city of soran
Soran is an area in Iraqi Kurdistan bordering Iran and Turkey. Its main city is also called Soran, although the town of Rawanduz is better known outside of the region. Soran town is located about 110km north east of Erbil and 65km west of the Iranian border. Today the town has a population of approximately 125,000, most of which are refugees who returned from Iran to Iraq within the last ten years. Therefore the city has been experiencing a construction boom, which is expected to continue as the population is estimated to reach 175,000 in the next 5 years.
Despite the rapid modernization, the town has kept its original character. People gather at the bustling bazaar to buy fruit and vegetables as well as the local flat bread. One can always discover some tea house tucked in the alleys leading to the bazaar or try one of the local kebabs.
The major dialect spoken is Sorani Kurdish, named after the region. Farsi is also widely spoken among the current population and few still speak Arabic or Turkish. Another interesting face of Soran is its christian sector, the Assyrian village of Dyana, as well as Hawdiyaan village. People speak Syriac as their native language along with Kurdish and Arabic and have their own Assyrian school and Christian church.
How to get to Soran
Soran is located to the North East of Kurdistan and is connected to the old towns of Rwandaz and Diana. Public transport consists of taxis, which are plentiful, and shared minibuses for distance travelling.
Car hire is available in major cities, but if you are a first time visitor it is strongly recommended that you take a taxi until you become accustomed to the roads in Kurdistan.