Feyli Kurds

Feylis (also Faylis, Failis, Faylees, or Pahlis) are mostly a group of Shia Muslim Kurds[1][2][3][4] [5][6][7] whose heartland is divided between Ilam, Kermanshah, and Lorestan provinces in Iran and the eastern parts of Diyala Governorate and Wasit Governorate in Iraq. They speak the Feyli dialect of Southern Kurdish.[8]

In his book A Memoir of Baghdad (issued by Al-Rais publishing house, in Cyprus in 1993), the ex-minister Mosa Al-Shabandar describes the life of the Feylis.

Feyli homeland

Since ancient times, the Feylis have lived in the border area between Iraq and Iran, which consists of both sides of the Zagros Mountains, which they call it Kabir Kuh, "the great mountain". The areas on the Iraqi side from north to south are the following: some parts of Shahraban (now called Al-Meqdadia), Khaneqin, Mandali, Badrah, Zorbateyah, Jassan, Al–Kut and Al-Azizyah. They also reside in a number of cities in the area of Shaikh Sa’ad, Ali Sharqi, Ali Gharbi and Al–Kofah, which is 170 kilometres (110 mi) south of Baghdad. However, as early as the first decade of the 20th century, many Feylis moved to Baghdad and lived in its center. Consequently, 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 Feylis live in the following areas, from north to south: Kermanshah, Qasre Shirin, Eslamabad e Gharb, Ghilan e Gharb, Eyvan, Sirvan, Chardavol, Ilam, Chavar, Badreh, Dehloran, Abdanan, Darreh Shahr, Meymeh, Pahleh .

The Feylis in Iraqi society

The existence of the Feylis in Iraq has never been marginal. On the contrary, they have participated in all political, social, cultural, and economical activities.

Deportation from Iraq during the Saddam Hussein era

The Feylis were seen highly suspiciously by the Baathist regime.[9] Most of the targeted families were of significant influence on a large spectrum of Iraqi society. Having a high level of education, commercial success and ranking positions in the military. The Baathist regime fearing potential dissidence and opposition, implemented deportation policies against Feylis. The official claim was that Feylis were Iranian nationals.[10]

Joost Hiltermann points to the old SafavidOttoman struggle, as the leadership of each country used religious references to characterize themselves, their enemies and their battles, unfailingly casting these in sectarian terms. One group of victims of this practice was the Feylis, whose members were deported by Saddam Hussein’s regime to Iran on the grounds that, supposedly, they were basically Persians. It was no coincidence, however, that Feylis are also Shiites. Feylis were not the only Iraqi Shiites to be deported to Iran, either during the Iran–Iraq War or before it. The practice affected any Iraqi Shiites who were listed in Iraq’s population register as ‘‘of Persian origin’’ (taba’iya Faresiya), as opposed to ‘‘of Ottoman origin’’ (taba’iya Othmaniya). This designation stemmed from Ottoman times, when citizens who sought to evade extended military service used a Persian ancestor to claim they were not Ottoman subjects. The modern Iraqi state inherited this system in the early 1920s. Post-1958 republican regimes used it as the basis for deportation policies designed to serve political agendas.[11]

In 2010, the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration reported that since 2003 about 100,000 Feylis have had their citizenship reinstated.[12]

2010 Trial of Baathists involved in crimes against Feylis

On Monday 29 November 2010, an Iraqi court found Saddam Hussein's longtime foreign minister Tariq Aziz guilty of terrorizing Feylis during the Iran–Iraq War (see Kurdish rebellion of 1983 and Al-Anfal Campaign), sentencing him to 10 years in prison. Mohammed Abdul Saheb, a spokesman for Iraq's high criminal court, said: "Today a judge found Tariq Aziz guilty and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. The evidence was enough to convict him of displacing and killing Feyli Kurds. Aziz was a member of the revolutionary command council which cancelled the Iraqi nationality for many of the Feyli Kurds."[13] The spokesman also said Aziz was spared a death sentence for the crimes against humanity because he had a lesser involvement than some of his co-defendants in the atrocities against the Feyli Kurds.[14] Of the other 15 defendants in the Iraqi High Tribunal case, three Saddam Hussein loyalists were found guilty and sentenced to death. Two, including Aziz, were sentenced to 10 years in prison. The remaining 10 were acquitted, including Hussein's two half brothers, Watban Ibrahim al-Hassan and Sabbawi Ibrahim al-Hassan. The Feyli Kurd minority comes mainly from an area in northeastern Iraq that straddles the Iran–Iraq border. Saddam Hussein's regime killed, detained and deported tens of thousands of Feylis early in his 1980–1988 war with Iran, denouncing them as alien Persians and spies for the Iranians.[14]

