Home News Entertainment Sports Associations Journals Learn Assyrian Villages Churches History About us LIVE
2011-12-16 12:25:42 Views : 4023 |


The town of Baghded ( Qaraqush) lies 30kms to the eastern side of the city of Mosul the centre of Nineveh Governorate.Its inhabitants descend from the Aramaic race. They have been maintaining ties with that glorious past. During the 11th and 12th centuries, they received people belonging to their Syriac btothers from the city of Tikrit due to the wave of displacement that swept the area as a result of invasions and disputes. The new comers came to integrate with the indigenous people of the town forming a remarkable mosaic expressive of the extent of true coexistence and brotherhood. In his Dictionary of Countries, Yaqut al-Hamawi described the town saying,“ Baghdede is a big village almost like a city, belonging to Nineveh , to the east of the city of Mosul , whose inhabitants are mostly Christians”.

Baghdede before Christianity

Researchers believe that the city of Rasin mentioned in the Assyrian Chronicles lies in Baghdede. It was mentioned by the orientalistAuber, during his travels in Mesopotamia , who said, “ The location ofRasin is probably the Assyrian city built by King Nimrud, between Ashur and Kalkho, the present day location of Baghdede”. On the other hand, Abdul-Maseeh Behnam, a writer, mentioned that an inhabitant of Baghdede found a stone celyndrical seal on whose sides was inscribed the picture of an Assyrian king worshiping sun and godYay. Assyrian kings also used the area of Balawat 4kms to the south of the town as a resort. The area has seen extensive archaeological excavations led by Aracheologist Hurmez Rassam which led to the discovery of palaces and significant archaeological findings most of which are still preserved in international museums such as the British Museum and Lourvre.

The Town’s Names

Baghdede has numerous other names. Some historians maintain that it represents the remains of Rasin, the second city built by the Assyrian king Nimrud , as mentioned earlier. It has also been called Beth Khdeda, a Persian word meaning “ house of gods”, as the town used to follow the faith of Magianism and contained many temples for worshiping fire and other idols. It is also known as Qara-Qush, meaning “black bird” in Turkish. Its name is also said to be an Aramaic word deflected from “ beth deta” i.e., beth hada’a, a black bird. This name is probably preferred more due what historians say that black was favoured by both men and women until recently. The best that has been written about the town of Baghded is the “ Battle between the Persians and Assyrians in 610BC, that took place near Bakdedo in which the Assyrian army was defeated, this is a synonym for the word Beth Kdhodhe, i. e. “ house of youth “ in Aramaic.


Entry into Christianity

Baghdede embraced Christianity in the first centuries AD, but the date of the Christianization of the town is not exactly known. However, it followed the Nestorian doctrine following the Council of Ephesus and the coming of St. John of Daylam who, by the end of the seven century, managed to convert the town to the Orthox Church . It is believed that St. John of Daylam himself is buried in the Monastery of Maqurtaya three kilometers from the centres of the town.

During the tenth and eleventh centrues, the population of the town increased largely following the immigration of Syriacs from the middle of Iraq . Among the most such important immigrations is the one when the remaining Christians of Tikrit, which used to be an important centre of the Syriac Orthodox Chuch, left the city and settled down in Baghdede.The main reason behind the immigration was the destruction of the Church of Mar Ahhodama that led to the movement of the Maphrian to Mosul, whereby the town became the headquarters of the Syriac Patriarchate in northern Iraq for interrupted periods until the final movement of the patriarch representing the Church of Antioch to Mosul.  

The town’s chronicles during that period are full of news relating the invasions of the neighbouring tribes of the town; in 1261 the Monastery of Maqurtaya was attacked, looted and set to fire and many mokns wee killed. In 1324 tribes invaded the town burning the four churches in killing multitues of people.

