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Iraqi biradri
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Karachi, Lahore

Urdu, Persian and Arabic



Related ethnic groups

Iraqi people, Iraqi diaspora

The word Birâdrî (Persian: برادري) means Brotherhood originating from the word "Birâdar" meaning "Brother" in Persian. In Pakistan and India it is used to denote a number of social strata among Muslims.

The taxonomy “Iraqi Biradri” does not refer to a group presently living in Iraq, but is a reference to an ethnic group in Pakistan and India of Iraqi origin.



Most of the Iraqi Biradri speak Urdu though the more highly educated also speak Persian and some more religious oriented families also speak Arabic.


The Iraqi Biradri are Sunni Muslims.

Theories of Origin

The name "Iraqi" is an ethnonym. In Persian, and Urdu, the terminal 'i' is what is called in Arabic morphology "yâ' an-nisba" (ياء النسبة) meaning "the letter of association". Though most Iraqis of the Subcontinent speak Urdu, gravestones from as far back as the 1800's found as far east as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are branded with both Persian and liturgical Arabic. Though they are very few, some genetic tests have substantiated their Iraqi ancestry by yielding Haplogroups found primarily in Iran and Iraq.

There is another story, possibly forged to derogate the Iraqis, that claims the term comes from `Arq (عرق) which in Arabic means root or essence and from this is the supposed morphological derivative of `Arqî (عرقي). It is a term alleged to be used for distillers of alcohol and is considered an insult according to Islamic tradition as alcohol is forbidden in Islam. These theories of alcohol distillers are refuted by linguistics alone as the term `Arqî is morphologically incorrect. In Persian a distiller would be `Arq-kâsh (عرق كاش) and not `Arqî. In Arabic it is even more erroneous as `Arqî means "Ethnic". Thus, the only linguistically and historically sound conclusion is that the name is simply the ethnonym "Iraqi" meaning only "One from Iraq".

Geographic Distribution

They are found primarily in Pakistan and India [1]. In Pakistan, Iraqi biradris live in high concentrations in the city of Karachi, and there is also a sizable Iraqi community in Lahore.

Significant expatriate communities live in the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

See also


  1. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part two by K S Singh page 618 Manohar Publications

External links



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