2011 Feyli Conference in Baghdad

On Saturday the first of October 2011, the National Conference for Feyli Kurds held a conference in the Iraqi capital Baghdad which was attended by the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Al-Maliki said in a speech "the Feyli Kurds have been targets for harming, similar to other Iraqi communities". He also called "for the unity of Feyli Kurds under a common tent, uniting them and organizing their activities, together with other Iraqi communities". He ended his speech by saying "we shall support the rights of the Feyli Kurds, beginning with the restoration of their official documents and their presence in their homeland and ending with the paying back the funds that were confiscated from them (during the former regime)". The Iraqi Prime Minister also recognized "that over 22,000 Feyli Kurds had been deported from Iraq by the former regime, calling for the restoration of their rights".[15]

2012 UNHCR report on stateless people residing inside Iraq

An estimated 120,000 persons are believed to be stateless in Iraq as of 2012. These are mainly Kurds, including some Feylias. This figure is gradually decreasing with increasing numbers of Feylis regaining their Iraqi citizenship in accordance with the Nationality Law of 2006. UNHCR is assisting in the identification of stateless persons, raising awareness about their problems and facilitating their access to IDs and other legal documents.[16]

See also


  1. ^ "Full Text Iraqi Constitution confirming Feylis are Kurds "the Faili Kurds"". 28 August 2005. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Feili Kurds in Iran seek way out of identity impasse". 28 May 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  3. ^ Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada. "Iraq: Information on the Kurdish Feyli (Faily/Falli) families, including their main area of residence and their relationship with other Kurdish groups and the Iraqi regime". Iraq: Information on the Kurdish Feyli (Faily/Falli) families, including their main area of residence and their relationship with other Kurdish groups and the Iraqi regime. Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Feili Kurds in Iran seek way out of identity impasse". 28 May 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  5. ^ Contributions to the anthropology of Iran,Henry Field
  6. ^ Curazon, George N. "George N curazon's ethnological description of the feyli tribes [Archive] - Anthrogenica". anthrogenica.com.
  7. ^ Nomadism in Iran From Antiquity to the Modern Era D. T. Potts
  8. ^ "Kurdish, Southern". Ethnologue. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  9. ^ Library/ publications. "REFUGEES AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS". www.cia.gov.
  10. ^ Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for. "Refworld | Iraq: Information on the Kurdish Feyli (Faily/Falli) families, including their main area of residence and their relationship with other Kurdish groups and the Iraqi regime". Refworld.
  11. ^ Hiltermann, J. (2007). A new sectarian threat in the Middle East?. International Review of the Red Cross, 89(868), 795-808.
  12. ^ "The Faili Kurds of Iraq: Thirty Years Without Nationality". ReliefWeb. 2 April 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  13. ^ Chulov, Martin (29 November 2010). "Tariq Aziz given additional 10-year jail term for persecution of Shia Kurds". the Guardian.
  14. ^ a b Iraq court gives Tariq Aziz new 10 year sentence Archived December 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press via Yahoo! News
  15. ^ Aswat al-Iraq | Over 22,000 Iraq’s Faili Kurds deported by former regime, Maliki says
  16. ^ Inter-Agency Information and Analysis Unit | UNHCR Iraq Fact Sheet June, 2012 Archived October 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
Council of Representatives of Iraq

The Council of Representatives (Arabic: مجلس النواب‎, translit. Majlis an-Nuwwāb al-ʿIrāqiyy; Kurdish: ئه‌نجومه‌نی نوێنه‌رانی‎) is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of Iraq. It is currently composed of 329 seats and meets in Baghdad inside the Green Zone.

