Zākhū, Iraq

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Zākhū, Iraq

Region: Dohuk Governorate

Geographic Coordinates: 37.150000, 42.683300
Climate: Dry and hot summers, and mild winters with occasional rainfall.
Population: 219006
Language: Kurdish

Zākhū is a small city located in the northern part of Iraq, Near the border with Turkey. It is situated in the Dohuk Governorate and has a population of approximately 200, 000 people. The city lies at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level and is surrounded by mountains, Making it an ideal location for hiking and outdoor activities. One of the most significant landmarks in Zākhū is the famous Zākhū Bridge, Which spans over a deep gorge that separates Iraq from Turkey.

The bridge was built in 2010 to replace an older bridge that had been destroyed during conflicts between Iraq and Turkey. It measures around 400 meters long and provides stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Another popular attraction in Zākhū is its vibrant bazaar where visitors can find everything from traditional Kurdish clothing to handmade crafts and souvenirs. The bazaar also offers a wide variety of local foods such as kebabs, Falafel, Hummus, And baklava. Zākhū has several historical sites that are worth visiting as well.

One such site is the ancient city of Nisibis (now known as Nusaybin), Which was once one of Mesopotamia’s major cities during Roman times. Visitors can explore ruins such as gateways, Temples, Basilicas or amphitheaters here. The region around Zākhū also boasts several natural wonders like Gali Ali Beg Canyon which stretches for more than seven miles through rocky terrain with waterfalls cascading down into pools below providing picturesque views for tourists who love trekking or hiking.

In addition to its natural beauty and cultural heritage sites like mosques or churches dating back centuries ago; Zakhu hosts many festivals throughout the year including Newroz (Kurdish New Year) celebrations when locals dress up in traditional clothes while dancing to music played on drums or flutes during this festive occasion. Zākhū is a place that has something for everyone, From history buffs to outdoor enthusiasts. It is a city that offers visitors the opportunity to experience Kurdish culture and traditions while enjoying the beauty of its natural surroundings.

With its friendly people, Delicious food, And rich history, Zākhū is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Iraq.

Important Landmarks

  1. The Great Zab River is a beautiful river that flows through the city of Zākhū and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
  2. Dokan Lake is located near Zākhū and is a popular tourist destination for fishing, swimming, and boating.
  3. Qubur al-Abbas is a historical site located in the outskirts of Zākhū that dates back to the 13th century.
  4. Mount Korek offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area and has become a popular spot for hiking and camping.
  5. The Citadel of Zakho is an ancient fortress that was built during the Ottoman Empire era and has now been restored as a museum showcasing local history.
  6. Zakho Bridge spans across the Great Zab River in Zakho city center offering spectacular views from both sides of it.
  7. The Kurdish Textile Museum is dedicated to traditional Kurdish textiles showcasing their unique designs throughout history.

Primary Industries

  • Zākhū is a small city located in Iraq, near the border with Turkey.
  • The city has several major industries and businesses that contribute to its economy.
  • Firstly, Zākhū is known for its fertile land and agricultural production. The city produces various crops such as wheat, barley, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Secondly, due to its strategic location near the border with Turkey, Zākhū serves as an important trade hub for goods coming into Iraq from neighboring countries.
  • Thirdly, tourism is also a significant industry in Zākhū. The city boasts several historical sites such as the ancient city of Lalish and the Geli Ali Beg waterfall that attract tourists from all over Iraq.
  • Fourthly, construction has become an essential industry in Zākhū due to a growing population and increasing demand for housing and infrastructure development.
  • Fifthly, there are numerous retail businesses in Zākhū that sell clothing items, electronics products household goods among others since it is considered a commercial center for the surrounding region.
  • Lastly but not least there are many service-oriented businesses such as banks hospitals/clinics/healthcare facilities etc., which cater to local residents’ needs.

  • Noteable History

    Historical Events Associated with Zākhū:

    1. The Battle of Zākhū (1832): Kurdish forces led by Bedir Khan Bey defeated the Ottoman Empire in this battle, which helped establish their independence from Ottoman rule.
    2. The Assyrian Genocide (1915-1918): During World War I, thousands of Assyrians were killed by Ottoman forces in and around Zākhū.
    3. The Gulf War (1990-1991): Iraqi forces launched missiles at Israel from sites near Zākhū during this conflict.

