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Village_Araden

About Araden

Araden is a village located in the north of Iraq about 150Km from the province of Mosul and more than 50Km from Dehook city. 

The village administratively followed to Amadea district within Dehook province which is about 35 km from Araden village. It is located in the Sapna valley which is the largest famous valley in the region and located between the mountain of Metina from the north and the mountain of Kara from the south. 

The meaning of Araden is "Araa Daaden" or "Eden Paradise" as in Arabic which is an evidence of its beauty and prosperity with clear air and water and a fertile land.

Its population recorded as 1049 per the census of 1957. Number of houses before 1961 were about 200 residential houses resided by more than (350) families. In 1987 the village was targeted to complete destruction by the former regime but only the old church of Sultan Mahdokht was left. 

The inhabitants of Araden are Assyrian Catholic, and have continuously inhabited the land for more than a thousand of years. The village is relatively famous among its neighboring towns and villages for having many green-eyed and red haired people. as a testament to the ancient and isolated nature of the village, the inhabitants speak Neo-Aramaic with a unique accent closer to Old Aramaic.

There are three main families in this village: The Kasha family, the Rayes family, and the Sana family. It is believed that these three families originated from villages in the Tyari region of Turkey, although the settlement in Araden is known to have existed for thousands to years prior to their arrival, as is indicated by the presence of the ancient churches in the village. The head of the village has traditionally been the Chaldean Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Amadea. One of these Bishops, Francis Daoud, is famous for his bravery and leadership during the Assyrian Genocide by saving the Christians living in Northern Iraqi villages through heated negotiations with the Turks, using his influence as a Bishop to save them from death. He was confirmed Bishop February 24, 1910 and served until his death on October 1, 1939.

During the 1959 Kurdish-Iraqi War the people of Araden gave land to Kurdish refugees during the Kurdish rebellions. Eventually the Kurds formed a second village in Araden called "Aradenlaya", l where Kurdish families were hidden from the Iraqi military. However, the military eventually caught on to the location of the village during the first Kurdish-Iraqi War and bombed it, disbursing the Kurdish refugees to other villages. Today, those families now mainly live in the Kurdish town of Qadish, which lies about 7 kilometers east of Araden.

There is a large community of people in the Assyrian Diaspora from Araden in Metro Detroit, specifically (Warren, Sterling Heights, and Troy) Michigan. Every year the people of Araden gather and return to the village on January 12 when there is a celebration for Sultana Mahdokht, called Dukhrana.  

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Kamal Anwiya

Photo taken during my last visit to Georgia in January 2018

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Kamal Youkhanna

Product Technology - Vice President

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Graduated from University of Detroit Mercy 1996

Master of Science in Computer and Information Systems.

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