Halabja is a Kurdish town in southeast Kurdistan, making up the northern part of Iraq. The city is situated next to the Hewraman mountain range close to the border with Iran at the end of the fertile Sharazoor plain. This is a rich farmland where the Kurds have grazed their animals and grown their crops for thousands of years. A diverse community of Kurdish tribes and religions live in and around the city, which has a population of approximately 75,000. The main language spoken is the Sorani dialect, although the Hewraman dialect is also spoken in and around the surrounding villages.
A bit of history
The town was brought to international attention in the closing months of the Iran-Iraq war when on March 16th1988, the Ba’athist Government of Iraq attacked the city with chemical weapons. More than 5,000 civilians were killed and another 10,000 seriously wounded. The devastating toll on the people crippled the community. Largely neglected by their own government and abandoned by the international community, the people of Halabja have struggled to rebuild their city for the last two decades.