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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1066] (103/688)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (341 folios). It was created in 1917. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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A small town in Yomon, distant three hours' journey from Sana'a. Tt is the head-
quarS of the Khaulan-at-Tawal braneh of the Khaulau tribe, and also of the influental
Saiyid family of that district.
KIDADAT— . , , . . - * *
A sub-section of the Bani Hajir ((/.v.) tribe of eastern Arabia, belonging to the Al
Muhammad section.
A village in Hadhramaut, southern Arabia; it is situated in Ghail Habban at a distance
of 17 or 18 miles eastwards of Yashbum, and constitutes a halting place on the route
between that town and Balhaf. Good water is to be had at Kidur.
A considerable village in 'Iraq, situated on the left bank of the Shatt-al-
Hindiyah: it lies about 18 miles south-south-west of Hillah Town and 16 or 17 miles
north by east of the town of Najaf. 1
Kifl is surrounded on 3 sides by creeks from the river, which are not often more than
4 or 5 feet deep; but they extend in some cases for a number of miles. When the Hindiyah
rises in winter the village is surrounded by floods ; it is then connected with the mainland
only by a winding embankment about 3 feet broad and j of a mile long. There are a good
many date trees in the immediate neighbourhood.
Kifl consists of about 70 houses of masonry and of a much larger number of poor
constructions in mud and matting. The population of the place is estimated at nearly
2,000 souls, of whom about 200 are Jews and the remainder Arabs. The village is
filthy and the people are poor. There are a couple of small and inferior Khans at Kifl:
the better of the two is double-storeyed and was built by a private individual for the
gratuitous accommodation of pilgrims passing by water between the towns of Karbala
and Najaf. The most striking architectural object at Kiti, however, is a solitary minaret,
believed to have formed part of a mosque which has now disappeared ; it affords an ex
cellent landmark to all the country side, becoming visible on the way to Kifl a few miles
after leaving Najaf Town, but it is now in an insecure state and its days of usefulness
appear to be numbered.
The sole claim of Kifl to importance is founded on its possession of the reputed tomb
of Hizqil or Ezekiel; this shrine stands in the middle of the village, in a courtyard sur-
' rounded by a wall, the cells and recesses on the inner side of which are the dwelling place
of most of the Jews of Kifl. The building is extremely simple and at present it is in
a bad state of repair. The supposed coffin of the prophet, covered with common cloth,
is about 12 feet in length by 6 feet wide and 5 feet deep; it is kept in a room which is
36 feet long and 20 feet wide and has a domed roof. The walls of the room are ornament
ed with pieces of inferior mirror glass and other bright coloured objects,—decorations
attributed to the munificence of a Jewish merchant of Bombay, by whom the tomb is
said to have been restored about 65 years ago. Jewish pilgrimages are made to this
shrine, especially at the time of Pentecost; and many Jewish corpses are sent to Kifl
from a distance for internment. A family of Muhammadan Arabs are the custodians of
the tomb and receive whatever is paid by pilgrims.
There is some cultivation around Kifl,—chiefly on the further side of the Shatt-al-
Hindlyah, which is here about 200 yards broad. Trade, chiefly with Hillah Town and
Tawairlj, is unimportant; but there is a bazaar about 150 yards long by 10 yards
Kifl was the headquarters of a Nahiyah in the Qadhaof Hindiyah and the seat of a Mudlr
who has a few Dhabitlyahs under his orders.
Or Sa!ahlyah ; a town in 'Iraq, situated on the main Baghdad-Mosul route at a distance
of 117 miles north-north-eastward of Baghdad. It consists of about 800 houses, giving
a population of 4,000 souls. Kifri is connected by telegraph with Baghdad and Mosul.

About this item


Volume II of III of the Gazetteer of Arabia. The Gazetteer is alphabetically-arranged and this volume contains entries K through to R.

The Gazetteer is an alphabetically-arranged compendium of the tribes, clans and geographical features (including towns, villages, lakes, mountains and wells) of Arabia that is contained within three seperate bound volumes. The entries range from short descriptions of one or two sentences to longer entries of several pages for places such as Iraq and Yemen.

A brief introduction states that the gazetteer was originally intended to deal with the whole of Arabia, "south of a line drawn from the head of the Gulf of 'Aqabah, through Ma'an, to Abu Kamal on the Euphrates, and to include Baghdad and Basrah Wilayats" and notes that before the gazetteer could be completed its publication was postponed and that therefore the three volumes that now form this file simply contain "as much of the MSS. [manuscript] as was ready at the time". It further notes that the contents have not been checked.

Extent and format
1 volume (341 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: This volume's foliation system is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1066] (103/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 5 April 2020]

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