Following the tragic events of 1933 many Assyrians
moved to French controlled Syria to settle in the Khabor region and
chief among them were upper Tiari and Tkhuma tribes. They were soon
followed by other Assyrians so that by the time it was over some 35
villages were established on both banks of the Khabor River between
Hasaka and Qamishli. Of these, 25 villages were on the North side and 10
villages on the South side. The length of the Assyrian settlement was
about 29 kilometers stretching from Tal Hermiz in the East to Tal Taweel
in the West. The width of the area ranged from 2.5 kilometers to 3 on
each side of the river. There was a bridge at Tal Tammor and a smaller
bridge on Zargan River, a tributary of Khabor near Tal Tammor. The last
town was about a distance of 7 kilometers to Tal Taweel. Upper Tiari
tribesmen occupied 6 villages (by some accounts 8 villages), while
Tkhuma established 11 villages, but the Tiari villages were bigger. Each
of the following had 2 villages: Quchanis, Gawar, Baz, Jeelu, Dizen,
Sara, and the following lived only in one village: Timar, Lewon, Barwar,
Nawchiya, Eiel and Mar Bisho.
The nearest Arabian tribes in the area were Bagar Al
Jabal. They lived in the Abdul Aziz mountains in the South of
Khabor.Their chiefs were Sheikh Eisa Salman and Raqib Albasheer. To the
North of the River lived the Sharabien and the Muamara tribes. The last
one was under Sheikh Abdul Aziz Muslib. The main road in the area ran
from Hasaka to Qamishli on the North side of the river, while a mountain
road serviced the South side. In the Northeast there is a water
reservoir and just to the West of it is a farming airstrip.
Tal Tammor is the largest of the settlements, it
houses several hundred families. It is the administrative center (Mudeer
Nahiya) and it houses Police H.Q.; two more police stations are located
in the villages of Abu Tina and Tal Kharita. Tal Tammor was also the
home of Malik Yacu of Upper Tiari of Upper Tiari and his brother Malik
Daniel, both former Rab Tremmas of the Assyrian Levies. Malik Yacu was
to die in Baghdad while on official visit in 1974, while Malik Daniel
was to die in Tal Tammor in 1952. Tal Hermiz was home to Malik Lawco of
He was to die in Chicago in 1977. Umm Keif was the
home of Malik Marawgil of Timar. He died there later.In the settlement,
there was a church with a priest in every village, and until 1985 the
affairs of the Assyrian church of the East were run by the late Mar
Awrahim Youkhanna. In February 1985, His Grace, Bishop Mar Aprim Khamis
of the United States visited the Khabor Assyrians, and while there he
ordained Rev Giwargis Rev Athneiel as Archdeacon and Head of the Church.
Mar Aprim also appointed a committee to help the Archdeacon. He also
ordained others. A son of Archdeacon Giwargis by the name of Aprim is
studying in Chicago to prepare himself to be a future bishop for Khabor.
The Diocese of Khabor is part of the Archdiocese of Lebanon and Syria
under Metropolitan Mar Narsai Debaz.
Beside the village churches there exists in Qamishli
a church under Tev. Youkanna Arkin and in Hasaka there is a church under
Rev. Kolo. In 1992 a bishop from the ancient church of the East (Julian
Calendar) by the name of Mar Yacoub Daniel arrived in Khabor to run the
affairs of that church in Syria. He was formerly a priest in the church
of Mar Yousif in Tel Keif. Today Mar Yacoub has the following churches
under him: Mar Bithion at Tal Hermiz, Mar Shalita in Umm Ghargan and Mar
Aprim in Qamishli.
In each of the Assyrian villages there is a mukhtar
who acts as a village chief. I have enclosed their names in the
accompanying list. Here I wish to extend my gratitude to Rev. Goliad
Attu for identifying church names and their priests; for Hawil Mikhail
for help with the names of mukhtars; for Zaya Dankha, Mirza Samano,
Hermiz Debaz for general information with-out which I could not have
been able to prepare this article.
I would like to add that priest names are from the
sixties; mukhtar's names are from the seventies and eighties. The
following list contains the names of Khabor villages, their makeup,
names of their churches, priests and mukhtars.