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BAKHDIDA                 

              Bakhdida is also known as "Qara Qosh", a name given to her by the Ottoman Turks.
Bakhdida is located less than 18 miles east of Mosul. Most of its inhabitants follow the Syriac Catholic denomination. Currently, it's the center of the al-Hamdaniya Municipality which also include Bartilla and Karamlis.

The name Bakhdida is of Aramaic origin "Beth Khdidy" meaning "House of Youth".  Some also think that Bakhdida is from the Aramaic "Beth Deta" meaning "House of the Kite", which made the Ottoman Turks call it "Qara Qosh" which means "The Black Bird" in Turkish. Saying that, however according to Mr. Hanna Hajjar's research in Ancient Assyrian (Akkadian Cuneiform), the "Kara Qosh" name is much older.  In fact in ancient Assyrian (Akkadian) "Qushu" means "Bird" too (Reference: Assyrian Dictionary of Chicago, The Oriental Institute). So this could not be a mere coincidence, but rather the Turkish name is based on the original Ancient Assyrian name.  On the other hand "Kar" in Ancient Assyrian means "Castle" or "Fortress" or "Citadel".  Based on this it's believed that "Kara Qosh" (the older name of "Bakhdida") was originally "Kar Qushu" meaning "Castle of Birds".

The archeologist Obert, believes Bakhdida is where the Assyrian city, Resen, used to be, however, H.G. Rawlinson on the other side disagrees.

Not much is known of the history of Bakhdida prior to the 12th century, when the Mapheryan Yohanna IV died in it in 1189. Bakhdida was also mentioned when Mapheryan Ethnaseous Abraham II (1164-1179)  "..visited Assur to meet the believers, he was met by Nor al-Deen, head of Bakhdida.."

In 1261, Bakhdida was attacked by the Kurds who occupied the  Nuns' monastery and massacred its occupants and kidnapped many children and women. It was also attacked by the Mongols in 1324 when 4 churches were burned and many of its inhabitants massacred. As was the case with other Chaldean villages in the plain of Nineveh, Bakhdida was not saved from the massacres and destruction of Nader Shah's campaign in 1743.  Bakhdida was also subject to a great famine in 1828 which killed many of its people.

Churches of Bakhdida
There are 8 churches in Bakhdida divided between Syriac Catholics and Syriac Orthodox.

1. Church of the Immaculate: or the Church of Virgin Mary. It was mentioned by Mapheryan Denosyos Mosa (1112-1142) who visited it in 1129. It was also mentioned by Mapheryan Egnateyos La'azer (1143-1164). In this church are the remains of Mapheryan Deosqoros Behnam II who was buried there in 1417, and that of Mapheryan Baselos Aziz who was buried there in 1487. This church was attacked and its contents plundered in 1508. Several attempts were made to reconstruct it. The first was in 1745 to rebuild what was destroyed by Nader Shah in 1743. It was rebuilt again 1847. The last reconstruction for this church was in 1964.

2. Church of Mar Zyna: This church was first mentioned in 1589 by the priest Jacob bin Eliya bin Hirmis who was referring to the reconstruction being done on it, which indicates that this church was built many years before that. It was also reconstructed in 1744 and lately in 1964. In this church was found a statue for one of the Assyrian gods, which currently is displayed at the Museum of Mosul.

3. Church of Sarkis and Bakos: The oldest church in Bakhdida. It's believed that this church was built in the sixth or the seventh century. This church was burned by Nader Shah in 1743. It was reconstructed in 1744. Currently, this church is under the care of the Syriac Orthodox.

4. Church of Mart Shmony: This church was built prior to the eight century, since it's records indicate that it was reinvigorated in 791.

5. Church of John the Baptist: This church was built prior to 1748 when its name was mentioned by the priest Habash bin Joma'a.

6. Church of Mar Jacob: Originally was called Church of Mar Andrawes. It was overtaken by the Catholic at the order of Hassan Pasha al-Jalely in 1770 and renamed. It was reinvigorated in 1970.

7. Church of Martyr Mar Gewargis: This church was standing prior to 1269 when in it was mentioned in an inscription written by Joseph bin Khames al-Senjari.

8. The New Church of Immaculate: Building of this church started in 1932. Phase one was completed in 1939, and final phase by 1948.

Famous Bakhdidaians:
1. Bishop Eyaones Ayoub (died 1284).
2. Bishop Eyanones Yohanna al-Khdidy. Head of Mar Behnam Monastery (1596-1625).
3. Mapheryan Baselos al-Khdidy who headed the Syriac Diocese in Malabar, India (1678-1685).
4. The priest Habash bin Joma'a, known for his recordings of Nader Shah's campaign in 1743.
5. The Monk Bakos bin Marqos al-Khdidy, known for his inscriptions (1572-1597).

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