Diyala Governorate

Diyala Governorate (Arabic: محافظة ديالى‎ Muḥāfaẓah Diyālā) or Diyala Province is a governorate in eastern Iraq.


Feyli (also Fayli or Faili) can refer to:

Feyli Kurds, a group of Kurdish tribes located mainly in Ilam, Kermanshah provinces and Diyala Governorate

Feyli (Kurdish dialect), a dialect of Southern Kurdish

Feyli Lurs

Feyli Lurs, also Feyli Kurds and Feylis, (Feyli: لوره یل فه یلی) are a group of Lur tribes that mainly live in Lorestan, Kermanshah and Ilam. The Safavid era historian, Mirza Muhammad Husein Mostowfi (1749 A.D), classified Feyli alongside Laki, Bakhtiari and Mamasani as four subgroup of Lurs. Austen Henry Layard (1887) described Feylis as the largest and the most powerful of Lur tribes inhabiting the mountains to the north of Dezful.

Human rights in Saddam Hussein's Iraq

Iraq's era under President Saddam Hussein was notorious for its severe violations of human rights. Secret police, state terrorism, torture, mass murder, rape, deportations, forced disappearances, assassinations, chemical warfare, and the destruction of southern Iraq's marshes were some of the methods the country's Ba'athist government used to maintain control. The total number of deaths related to torture and murder during this period are unknown. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International issued regular reports of widespread imprisonment and torture.

Ilam Province

Ilam Province (Persian: استان ایلام‎) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is located in the western part of the country, sharing 425 kilometers of border with Iraq, and also bordering on the provinces of Kermanshah, Lurestan, and Khuzestan. The provincial capital is the city of Ilam. The population of the province is approximately 600,000 people (2015 estimate).

Covering an area of 19,086 square kilometers, Ilam Province includes the cities of Ilam, Mehran, Dehloran, Darreh Shahr, Sarable, Eyvan, Abdanan and Arkwaz. When the regions of Iran were created in 2014, the province was placed in Region 4.

Iraqi Lurs

Iraqi Lurs (Arabic: الوار العراق‎, Lurish:لوره یل عیراق) also referred to as Lurs in Iraq refers to ethnic Iranian people living in Iraq. Iraqi Lurs are a group of Feyli Lurs located mainly in Baghdad, Wassit and the Diyala Province of Iraq around Mandali, Khaneqin and across the Iranian border. They know themselves as Feylis and also Feyli Kurds. However, they are considered as Kurdish Lurs by themselves. Soane (1926), mentioned presence of Feyli Lurs in Kirkuk bazaars. In 1920, Lurs were 4.3% of Nasiriyah city, in Southern Iraq. Freya Stark (1932 and 1934) referred to Lurish residence in Iraq and mentioned the Iraqi Lurs as the most beautiful inhabitants of Baghdad.

Iraqi–Kurdish conflict

The Iraqi–Kurdish conflict consists of a series of wars and rebellions by the Kurds against the central authority of Iraq during the 20th century, which began shortly after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I and lasting until the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Some put the marking point of the conflict beginning to the attempt by Mahmud Barzanji to establish an independent Kingdom of Kurdistan, while others relate to the conflict as only the post-1961 insurrection by the Barzanis. The conflict lasted until the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, though tensions between the Kurdish autonomy and the central Iraqi government have continued.

The first chapter of the Iraqi–Kurdish dispute followed the end of World War I and the arrival of British forces. Mahmud Barzanji began secession attempts in 1919 and in 1922 proclaimed the short-lived Kingdom of Kurdistan. Though Mahmud's insurrections were defeated, another Kurdish sheikh, Ahmed Barzani, began to actively oppose the central rule of the Mandatory Iraq during the 1920s. The first of the major Barzani revolts took place in 1931, after Barzani, one of the most prominent Kurdish leaders in Northern Iraq, succeeded in defeating a number of other Kurdish tribes. He ultimately failed and took refuge in Turkey. The next serious Kurdish secession attempt was made by Ahmed Barzani's younger brother Mustafa Barzani in 1943, but that revolt failed as well, resulting in the exiling of Mustafa to Iran, where he participated in an attempt to form the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad.

