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Historical Setting

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Chapter Summary

The land of Kurdistan is a highland of numerous parallel mountain ranges that form the eastern extension of the Zagros and the southwest belt of foothills above the Mesopotamian plain. The Kurdish language belongs to the Iranian group and is thus part of the Indo-European family of languages. Three major deportations of Jews from the Holy Land to the Land of Twin Rivers occurred between the 8th and 6th centuries B.C.E. The Kurdish society was mostly rural with traditional tribal villages following a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle. Most of the Jews of Kurdistan lived in urban centers and a smaller number of Jews lived scattered in many rural villages throughout the Kurdish mountains, where most religious shaikhs ruled. Information regarding the Jews of Kurdistan in the late 19th century is available in letters from urban centers.

Keywords: Jews; Kurdistan



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