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Thursday, 4-Jan-2007 15:27 Email | Share | Bookmark
Kurd House part 1 - Sanandaj

Sanandaj or Senna (Persian: سنندج‎, Sanandaj; Kurdish: سنه, Sine) is the capital of the province Kurdistan, which is situated in the Kurdish dominated western part of Iran.
It had an estimated population of 358,084 in 2006 [1]. The city of Sanandaj is the capital of the province, and lies at a distance of 512 km from Tehran, 1,480 m above sea level. The population of Sanandaj is mainly Kurdish, with an Armenian and Jewish minority.
While the local urban people refer to the city as Sine (= Sna), the people of local rural areas tend to use the word 'Kursan', a local variation of 'Kurdistan'.
The name "Sanandaj" is the arabized form of "Sena Dezh"(Sine Dizh in Kurdish), which means "the Castle of Sena". Nowadays, it is commonly referred to as Sine in Kurdish. Although the province of Kurdistan has archeological traces which go back to thousands of years BC when the Aryan Kurds first settled in these parts, Sanandaj itself is a rather new city and was built less than 400 years ago. After the Islamic conquest in 642 A.D., majority of the inhabitants accepted Sunni Islam which is the predominant religion of the area, today.
Suleyman Khan Ardalan the governor of Kurdistan constructed the Senna Dej (castle) during the Shah Safi period (1629-1642). Sanandaj was under the control of the Ardalan household for four centuries. In the war between the Safavids and the Ottomans, this family sometimes sided with the Safavids and sometimes with the Ottomans. In 1733, Karim Khan Zand destroyed Sanandaj. After a period of chaos, Khusrow Khan Ardalan took over the power. From 1799 to 1824, Imam Allah Khan, son of Khusrow Khan governed in Sanandaj and to some extent he worked for the sake of improvement of Sanandaj. In 1867, due to the dissatisfaction of the inhabitants, Haj Mirza Mu'tamid-u-lleh the uncle of Nasser-al-Din Shah governed in Kurdistan till the year 1874.[
The main landmark of Sanandaj is a fortress dating back to the period of Abbasid rule.[3] Sanandaj was very prosperous in the Safavid era but was completely destroyed at the time of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty. It was later chosen to be the capital of this province and is presently one of the most prominent cities of western Iran.
Tracing their roots to the village of Kilaneh, the Sanandaji family, which since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 have moved to Europe and the United States, were the predominant land and farm owners in the state of Kurdistan throughout its modern history. Until the White Revolution during the Shah's reign, the family heavily influenced the economy and society of the region. It is for this reason that they bear the title of Khan, and the name Sanandaji.
The Founder of the Sanandaji family, Kohzad (the son of mountains) was the son of Bahram who was the son of Khodadad born 1660 A.D. in Kilaneh, situated 20 Kilometers south of Sanandaj. Kohzad migrated to Sanandaj around 1750, setting up a modest cloth trading business which his sons followed up. By the end of the 18th century the family was wealthy enough to become one of the most influential landowners in the then largely feudal society of Persia.
A sizable Jewish minority settled down and thrived in Sanandaj due to the tolerant attitude of the Kurdish citizens plus the support of the ruling elite,greatly enriching the township. The Jewish community provided the only existing banking system, modern health care and also education.The best run school system in Sanandaj was provided by the International Jewish Alliance, directly from Europe. The co-author of these historical facts, Khosro Sanandaji, a direct descendant of Kohzad, himself attended this school for three years.
An extract of Kaveh Cyrus Sanandaji's autobiography reveals:
"My surname, Sanandaji, is derived from my great-great grandfather and the area of Kurdistan we originate from. A simple study of the name's origin reveals that by adding an "i" to the end of a noun, in Persian, the meaning of the word is changed and refers to the belonging of the noun. Thus my father's family were the ruling family of Sanandaj, the largest area (state) of Kurdistan, and they are often referred to as Khans; a sign of respect and rank often given to such political leaders. Translated, khan means ruler, and one often hears this name in reference to the great Mongolian conqueror, Temujin, or Genghis Khan."
ClimateSanandaj has a pleasant weather in spring and summer. The average seasonal temperature in Sanandaj is 15.20 C in spring, 25.20 C in summer, 10.40 C in autumn and 1.60 C in winter. In a 30-year long study carried out on the climate of Sanandaj, the maximum absolute temperature was found to be 44 C, the minimum absolute -31 C, and the average annual temperature 13.10 C. The average relative humidity was 69% at 06:30 hours and 38% at 12:30 hours. The average annual rainfall was 497.3 mm and the maximum daily, 61 mm. The average number of frosty days was 111.4; and the maximum number of hours of sunshine over the entire year 2,786.2

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