Zakho is the second largest city in Duhok province, and lies just 50 km northwest of Duhok. The city is located 8 km west of Ibrahim Khalil border crossing with Turkey. Residents of different religions and ethnicities have lived together in Zakho for centuries and with about 190,000 inhabitants.
Zakho city may have been originally established on a small island in the little Khabur River which currently flows through the city. The river itself flows west of Zakho to form the border between Iraq and Turkey. This border represents the largest land border in the Kurdistan region and become now an important check point through which hundreds of thousands of trucks pass every year. Due to its strategic location and the abundance of job opportunities, Zakho has attracted many workers and job seekers from different parts of Iraq and even from Syria and Turkey. The town itself has lots of shops and commerce activities and is a major market place for commodities and merchandise serving not only the Kurdistan region, but also most of the middle and southern parts of Iraq.
History Of Zakho
The town of Zakho was known to the ancient Greeks. In 1844, the traveler William Francis Ainsworth commented: «The appearance of Zakhu in the present day coincides in a remarkable manner with what it was described to be in the time of Xenophon.» Gertrude Bell, an important British archaeologist, was convinced that Zakho was the same place as the ancient town of Hasaniyeh. She also reported that the first Christian missionary to the region, the Dominican monk Poldo Soldini, was buried there in 1779. His grave was still a pilgrimage destination in the 1950s.