Erbil is a city that is situated in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The city is also the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the fourth largest city in the country. It is one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities of human civilization as it has a rapidly-growing urbanizing centre for the oil industry and NGOs in the Middle East. The population of this city is estimated to be around 1.2 million inhabitants who are divided over 80 neighborhoods.
Erbil contains different ethnic groups, apart from the Kurds, who are the majority, other ethnic and religious groups are the Turkmen, Arabs, Shia Muslims, Assyrian and Chaldean Catholic Christians, Yezidis, and the Kakais. Kurdish is the most widely spoken language in the city which is followed by Arabic, Turkmen and Syriac. Erbil is one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back to at least 2300 BC. The city is mainly famous because of its citadel which is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage site already from 2014. For thousands of years, Erbil has been ruled by the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medians and Achaemenids and later by the Sassanids, Greeks, Parthians, Arabs, and the Ottomans. The city has long been an important trading centre, with roads heading south to Arab Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria.
The system of primary and secondary education in Erbil is modelled on the British. There are also private primary and secondary schools. In addition, the city also possesses four public and eight private universities. One of these private universities is the Lebanese French University. There is an existence of diversity among the Lebanese French University’s students which is the outcome of Erbil’s reality in terms of its multi-cultural and religious classification.
Since the collapse of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Erbil has experienced an incredible economic boom: tall buildings, modern housing, expensive hotels, new two- and four-lane roads, shopping centres, mosques and churches, great restaurants, parks, and hospitals. However, the city’s public transportation consists of taxis, and buses and since 2005, Erbil has an international airport. Regarding the weather, Erbil has a semi-arid climate with low humidity in the summer and moderate humidity in the winter. The summer has hot and dry days, with temperatures reaching around 40 ° C, the winter temperatures often reach 0 ° C.
Many activities can be experienced in the city of Erbil, such as visiting museums, libraries, and cinemas or going to the Qaysari Bazaar, which is a rambling covered market of small narrow alleys with boutiques selling ready-made clothes and colourful imported fabrics for making women’s dresses and other items. Concerning sports activities, Football (soccer) is the main sport played in Erbil. The most popular football club in the city is Erbil SC (Erbil Sports Club). The club plays its home matches in the Franso Hariri Stadium which is a multi-purpose stadium in the city. Other sport activities that can be found are volleyball and basketball. The city has swimming pools, tennis courts, bowling clubs, water parks, skating rinks, a climbing wall, go-kart track as well.