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Mhallami

Mhallami
محلّمى
Total population
150,000
Regions with significant populations
  23x15px Turkey 60,000
  23x15px Lebanon 50,000
  23x15px European Union 25,000
  23x15px Germany 15,000[1]
Languages
North Mesopotamian Arabic
Syriac, Kurdish & Turkish
Religion
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
other Semitic peoples
Arabs

The Mhallami, or Mhalmites, (Arabic: محلّمى‎, Mḥallamī; Syriac: ܡܚܠܡܝ̈ܐ, Mḥallmāye/Mḥallmoye; Turkish: Mıhellemi) are Arabs, who are living in and around the city of Mardin. They originate from the Arab tribe of Banu Hanifa. Banu Hanifa's homeland was Najd in central Arabia, but they were settled by the Umayyad caliph Muawiyah I to that region. They are now primarily speakers of North Mesopotamian Arabic (qiltu variant) and Sunni Muslims of Shafi`i madh'hab.[2]

Origin

After the Umayad Expansion into north Mesopotamia, many families from the the Arabian Peninsula were settled to the region of Al-Jazira, Mesopotamia. Yaqubi, who lived around that time, wrote in his book Kitab Futuh Al-buldan[3] about the resettlement to the region of Mardin.[2]

" The Jazira Region, the region to the north-east to Syria, was of special importance, particulary in the Umayad era. It includes Balis, Quasirin, Ruha(Edessa), Harran, Ra`s Kayfa, Sumaysat, Mardin, Sinjar, Raqqa, Qinnasrin und Quarqisiya. Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan settled tribes from Rabia´a in the Jazira, especially in Sinjar."

— Fahd Al-Semmari, A History of the Arabian Peninsula

Mhallami of Lebanon

Lebanon had a population of 70,000 to 100,000 Mhallami prior to Lebanese Civil War.[4] Their origin and legal status became a particular concern when they started to seek asylum in Western European countries en masse in early 1980s.[5]

Mhallami association

The first Mhallami cultural association of Turkey was founded in February 2008 in Hapsınas (Mercimekli) village of Midyat. Most of Mhallamis in Turkey live in Mardin and their famous place is Yerköy. It is a village that well known by the other name is Binardke. There are also 25 villages like that in the region.

References