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Nineveh Governorate

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Title: Nineveh Governorate  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Assyrian politics in Iraq, Dohuk Governorate, Tal Afar, Governorates of Iraq, Abu Ala al-Afri
Collection: Governorates of Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Nineveh Governorate, Upper Mesopotamia
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Nineveh Governorate

Nineveh Governorate
(formerly Ninawa Province)
Location of Nineveh Governorate
Country  Iraq
Capital Mosul
Governor Atheel al-Nujaifi
 • Total 37,323 km2 (14,410 sq mi)
Population (2011[1])
 • Total 3,270,422
Nineveh Province governor Atheel al-Nujaifi 2014 in the Yezidian Academy in Hanover

Nineveh Governorate (Arabic: نینوىNīnewē, Kurdish: مووسڵMûsil, Syriac: ܢܝܢܘܐ Nīnwē) is a governorate in northern Iraq or Iraqi Kurdistan, which contains the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh. It has an area of 37,323 square kilometres (3.7323×1010 m2) and an estimated population of 2,453,000 people in 2003. Its chief city and provincial capital is Mosul, which lies across the Tigris river from the ruins of ancient Nineveh. Tal Afar is also a major city within the region. Before 1976, it was called Mosul Province and it included the present-day Dohuk Governorate.

An ethnically and culturally diverse region, it has been subject to attacks by the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, with Mosul being captured on 10 June 2014, and many places of worship destroyed.[2]


  • Recent history and administration 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Administrative Districts 3
  • Provincial politics 4
    • Provincial elections 4.1
      • 2005 December 4.1.1
      • 2005 January 4.1.2
  • Proposed Assyrian autonomous region 5
  • See also 6
  • Notes and references 7
  • Further reading 8

Recent history and administration

Its two cities endured the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and emerged unscathed. In 2004, Mosul and Tal Afar were fierce between US-led Iraqi insurgency. The insurgents moved Nineveh after the Battle of Fallujah in 2004.

After the invasion, the military of the province was led by (then Major General) David Petraeus of the 101st Airborne Division and later by (then Brigadier General) Carter Ham as the multi-national brigade for Iraq. During the American civil head of the local office of the Coalition Provisional Authority was a US Foreign Service Officer and former Kurdish refugee to the States. Mustafa administered her nominees on the provincial council and through members of the Kashmoula family.

In June 2004, Osama Kashmoula became the interim governor of the province and in September of the same year he was assassinated en route to Baghdad. He was succeeded as interim Governor by Duraid Kashmoula, who was elected governor in January 2005. Duraid Kashmoula resigned in 2009.[3] In April 2009, Atheel al-Nujaifi, a hardline Arab nationalist and member of Al-Hadba, became governor.[4]

In June 2014, insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIS or ISIL) overran the capital Mosul, deposing governor al-Nujaifi.[5] The seizure of Mosul prompted an estimated 500,000 refugees to flee the area.[6]


Nineveh Province is multiethnic. There are significant numbers of Arabs, indigenous Assyrians, Kurds, Yazidis as well as Shabaks both in towns and cities, and in their own specific villages and regions. There are also numbers of Turkmen and Armenians.

In religion, the majority of Arabs are Sunni Muslim while Turkmen are mostly Shi'ite, Assyrians and Armenians are exclusively Christian, and with Yazidism and Shabaks following their own religious beliefs. Ninawa has no ethnic majority, although Arab Sunnis form a plurality in the province.

The main language spoken is Arabic and kurdish. Minority languages include Neo-Aramaic (Assyrian), Kurdish (to include dialects of Kurmanji, Shengali), Shabaki, Turkoman, and Armenian.

Administrative Districts

Districts of Nineveh

Nineveh Governorate comprises 30 districts, listed below with their areas[7] and populations as estimated in 2003:[8]

District Name
in Arabic
Area in
sq. km
in 2003
Al-Mosul الموصل 4,471 1,432,230
Al-Hamdaniya الحمدانية 1,155 125,665
Tel Kaif تلكيف 1,244 167,647
Sinjar سنجار 2,928 166,466
Tel Afar تلعفر 4,453 300,878
Al-Shikhan الشيخان 1,333 58,132
Al-Hadar الحضر 9,738 37,655
Al-Ba'aj البعاج 9,172 88,401
Makhmur مخمور 2,759 76,042
Total 37,323 2,453,116

Aqrah District (formerly part of Nineveh Governorate) and the northern part of Al-Shikhan District are currently under the Kurdistan Regional Government control, as Mosul has no control over these districts.

Provincial politics

Provincial elections

Since no real census has been taken for decades, the election results are the only indicator of the province's ethnic distribution. It should be noted that many Assyrians and Yazidis claim that ballot papers were denied them; in addition, many members of ethnic groups voted for mainstream parties or ethnic parties that were attached to mainstream Arab or Kurdish led parties.[9]

2005 December

  • Sunni Arab Group, 324,518 (47%)
  • Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan, 156,476 (19%)
  • Allawi's Multi-ethnic Group, 91,661 (11%)
  • Sunni Group, 81,976 (10%)
  • Shia Arab Group, 61,083 (7%)
  • Yezidi Group, 18,618 (1%)
  • Assyrian Group, 12,323 (1%)

2005 January

  • Sunni Group, 56,000
  • Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan, 42,000
  • Shia Group, 23,000
  • Allawi's Multi-ethnic Group, 21,000
  • Assyrian Group, 3,500
  • Yezidi Group, 3,200
  • Turkman Group, 1,800

Proposed Assyrian autonomous region

Many Assyrian leaders advocate an autonomous region within Nineveh Province. National Iraqi leaders have not taken this plan seriously, but it has a strong proponent in the Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Finance Sarkis Aghajan, himself an Assyrian and a prominent figure in the Kurdish government. Minister Sarkis has claimed that the autonomous region he envisions would stretch from the Syrian border to the north at Peshkabur to Bakhdida. He says it would have its own parliament, executive council, constitution, budget, logo, and flag.[10]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ COSIT (Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology), Baghdad.
  8. ^ NGO Co-ordination Committee.
  9. ^
  10. ^

Further reading

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