During the Ottoman rule, Baghdede became part of Mosul Wilayat (province). The period was relatively peaceful until the coming of theAvshars in 1743 under the leadership of Nadir Shah who looted the town and burned four of its churches. The inhabitants, however, managed to survive after they took refuge behind the walls of Mosul and participated in defending the city. In return for fending off Nadir Shah’s attack, the Ottoman Sultan Mahmood the First offered the ruler of Mosul Hussein Pasha Al-Jaleely a sum of 800 Kurush (turkish coins) with which to buy the entire town of Baghdede . On hearing the news, the inhabitants decided to leave the town. But Huessein Pasha, however, changed his mind and contended himself, instead, with levying a one-tenth tax on the inhabitiants annual icome. This was the reason why the later period witnessed a famous judicial battle between the town’s inhabitants and Ayoub al-Jaleely, a descendent of Hussein Pashar al-Jaleely,   who claimed right to the lands of the town based on the prevalent feudal systems of that time. Al-Jaleely family managed to win the case in 21 Novemeber 1949, but the inhabitants made an appeal to the supreme court in Baghdad which restored the town to its owners in 1954.An other court later made a final decision in favour of the inhabitants.


The Churches of Baghdede

There are seven churches in Baghded. The oldest of them dates back to late renovations of the 12th or 13th centuries. The first mention of Christianity dates back to the 7th century. Following are the churches:

1.    The Old al-Tahira Church

2.    The Grand Tahira Church

3.    The Church of Sarkis and Bacckhus

4.    The Church of Mar Ya’acoob the Dismembered

5.    The Church of Mar Zena

6.    The Church of Mar Gewargis

7.    The Church of St. Shmoony


In 1932, following 60 years of building the last church in this blessed town, i.e., the Grand Tahira Church, that was consecrated in 1948, the fouddation stone was laid down for building a new church in Baghdede bearing the names of the two patrons of the town, Mar Behnam and his sister Sara, which now stands as a prominent landmark in the town to be a new edifice of faith side by side with the other churches in the town thanks to the tremendous support of Mr. Sarkis Aghajan who also supported other projects in the town as shown below.

Sarkis Aghajan Aid in the town of Baghdede

Aghajan supported the building of the following churches and monasteries: 

1.     The Church of the Two Martyrs Mar Behnam and his sister Sara.

2.     The Church of Mar Gewargis

3.     The Church of Resurrection

4.     Construction of the Seminary

Aghajan also renovated and reconstructed the following churches and monastries:

1.    The Grand Tahira Church

2.    The Church of Mar Ya’aqub the Dismembered

3.    The church of St. John the Baptist

4.    The Curch of Mar Sarkis and Bacckhus

5.    The Church of Mart Shmoony

6.    The Monastery of Mar Behnam the Martyr

7.    The Monastery of Mar Youhanna of Daylam

8.    The Convent of the Dominican Nuns

Construction of temples for congregations and church halls

1.    The temple of Mar Abdul-Ahad Congregation

2.    The temple of The Sacred Heart Congregation ( The Old Tahira Church)

3.    The temple of Virgin Mary ’s Congregation

4.    The funeral hall of Mar Yousif Charity Society in the Garnd Tahira Church

5.    The funeral hall of St. Joseph’s Charity Society in the church of St. John the Baptist

Service Projects:

1.    The project for the development and lining of Wadi Naqurtaya.

2.    The project for the construction of al-Ta’akhi residential complex comprising 326 flats.

3.    The project for the construction of new cemetries in the Cemetry of Resurrection (54 burial places).

4.    The project of Dar al-Salam Broadcasting Station (FM) and the provision of staff and the required supplies.

5.    The project for building the Salam ciber café for interent

6.    Development of wards at the Hospital of al-Hamdaniya and the construction of other extensions at the hospital.

7.    Construction of rooms at Hamdaniya Electricity Office.

8.    Construction of rooms at Hamdaniya Post Office.


Provision of power supply generators:

1.    A power supply generator ( 250kvs)

2.    A power supply generator (170kvs)

3.    Power supply generator (150kvs)

4.    Power supply generator ( 100kvs)

5.    Power supply generator (50 kvs)

6.    Power supply generator (25kvs)

Provison of (36) sevice vehicles of various kinds as follows:

1.     Provision of (18) modern buses (capacity 44 passengers) for student transportaion.

2.     Provision of (12) pick-up loading vehicles

3.     Provision of (5) KIA Hondai box vehicles

4.     Provision of a 4-ton loading vehicle   


2007 - 2019 © All copyrights reserved to Ishtar TV
Developed by: Bilind Hirori