Sunnis in “Mahabad”

Sunnis in “Mahabad”
mahabadThe city of “Mahabad” مهاباد is one of the most important cities of the Sunni community in western Iran. It is located south of Lake Urmia, in a narrow valley at a height of 1300 metres above sea level. Mahabad is one of the big cities of “Western Azerbaijan” province (northwest Iran), which is connected by road with “Tabriz” تبریز which lies about 300 km to the north, and away from each of “Urmiya” and “Arbil” in Iraq, about 150 km.

Inhabites of Mahabad are Mukryani Kurds, who speak Soryani dialect among the various Kurdish dialects prevalent in the land of the Kurds. Mahabad is known one of the centers of the Sunnis in western Iran. A small number of Shiites live in the city, who belong to other cities and provinces basically.
Mahabad has a strategic site because of special draw close to a group of cities along the border with Iraq. Mahabad has a moderate atmosphere in summers due to its location between high mountains; so people enjoy a normal weather in all seasons. Its location among mountains and highlands, as well as a river which cuts through the heart of the city has increased in the beauty of the city. It is a rich agricultural center and the city is famous for the popular types of carpets and textiles.
Most of the city’s residents are Sunni Kurds, as mentioned, and the number of people according to official statistics conducted in 2006 is more than 197 thousand people.
There are 72 mosques inside Mahabad city and around 185 mosques in suburb areas.

Something from the history of “Mahabad”:

Original name of this city is “Sawjblagh” ساوجبلاغ in the Turkish language, it is called in Mahabadi dialect “Sablag”. King Reza Khan changed it into ”Mahabad”. There is no any certain idea about the meaning of Mahabd.
This region was battlefield of Safavid and Ottomani forces which witnessed many bloody wars. Local tribal chiefs used to support the more powerful and winner of wars always. There are many artifacts and historical places around Mahabad city.
Mahabad has a great importance among Kurd nation. Mahabad was briefly the capital of the short-lived Republic of Mahabad, which was declared independent on January 1, 1946 under the leadership of Kurdish nationalist Qazi Muhammad. The republic received strong support from the Soviet Union, which occupied Iran during the same era and included the Kurdish towns of Piranshahr, Sardasht, Bukan, Naqada and Ushnaviya.
After an agreement brokered by the United States, the Soviets agreed to leave Iran in which sovereignty would be restored to the Shah in 1947. The Shah ordered an invasion of the Republic of Mahabad shortly afterwards under which the leaders of the republic including Qazi Muhammad were arrested and executed on 31 March 1947 in Mahabad before public. Meanwhile, Mustafa Barzani succeeded to scape along some his fighters.

Mahabad in our time:

This is the city of a large number of great and prominent personalities who peaked their highest status in the fields of culture, politics, social and academic activities. in addition to these factors, some other impressive points increase in its importance, such as geographical location, political and international status.
The ex-regime of Pahlavis realized the strategic location of Mahabad region, as they started many developmental projects. Many famous personalities got high positions in the Pahlavis’ regime. But the previous and present regimes have inhabited settlers from other sects and languages. The implementation of policy of the settlement of other ethnic groups, which was followed by the Pahlavi regime created a lot of crises and caused eruption of many movements and revolutions by the people of “Mahabad” which increased tensions in the region.
Despite the Public Revolution in 1979, the problems of Mahabd remained unfinished like other Sunni-majority areas. Unemployment and lack of jobs is one of the biggest problems of local people. Hundreds of graduates have been looking up for jobs where settlers enjoy the posts. Many high level academicians and professional figures live in Mahabad, the authorised departments have neglected them and the nation is deprived from their knowledge. Even in a recent election one of the eminent personalities wanted to be representative of his city’s people in Shura Council, but the officials denied his candidacy.
We think an urgent solution is deeply needed in order to develop the standard of masses’ life and maintain them in mainstream.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts