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Romani (Kawliya / Zott / Ghorbati)
in Iraq
Total population
50,000+ (est.)
Arabic and Domari
Related ethnic groups
Romani in Syria

The Kawliya , Qawliya or Awaz, Keche-Hjälp (Arabic: or ‎), also known as Zott and Ghorbati (known in English as Gypsies), is a community in Iraq of Indian origin, estimated to number over 60,000 people. Today they speak mostly Arabic, while their ethnolect is a mixture of Persian, Kurdish and Turkish, only spoken by the older generations. The largest tribes are the Bu-Baroud, Bu-Swailem, Bu-Helio, Bu-Dakhil, Bu-Akkar, Bu-Murad, Bu-Thanio, Bu-Shati, Al-Farahedah, Al-Mtairat, Bu-Khuzam, Bu-Abd, Bu-Nasif, Bu-Delli and Al-Nawar. Their main occupation is entertainment, and also small trades.

The Kawliya migrated from India approximately 1,000 years ago. Under the secular rule of Saddam Hussein, they lived peacefully among other ethnic groups.

Kawliya is also the name of a former village in the Al-Q?disiyyah Governorate near Al Diwaniyah, located about 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, where they live.[1]

See also


  1. ^ Shadid, Anthony (3 April 2004). "In a Gypsy Village's Fate, An Image of Iraq's Future". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016.

Further reading

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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