In 1958, Mustafa Barzani and his fighters returned to Iraq from exile, and an attempt was made to negotiate Kurdish autonomy in the north with the new Iraqi administration of Gen. Qasim. The negotiations ultimately failed and the First Iraqi–Kurdish War erupted on 11 September 1961, lasting until 1970 and inflicting 75,000–105,000 casualties. Despite the attempts to resolve the conflict by providing Kurds with a recognized autonomy in north Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), the negotiations failed in 1974, resulting in resumed hostilities known as the Second Iraqi–Kurdish War, which resulted in the collapse of the Kurdish militias and the reconquest of northern Iraq by Iraqi government troops. As a result, Mustafa Barzani and most of the KDP leadership fled to Iran, while PUK gained power in the vacuum, leading an insurgency campaign against the central Iraqi government. Since 1976 PUK and KDP relations quickly deteriorated, reaching the climax in April 1978, when PUK troops suffered a major defeat by KDP, which had the support of Iranian and Iraqi air forces. During this period, the Ba'athist authorities took the opportunity to perform large-scale displacement and colonization projects in North Iraq, aiming to shift demographics and thus distabilize Kurdish power bases.

The conflict re-emerged as part of the Iran–Iraq War, with the Kurdish parties collaborating against Saddam Husein and KDP also gaining military support by the Islamic Republic of Iran. By 1986 Iraqi leadership grew tired of the strengthening and non-loyal Kurdish entity in north Iraq and began a genocidal campaign, known as Al-Anfal, to oust the Kurdish fighters and take revenge on the Kurdish population—an act often described as the Kurdish genocide, with an estimated 50,000–200,000 casualties. In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, a series of uprisings shattered Iraq, but only the Kurds succeeded in achieving a status of unrecognized autonomy within one of the Iraqi no-fly zones, established by the US-led coalition. In the mid-1990s the conflict between the KDP and PUK erupted once again, resulting in a bloody civil war, which ended in 1997. Despite mutual recognition after the 2003 Iraq war which ousted Ba'ath rule, relations between Iraqi Kurdistan and the Iraqi central government grew strained between 2011–12 due to power-sharing issues and the export of oil.

Kurds in Iran

Iranians of Kurdish origin also known as Iranian Kurds are Iranians of Kurdish ethnicity, many of whom speak Kurdish as their first language. The Kurds are the third largest ethnic group in Iran after the ethnic Persians and Iranian Azerbaijanis, comprising more than 10% of the country's population according to the CIA.

List of massacres in Iraq

The following is a list of massacres that have occurred in the area of modern Iraq.

Mehran, Ilam

Mehran (Persian: مهران‎, also Romanized as Mehrān; formerly, Mansurabad (Persian: منسورآباد), also Romanized as Mansūrābād) is a city in and the capital of Mehran County, Ilam Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 13,118, in 2,958 families. The county is populated by Feyli Kurds.

Mehran is located near Iran's western border with Iraq. Because of its strategic proximity - only two hours' drive from Baghdad - the city has played a continuing role in dealings between Iran and Iraq.

In May 1986, during the Iran–Iraq War, Iraqi forces captured Mehran, on the western plain of the Zagros Mountains in Ilam Province, and pushed eastward to the mountain base. Mehran occupied an important position on the major north-south road, close to the border on the Iranian side. Saddam Hussein offered to exchange the captured city for the desired territory of Al-Faw. The occupation lasted only one month, however.

In 2003 the Iranian government set up a camp in Mehran to accommodate an anticipated influx of up to 50,000 Iraqi refugees from the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the U.S.. By April of that year, over 100,000 Iraqis had massed near the border, prompting the Governor of Mehran to issue a plea for additional resources.

In March 2005 the Iranian government decreed that Iranian pilgrims could once again enter Iraq through Mehran; and in May 2005 it was reported that the city is to be converted into a special tourist zone from where Iranian pilgrims will travel toward Karbala and holy Shiite sites in Iraq, to be facilitated by the construction of several three and four star hotels and two shopping malls.

Naseer Shamma

Naseer Shamma (Arabic: نصير شمه‎) is an Iraqi Kurdish musician and oud player.

