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Tel Keppe

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Tel Keppe

Tel Kepe
ܬܠ ܟܐܦܐ
Tel Kepe is located in Iraq
Tel Kepe
Tel Kepe
Country Iraq
Governorate Ninawa
Municipality Tel Kaif
 • Mayor Basim Ballu
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 40,000
  Tel Kepe received a large influx of Assyrian refugees following the 2003 Iraq War

Tel Keppe (also spelled Tel Keipeh) ( Tal Kepe, Arabic: تل كيفTal Kaif), is one of the largest historically Assyrian towns in Assyria, northern Iraq. Its name means "Hill of Stones" in Syriac. It is located in the Ninawa Governorate, less than 8 miles north east of Mosul.


Historically the population was stabilized at about 12,000 residents. In a 25 year period ending in 2001 the population was 30,000.[2]

On 6 August 2014, The town fell into the hands of terrorists from the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), with nearby Assyrian towns Qara Qosh, Bartella and Karemlash.[3]

Tel Keppnias Today

Starting in the 1980s and especially after the 1991 Gulf War and 2003 Invasion of Iraq, many Assyrians from Tel Keppe fled to many countries, but primarily the United States. They set up their lives there with new churches and business for their families. By 2001 many from Tel Keppe had moved to major cities in Iraq such as Baghdad or Mosul.[4]

In The United States

As of 2004 many of the Assyrians in Metro Detroit trace their origins to Tel Keppe. According to the estimates of a priest of Tel Keppe's Sacred Heart Chaldean Rite Catholic Church, there were 10,000 worshipers in the late 1950s and this decreased to 2,000 around 2004. He said that "Many people don’t want to go from here; they cry that they have to go… But you almost have to leave these days because your family probably already is in Detroit."[5]


Tel Keppnias also fled to the neighboring countries of Syria and Iran. Many others also left to other countries including Sweden, Australia, France, and European Countries.


Tel Keppe historically was the center of the Assyrian community of Iraq. Each family residing in Tel Keppe had one or more plots of farming land located outside of Tel Keppe. The land produced barley and wheat, and animals raised there included goats and sheep. Natalie Jill Smith, author of "Ethnicity, Reciprocity, Reputation and Punishment: An Ethnoexperimental Study of Cooperation among the Chaldeans and Hmong of Detroit (Michigan)", wrote that in the reports of the village "everyone was related" and that marriage tended to occur between two people from the same village.[2]

Famous Tel Keppnias

There are and have been many famous Tel Keppnias in the United States, within Iraq, and elsewhere.


  • Shamoun (Sam)G. Dabish - Author of The History of the Iraqi Community in America,printed in
 Bhghad, Iraq, and other books: Instrumental in establishing the Chaldean Church in America.
 Church Deacon and Community Leader. 
  • Chaldean Patriarch Joseph II Marouf[6] (1667–1713).
  • Author and explorer, Mary Terez Asmar, born in 1806. Published her memoir "Babylonian Princess" in English in 1844.
  • Poet Toma Taqteq, died in 1860.
  • Fr. Shemoel Jamil (1847–1917), who was in charge of all Chaldean monasteries.
  • Journalist Maryam Narmy, born in 1890. Published first Iraqi women's issues "Arabian Woman" newspaper in 1937.
  • Yousif Malik,[7] one of the leaders of the Assyrian movement in Iraq during the 1930s. Author of "The British Betrayal of the Assyrians".[8]
  • Joseph Hirmis Jammo, author of "Nineveh's Ruins or History of TalKayf" published in 1937.
  • Journalist Alexander Marouf.
  • Rofael Babu Ishaq, born in 1893 and author of "History of Iraqi Christians". Died in 1964.
  • Mar Emannuel III Delly: Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans. (1927-2014)
  • Michael J. George,[9] (1933-2014[10]) a patriarch of metro Detroit’s large Chaldean community and a founder of Melody Farms Dairy, once one of the largest dairies in Michigan
  • Issa Hanna Dabish[11] (1919-2006[12]) Pioneer Iraqi artist (painter) Lifetime Honorary Chairman, Iraqi Artists Association.


  • Mar Gabrial Kassab: Bishop of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand for the Chaldean Catholic Church.
  • Mar Ramzi Garmo: Archbishop of Tehran - Iran for the Chaldean Chaldean Church.
  • Mar Ibrahim Namo Ibrahim: Bishop Emeritus of the Chaldean Catholic Church for the Eastern United States.
  • Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo: Bishop of the Chaldean Catholic Church for Western United States.
  • Mar Thomas Meram: Archbishop of Urmya and Salmas - Iran for the Chaldean Catholic Church.
  • Mar Francis Y. Kalabat Bishop of the Chaldean Church for the Eastern United States.

See also


  1. ^ هل كانت تلكيف بلدة آشورية قديمة؟, فؤاد يوسف قزانجي
  2. ^ a b Smith, Natalie Jill. "Ethnicity, Reciprocity, Reputation and Punishment: An Ethnoexperimental Study of Cooperation among the Chaldeans and Hmong of Detroit (Michigan)" (PhD dissertation). University of California, Los Angeles, 2001. p. 61. UMI Number: 3024065.
  3. ^ Barack Obama Approves Airstrikes on Iraq, Airdrops Aid
  4. ^ Smith, Natalie Jill. "Ethnicity, Reciprocity, Reputation and Punishment: An Ethnoexperimental Study of Cooperation among the Chaldeans and Hmong of Detroit (Michigan)" (PhD dissertation). University of California, Los Angeles, 2001. p. 62. UMI Number: 3024065.
  5. ^ "Arab, Chaldean, and Middle Eastern Children and Families in the Tri-County Area." (Archive) From a Child's Perspective: Detroit Metropolitan Census 2000 Fact Sheets Series. Wayne State University. Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2004. p. 2/32. Retrieved on November 8, 2013.
  6. ^ Joseph II (Chaldean Patriarch)
  7. ^ Yusuf Malek
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
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