The Structure of the Kurdish Emirates in the Abbasid Era (750–1258) (Hasanawayhid Barzikani and Bani Marwan)

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Nariman Abdalla Ali , Yonis Mahmoud Ahmad


For the first time in the Abbasid Caliphate, a kind of local government called the Emirate emerged in some Kurdish regions under the realm of the Abbasid Caliphate, which was indeed an attempt on the part of the heads of Kurdish tribes and clans to establish a local government within the realm of the Abbasid Caliphate. Although this governmental structure continued until the end of the Ottoman and Qajar empires in the form of different emirates, it failed to prepare the ground needed for the formation of a Kurdish state.

This article aims at explaining the structure of these emirates and providing the pathology of the emirates focusing on the two emirates of Hasanawayhid Barzikani (1015-959) and the Marwanids (990-1096) as the first Kurdish emirates in the Abbasid era.

The findings of this study indicate that these emirates were the product of the weakening of the Abbasid caliphate due to on the one hand the domination of the Buyids (Āl-e Būya) (932-1055) over Baghdad, the center of the Abbasids, and on the other hand the will of the tribe and nomad leaders to form local governments. The structural features of these emirates, such as their reliance on central governments, tribal disputes and rivalries, weak economy, and the lack of a defined political framework, prevented the emirates from moving toward the formation of a Kurdish government in the region.

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