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2012-12-26 12:05:26 Views : 1930 |


Translated by: Aziz Emmanuel Zebari


With its houses and white church, the village of Dehe lies where the two rocky mountains of Matina and Khabour join amid a green valley some 40 km to the north east of Duhok.

Dehe has an ancient history which goes back to pre-Christianity times. This is attested by the existence of ancient remains. It was also a centre for churches, monasteries and religious during early Christianity. The remains of those churches and monasteries are still standing in the outskirts of the village such as the churches of Mar Qayouma, Mart Shmooni, and Mar Gewargis. Monks’ cells, on the other hand, are found in abundance it the mountain of Matina.

What distinguishes the village most is the olive tree, vineyard, and apple orchards. It is almost the only village in the area where  growing olive tree is the main profession of the inhabitants.  

Apparently, the village used to be prosperous with a large population during old times, perhaps for its remarkable situation, because unlike the other villages in the area, it enjoys a mild weather and a few snowfall during winter. This is evident from the ruins of nine watermills in the town along the valley which the inhabitants think used to provide the area with flour.

Dehe also enjoyed importance and much care during the first half of the 20thcentury when the  there were more than 80 houses in the village. It also had health care, cultural and religious centres. The American missionaries also built a large three-story school in the village for teaching Syriac and other sciences. The school used to be there until late 50s of the last century.

According to the 1957 census, the village had a population of 292 people. One hundred families lived in 44 houses built of Basalt and before 1961, it used to have a population of 615.

Like other villages, Dehe was subject to destruction and pillage; it was razed to the ground four times since 1961. The last such destruction was in 1988.

Mr. Sakis Aghajan restored life to the village when he it was covered by the reconstruction campaign he launched. The Higher Committee for Christian Affairs (HCCA) , on his instructions and support, built 56 new houses in the village which was linked to a water supply system and provided with two power supply generators.


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