Diana, Iraq

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Country  Iraq
Autonomous region  Kurdistan
Elevation Template:Infobox settlement/lengthdisp

Diana (Arabic: ديانا‎, Syriac: ܕܝܢܐ) is a town in Erbil Governorate, northern Iraq. Diana is the capital of Soran district which has a population of approximately 125,000, of which 64% were refugees who returned to Iraq within the last ten years. The town has mushroomed from a small village in the 1990s, and is expected to increase within the next ten years by a further 50,000 people.

The name of name Diana is derived from the Kurdish word for "Christian" since it was settled initially by Assyrian Christians.


The town was originally inhabited by Assyrians albeit ruled by Kurdish Aghas.[1]

Soran District in has been flooded with returning refugees from Iran, where they fled between 1974 and 1989. The population grew from 27,000 in 1991, before the Kurdish uprising, to about 125,000 in the last fifteen years. Most of these returnees settled in and around Soran, unable to return to their villages which had been destroyed by the former regime’s army, or unwilling to return to locations still under threat of Turkish bombings and incursions and the presence of PKK forces there.

The city's original name, Siddeeq was changed to Soran, Siddeeq being a camp which was constructed in the late 70s and settled with Kurdish inhabitants from with populations in surrounding areas who had been forcefully displaced by Saddam Hussein's regime. After the uprising in 1991, Siddeeq, which is an Arabic name was changed to the Kurdish name of Soran. However the city of Diyana has kept its name.

Diana is located on the Hamilton Road connecting Arbil to Iran through Hajomaran (a sub-district of Choman district).


Both Sorani and Bahdini accents of Kurdish are equally common and used in the region. Persian is widely spoken along with the two accents of Kurdish because a large number of the inhabitants of the town are returnees from Iran, and a large number of them were even born and raised in Iran. Assyrians of Hawdiyaan village and Diyana speak Syriac their native language along with Kurdish and Arabic and have their own Syriac schools school.


The current Mayor of Soran district is Kirmanj Izzat who was appointed by the Governor of Erbil.


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Coordinates: 36°39′38″N 44°33′3″E / 36.66056°N 44.55083°E / 36.66056; 44.55083{{#coordinates:36|39|38|N|44|33|3|E|region:IQ_type:city_source:GNS-enwiki |primary |name=

  1. Hamilton, Archibald Milne (1937). Road through Kurdistan: travels in Northern Iraq. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-85043-637-9.