    Notable Individuals Associated with Zākhū:

    1. Bedir Khan Bey: A Kurdish leader who led his troops to victory against the Ottomans at the Battle of Zākhū in 1832.
    2. Mar Shimun XXI Benyamin: A prominent Assyrian religious leader who was born in Zākhū in 1887.
    3. Jalal Talabani: A Kurdish politician who served as President of Iraq from 2005 to 2014 and was born near Zākhū.
    4. Adnan Karim: A renowned Kurdish singer born in Zakhû in 1956 who has released many popular albums throughout his career.

    Overall, due to its role in Kurdish history, today, it remains an essential cultural center for Kurds living both inside and outside Iraq.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Zakho Bridge: A historical bridge that connects the city of Zakho to Turkey.
    2. Duhok Museum: A museum that showcases the history and culture of the Kurdish people.
    3. Qubad Pasha Castle: A 19th-century castle located in the center of Zakho.
    4. Lalish Temple: A sacred temple for Yazidis located in a valley near Zakho.
    5. The Great Zab River: A scenic river that runs through Zakho and offers beautiful views and recreational activities.
    6. Bazaar of Zakho: An old market with traditional architecture where visitors can buy local handicrafts and souvenirs.
    7. The Ancient City of Shahrizor: An archaeological site located near Zakho that dates back to ancient Assyrian times.
    8. Mount Korek Tourist Resort: A popular tourist destination located near Zakho with stunning views and outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking.
    9. The Kurdish Textile Museum: A museum dedicated to showcasing traditional Kurdish textiles and clothing from different regions across Kurdistan.
    10. Hawler Park Erbil: It is a theme park for families which has many rides including roller coasters, water slides, Ferris wheel etc.

    Cultural Events

    1. Zākhū Festival: This festival is held annually in August to celebrate the city’s culture, history, traditions, music, dance and food.
    2. Newroz Festival: Newroz is a Kurdish festival that marks the beginning of spring and the Kurdish New Year. It is celebrated on March 21st every year with traditional dances, music performances and feasts.
    3. Eid al-Fitr: Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan (the month of fasting). It is celebrated with prayers at mosques followed by family gatherings and feasts.
    4. Ashura: Ashura is a Shia Muslim religious observance that commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (grandson of Prophet Muhammad) in 680 AD. It involves mourning processions, recitation of elegies (latmiyat), self-flagellation rituals (zanjeer zani) and distribution of food to mourners.
    5. International Day for Tolerance: This day is observed on November 16th every year to promote tolerance among nations, cultures and religions. In Zākhū, it may be celebrated with cultural exhibitions or seminars on tolerance.

    Note: Due to political instability in Iraq over recent years many cultural events may have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely until further notice.


    • Kababji Restaurant – This is a well-known restaurant chain that serves Lebanese cuisine with grilled meat dishes such as shawarma and kebabs.
    • Al-Qasr Restaurant – A traditional Iraqi restaurant that offers a variety of dishes such as biryani, grilled meat platters and stews.
    • Falafel Abu Ali – This place is famous for its falafel sandwiches made with fresh ingredients and served with tahini sauce.
    • Al-Sheikhly Bakery – Known for its freshly baked bread and pastries including samoon (Iraqi bread), ka’ak (a sesame-flavored bread) and baklava.
    • Bait al-Madfoon Restaurant – Specializes in madfoon (a traditional Iraqi dish made of lamb or chicken cooked underground).
    • Al-Rawabi Restaurant – Serves Middle Eastern cuisine including hummus, tabbouleh salad, stuffed grape leaves, grilled meats and more.
    • Shawarma Yummy – Another popular spot for shawarma sandwiches filled with chicken or beef cooked on a spit-fire grill.
    • Darbandikhan Fish Market & Restaurant- Located near the Darbandikhan Lake serving fresh fish dishes like masgouf cooked over open flames on wooden planks.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Azadi Park: It’s a well-known park in the city that provides walking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds for children, and a lake.
      2. Zākhū Waterfall: This waterfall is situated just outside the city and is a famous spot for hiking and picnicking.
      3. Dohuk Dam: This dam is located at a short distance from Zākhū and offers fishing opportunities along with scenic views of the surrounding mountains.
      4. Shilanka Park: This park comprises an amusement park with rides for children as well as picnic areas and walking trails.
      5. Kani Masi Ski Resort: It’s about an hour’s drive from Zākhū, this ski resort offers skiing and snowboarding during winters.
      6. Geli Ali Beg Canyon: Located near the town of Barzan, this canyon is popular among hikers and rock climbers alike.
      7. Qalat Samaan Park: This park showcases ancient ruins dating back to the Roman era along with picnic areas and walking trails.


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