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2012-10-27 15:42:52 Views : 6931 |



Translated by: Aziz Emmanuel Zebari

The Town of Shaqlawa lies at the foot of Mountain Safeen in a fertile and vast valley 50 km north of the Governorate of Erbil. To its east and north is the Sorek mountain, and to the west and south the high and lofty Mountain Safeen which is covered by vast and dense forests. What adds additional significance to the town is its proximity to Erbil.

There is no reference to the town before the 12th century. It is referred to by Arab historians as Shaqlabad, Shaqlabund, Shaqabad, Shaqli etc , the present name is a coinage from the old ones and it is hard to explain it due to the various morphological forms of the name. The nearest explanation, however, is a place “ with abundant water and trees”.

The residents of the village in the past used to leave their homes in late May, i.e. by the end of the rain season and dwelt in the orchards where they took up rooms made up of tree leaves only to return to the village by October with the beginning of winter. Now, and as everyone have built themselves houses in their own orchards, and after the village was destroyed in 1985, people gave up this habit.

There are churches and many shrines in Shaqlawa such as Virgin Mary’s church in the middle of the Christian quarter in the orchards. Work started to build it in 1960 and ended in 1965 during the time of Bishop Mar Rafael Rabban under the supervision of Father Francis Sher.

The most important shrines in Shaqlawa is Raban Boya which is the most famous one. It lies in a valley near the church. It is characterized by remains of a building and organized rooms which look like a monastery for a number of monks.

The town is now different from what it used to be. It is now a beautiful   tourist place with a mild weather during summer. It has a beautiful weather with a refreshing air and therefore it attracts tourists from many parts of the country.

Achievements of Mr.Sarkis Aghajan:

a.     Construction: many halls for various church services and social purposes were built in addition to a club for the retired, a building comprising a kindergarten,a church office, a playground, and a guest house.

b.    Reconstruction:

1.     pavement of the 900m long access road leading to Raban Buya Shrine with supporting walls, a car parking, an artisan well as well as planting 10 donums with trees. A road was also paved leading to Ishtar Social Centre with a supporting wall and a parking place.

2.    Restoration of St John’s shrine and converting it into a church.

3.    Construction of Martyr Father Youhanna Sher’s hall for condolences.

4.    Virgin Mary’s Church.

5.    Adday Sher’s Youth Centre.

6.    The building of Christian Affairs Office.

7.    A convent.

8.    A parking place.


The above buildings were all provided with air-conditioning and cooling systems. They were also supplied with power supply generators, and  furniture.



Four mini-buses were bought for student transportation and various other religious and social activities.

Other various equipment were provided including a bell for the Martyrs Churhc, musical instruments, sports supplies and other audio-visual equipment.


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