He was born in 1963 in Kut, a city on the Tigris River in a family from Feyli Kurds. He began studying the oud at the age of 12 in Baghdad, following in the footsteps of Jamil and Munir Bashir. He received his diploma from the Baghdad Academy of Music in 1987. He began to teach oud after three years at the academy, as well as continuing his own studies. Shamma has composed music for films, plays and television and created the Arabic Oud House.

Persecution of Feyli Kurds under Saddam Hussein

The persecution of the Feyli Kurds was a systematic persecution of Feylis by Saddam Hussein between 1970 and 2003. The persecution campaigns led to the expulsion, flight and effective exile of the Feyli Kurds from their ancestral lands in Iraq. The persecution began when a large number of Feyli Kurds were exposed to a big campaign by the regime that began by the dissolved RCCR issuance for 666 decision, which deprived Feyli Kurds of Iraqi nationality and considered them as Iranians. The systematic executions started in Baghdad and Khanaqin in 1979 and later spread to other Iraqi and Kurdish areas.More than 350,000 Feyli Kurds had been deported to Iran as a result of the persecution campaigns and at least 15,000 Feyli Kurds have disappeared. Their remains have not been found.In 2011, the Iraqi Parliament voted to recognize the 1980 massacre of Feyli Kurds under the regime of Saddam Hussein as genocide.

Religion in Iraq

Islam is the official state religion in the Republic of Iraq, but the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Iraq is a multi ethnic and multi religious country with Islam, Christianity, Yazdanism, Zoroastrianism, Shabakism, Judaism, Mandaeism, Bahā'i, Ahl-e Haqq-Yarsanis, Ishikism and numerous other religions all having a presence in the country. Shia Islam is the main religion in Iraq followed by70% of the population, while Sunni Islam is followed by 32–37% of the people. Many cities throughout Iraq have been areas of historical prominence for both Shia and Sunni Muslims, including Najaf, Karbala, Baghdad and Samarra.

Southern Kurdish

Southern Kurdish (کوردی خوارین; kurdîy xwarîn) is a Kurdish group of languages/dialects predominantly spoken in western Iran and eastern Iraq. In Iran, it is spoken in the provinces of Kermanshah and Ilam. In Iraq it is spoken in the region of Khanaqin (Xaneqîn), all the way to Mandali, Pehle. It is also the dialect of the populous Kurdish Kakayî-Kakavand tribe near Kirkuk and most Yarsani kurds in Kermanshah province. There are also populous diasporas of Southern Kurdish-speakers found in the Alburz mountains.

Native speakers use various different alphabets to write Southern Kurdish, the most common ones are extensions of the standard Kurdish alphabets.

The extension consists of an extra vowel, "ۊ" for the Arabic-based Sorani script and "ü" for the Latin-based Kurmanji script.

Suhaylah Abd-Jaafar

Suhaylah Abd-Jaafar (born 1964) is an Iraqi lawyer and human rights activist. She was appointed Minister of displacement and migration in Ibrahim al Jaafari's Iraqi Transitional Government (2005–06). She survived a car bomb attack in February 2006. Variations of her name include Suhaila Abd-Jaafar and Suhayla Abd-Jaafar.

Wasit Governorate

Wasit Governorate (Arabic: واسط‎, translit. Wāsit) is a governorate in eastern Iraq, south-east of Baghdad and bordering Iran. Prior to 1976 it was known as Kut Province. Major cities include the capital Al Kut, Al-Hai and Al-Suwaira. The governorate contains the Mesopotamian Marshes of Shuwayja, Al-Attariyah, and Hor Aldelmj. Its name comes from the Arabic word meaning "middle," as the former city of Wasit lay along the Tigris about midway between Baghdad and Basra. Wasit city was abandoned after the Tigris shifted course.


Zurbatiyah (Arabic: زرباطية‎) is a city located in Wasit, Iraq and is a busy port of entry from Iran. It is mainly inhabited by Feyli Kurds and is just across the border from Mehran, Ilam, in Iran.

The Zurbatiyah port of entry, east of Baghdad, is one of Iraq's busiest crossing points. Hundreds of Iranians, mainly pilgrims heading for the Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, cross the border on foot each day.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.