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Trip PlannerAsia  /  Iraq  /  Duhok Province  /  Zakho


Zakho is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious city in northern Iraq, at the centre of the eponymous Zakho District of the Dohuk Governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan, located a few kilometers from the Iraqi-Turkish border. The city has a population of 350,000.It may have originally begun on a small island surrounded on all sides by the Little Khabur river, which flows through the modern city. The Khabur flows west from Zakho to form the border between Iraq and Turkey, continuing into the Tigris. The most important rivers in the area are the Zeriza, Seerkotik and the aforementioned Little Khabur.In July 2010, Zakho became the seat of the University of Zakho: one of only eleven public universities in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.EtymologyThere are several theories concerning the derivation of the name "Zakho". Some Aramaic sources maintain that the name comes from the Aramaic zāḵū (זָכוּ, "victory"), after the battle fought between the Romans and the Persians near the city, which resulted in a Roman victory.Another version maintains that the name comes from the Kurdish words zey- khowin ("river of blood"), possibly referring to the same battle.A third opinion attributes the name to the Kurdish for "river bend", from zey ("river") and khowak ("a curved place which blocks the water").
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