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Zakho is a city, centre of the eponymous Zakho District of the Dohuk Governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan, located a few kilometers from the Iraqi-Turkish border. The city has a population of 350,000.It may have originally begun on a small island surrounded on all sides by the Little Khabur river, which flows through the modern city. The Khabur flows west from Zakho to form the border between Iraq and Turkey, continuing into the Tigris. The most important rivers in the area are the Zeriza, Seerkotik and the aforementioned Little Khabur.In July 2010 Zakho became the seat of the University of Zakho. The university is one of the eleven public universities of Kurdistan Region.EtymologyThere are several theories concerning the derivation of the name "Zakho". Some Aramaic sources maintain that the name comes from the Aramaic "Zakhota" (victory), after the battle fought between the Romans and the Persians near the city, which resulted in a Roman victory. Another version maintains that the name comes from the Kurdish words "Zey- Khowin" ("river of blood"), possibly referring to the same battle.A third opinion attributes the name to the Kurdish "Zey" (river) and "Khowak" (a curved place which blocks the water).HistoryThe town of Zakho was known to the ancient Greeks. In 1844. the traveller William Francis Ainsworth commented: "The appearance of Zakho in the present day coincides in a remarkable manner with what it was described to be in the time of Xenophon."Plan how to spend your time in Zakho and other destinations in Iraq using our Iraq trip itinerary planner.
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