About the city of Koya,
Koya is an ancient Kurdish city located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Early settlement in the area can be dated back to at least 3000 BC in a village called "Pibazoak", which is just a few kilometers away from the city of Koya. The population of Koya is approximately over 100,000. Koya is surrounded by many villages which have positively affected the lifestyle of the city. Generally, it is considered as an agricultural area with many vital products. The British provincial administrator and inspector Wallace Lyon traveled through the city in 1923 and noted that the area was a centre for tobacco. The city is located between the two lofty mountains of Bawaji and Bijhar (Haibat-Sultan).
Historically the city has been a shelter for many people with different ethnicity and religious beliefs. Although the Muslims have always been in majority this city has been home to Jews, Christians, Ézídí, Yaristaní and etc. There is a quarter in the town centre that still called the Christian Quarter. There has always been a good balance and religious harmony among all the religious ethics in the city. There is also a village called "Hermote" just a few kilometers from Koya where the population is mainly Christian. Moreover, a few hundred people consider themselves as descendants of Jews, as there is also a Jewish quarter in the city.
"It was with the greatest regret that I turned my back on Koi. I had grown to love the funny little out-of-the-way town and its strange inhabitants. For a time their customs had almost become my customs, their likes my likes, their feuds my feuds; and it was with a sense of emptiness and depression that I found myself in the outside world again. I think my two months in Koi were the pleasantest I spent in Kurdistan". (Rupert Hay, Two Years in Kurdistan, 1921).
Historically, Koya is famous for arts, music, and poetry. Koya possesses the Bawaji music assembly, which is a well-known music team in Kurdistan region. The team was established in 1957. Abul-Wahed Haji-Agha Mustafa was the first person from the city who composed the Kurdish musical tone. Koya has been a religious, scientific, literary and educational centre. Haji Qadir Koyi (1817–1897), Melay Gewre (1876–1943) and Dilldar (ey raqib poem writer /1918–1948) were three famous poets and social reformers from Koya who made a great contribution to the development of the city. They encouraged people to explore science and the realities of modern society. In 1920, Melay Gewre, who was a well-known religious figure, sent his daughter to a co-educational school in Koya to encourage people to educate their girls. Nowadays, there are tens of primary and secondary schools in addition to a university that has the capacity for more than 5000+ students, and a technical institute with almost the same capacity.
Life in the City