5
(1.16)
1.7
(0.07)
0.2
(0.01)
0.0
(0.0)
0.3
(0.01)
21.7
(0.85)
37.1
(1.46)
68.4
(2.69)
439.0
(17.28)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.6 7.9 8.3 8.0 3.6 0.6 0.0 0.0 0.1 3.2 4.9 7.9 53.1
Average relative humidity (%) 71 68 64 60 47 29 24 24 27 39 57 70 48
Mean monthly sunshine hours 148.8 154.0 204.6 222.0 288.3 339.0 356.5 350.3 312.0 254.2 192.0 148.8 2,970.5
Mean daily sunshine hours 4.8 5.5 6.6 7.4 9.3 11.3 11.5 11.3 10.4 8.2 6.4 4.8 8.1
Source 1: NOAA[23]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (humidity, 1974–1978),[24] Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)[25]

Transportation

Qamishli Airport was closed to civilians in October 2015, but later reopened. Syrian airline companies including Cham Wings Airlines, FlyDamas and Syrian Air provide flights between Qamishli and Damascus, Latakia, and Beirut.

Media and education

The Kurdish-language newspaper Nu Dem has its headquarters in Qamishli.[6]

While prior to the Rojava conflict, there had been no institution of higher education in northeastern Syria, in September 2014 the Mesopotamian Social Sciences Academy started teaching.[7][26] Following the University of Afrin,[27] in July 2016 the Jazira Canton's Board of Education officially established the second Syrian Kurdish university in Qamishli. The University of Rojava initially comprised four faculties: Medicine, Engineering, Sciences, and Arts and Humanities. Programs taught include health, oil, computer and agricultural engineering, physics, chemistry, history, psychology, geography, mathematics, primary school teaching, and Kurdish literature.[28][29]

Notable people

See also

Notes

  1. ^ See also the article Terms for Syriac Christians

References

  1. ^ a b "2004 Census Data for Nahiya Qamishli" (in Arabic). Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics. Also available in English: UN OCHA. "2004 Census Data". Humanitarian Data Exchange.
  2. ^ Welle, Deutsche. "سوريا: قتلى وجرحى في ثلاثة انفجارات تهز مدينة القامشلي". DW.COM (in Arabic). Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Şaredariya Qamişlo bajar paqij dike" (in Kurdish). Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  4. ^ "بەکاتی قامشلۆ 10/12/2019". Rûdaw (in Kurdish). Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  5. ^ Thomas A. Carlson et al., “Qamishli — ܒܝܬ ܙ̈ܠܐ ” in The Syriac Gazetteer last modified January 14, 2014, http://syriaca.org/place/160.
  6. ^ a b Zurutuza, Carlos. "Syria's first Kurdish-language newspaper." (Archive) Al Jazeera. 18 October 2013. Retrieved on 22 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b "A Dream of Secular Utopia in ISIS' Backyard". New York Times. 2015-11-29. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  8. ^ Thomas A. Carlson et al., “Qamishli — ܒܝܬ ܙ̈ܠܐ ” in The Syriac Gazetteer last modified January 14, 2014, http://syriaca.org/place/160.
  9. ^ The Kurds of Northern Syria: Governance, Diversity and Conflicts, pg. 15
  10. ^ (in Armenian) Ծննդավայրս՝ Գամիշլի կամ Եղէգնուտ Archived 2012-03-01 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "al-Qamishli – Syria". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  12. ^ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH (24 November 2014). "Islamischer Staat: Die Kirche der Jungfrau in Qamischli". FAZ.NET. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  13. ^ http://homelandsyria.com/index.php/history-of-qamishli/
  14. ^ Nineveh Magazine, 2014, Bet-Shlimon, Andrew
  15. ^ "Al-Qāmishlī | Syria". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  16. ^ James Brandon (February 15, 2007). "The PKK and Syria's Kurds". Terrorism Monitor. Washington, DC: The Jamestown Foundation. p. Volume 5, Issue 3. Archived from the original on November 7, 2007.
  17. ^ Blanford, Nicholas (June 15, 2005). "A murder stirs Kurds in Syria". USA Today.
  18. ^ Fattah, Hassan M. (July 2, 2005). "Kurds, Emboldened by Lebanon, Rise Up in Tense Syria". The New York Times.
  19. ^ "Syria: Investigate Killing of Kurds". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  20. ^ Perry, Tom (October 10, 2019). Kasolowsky, Raissa (ed.). "Turkey shelled prison holding IS foreign fighters Kurdish-led administration". Reuters.
  21. ^ "'We have nothing': Syrian Kurds risk their lives crossing into Turkey". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Qamishli, Syria Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Kamishli Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  24. ^ "Klimatafel von Kamishly / Syrien" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  25. ^ "Station Kamishli" (in French). Meteo Climat. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  26. ^ "First New University To Open In Rojava". Rojava Report. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  27. ^ Sardar Mlla Drwish (18 May 2016). "Syria's first Kurdish university attracts controversy as well as students". Al Monitor. Archived from the original on 21 May 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  28. ^ "'University of Rojava' to be opened". ANF. 2016-07-04. Archived from the original on 2017-01-04. Retrieved 2016-07-04.
  29. ^ "Kurds establish university in Rojava amid Syrian instability". Kurdistan24. 2016-07-07. Retrieved 2016-07-07.

External links