Lady Adela Jaff, member of the Jaff family and Jaff Tribe

The Lady Adela Jaff or Adela Khanem was a prominent Kurdish leader and remembered as one of the first Middle Eastern women to rule in Kurdish history. British appointed her the title “Lady” and called her the Princess of the Brave; she was a famous and cultured chief of the Jaff tribe, the biggest Kurdish tribe today.

Pictured: Lady Adela Jaff (center), ruler of Halabja region, meeting with British Major General Fraser in 1919.

Lady Adela exerted great influence in the affairs of the Jaff tribe in the Sharazor plain. She was married to Kurdish King Osman Jaff. The revival of commerce and restoration of law and order in the region of Halabja is attributed to her sound judgment.

Pictured: Lady Adela Jaff statue

  1. Vladimir Minorsky has reported his meeting with Lady Adela in the region of Halabja in 1913.
  2. Major Soane wrote about her in his book To Mesopotamia and Kurdistan in Disguise: “a woman unique in Islam, in the power she possesses, and the efficacy with which she uses the weapons in her hands..
  3. Gertrude Bell, British politician and writer, describes Adela Khanem in a letter in 1921 as follow:” The feature of Halabja is ‘Adlah Khanum the great Jaf Beg Zadah lady.

Official Documents Jaff Family of ARCHIVES OF OTTOMAN EMPIRE.


Pictured: Sardar Dawood Beg Jaff, former leader of the Jaff tribe

Poetry by Ahmad Mukhtar Beg Jaff.

(The Poetry is all Sorani Kurdish)


Data taken from (now


Putevoi Zhurnal

Translation of this page is from a Russian book by E.I. Chirikov. The title of the book is Putevoi Zhurnal. It states in page 445 that the Jaff tribe had a dispute with the Qajar Persian government over their summer residences within Khunishehr. Colonel Chirikov of the Russian Imperial Army was part of the Russian British Persian Ottoman Border Commission to mediate in this dispute during 1884. This was in the aftermath of the Russo Ottoman war of 1878 and the Sheikh Ubeidullah revolts. Also, the Jaff had besieged Qasr I Shirin in Persia to take vengeance on the Hewreman and Aziz Bey Faction of the Jaff tribe, which had killed Mohamed Pasha Jaff.

Translation also says:

Colonel Chirikov deals with both Ahmed Bey and Khasro Bey Jaff of the Suliamania faction of the Jaff, who were sons of Mohamed Pasha Jaff. Mahmud Pasha Jaff’s power was dwindling at this time, and Osman Pasha Jaff had not yet succeeded him. The Shahrizor Jaff’s who were directly under Mahmud Pasha Jaff of 500 tents were in full revolt, and were burning villages as stated on this page.

Sherwana Castle, family seat of the Jaff family since 1700s.

Mahmud Pasha Jaff might mentioned as the Chief of the tribe by Chirikov in the graph, but the name stated is Hamid Bey. I can find no record of a Hamid Beg Jaff in other sources. Hamid Beg Jaf might be a Russian pronunciation of Mahmud Beg Jaff.

Pictured: Mohamed Pasha Jaff statue in Mexico City

This page declares that Russian border commission stayed with the Jaff tribe, and that Colonel Chirikov noted that they were the best dressed of all Kurdish tribes.

Page 448. An enemy tribe close to the Bistani killed one of the Jaffs, (perhaps the Hewreman). The Jaff declared war against the Hewreman as a result.

The Hewreman offered a ransom of one woman and 5 livestock.

The Jaff refused and wanted 10 Hewreman dead.

Final message pg 603 is not about the Jaff tribes crops, but the taxes they payed to Persian government in the disputed Zohab lands they had occupied. 20-50 Tuman. They also payed taxes in Sheep and cattle.

The official translations of all the Ottoman Empire Documents from the National Archives in Turkey that mention the Jaffs. The documents mention Mohamed Pasha Jaff by the name of “Mehmed”.


The Andover Review

On page 22 and 29 you can see the information about Kefee Effendi (was Jaff during Mahmud Pasha Jaff’s time), Said Pasha, and Bahri Pasha Jaff.

Mahmud Pasha Jaff and The Triumph of the Jaff Tribe’s Inevitable Destiny

Pictured: Mohammad Pasha Jaff, a Ottoman Pasha and leader of Jaff tribe


Mahmud Pasha Jaff

Mohamed Pasha Jaff

Notes on The Southern Tribes of Kurdistan

Click to open

National Archives in London, United Kingdom

The National Archives in London, United Kingdom. More than 100 documents, treaties, photos, and books written about my Jaff ancestors from 1800-1900s. Took home authentic copies, and an online link on my great grandmother Lady Adela.


National Archives in Great Britain.

Saryas Dawood Fattah Al Jaff

Dawood Jaff

Jaff Tribe

Click to open: National Archives in Great Britain

“The government of Kurdistan appreciates the government of Mexico the placement of the statue of Mohammed Pasha Jaff in Mexico City”

Involvement of the Jaff tribe under Mahmud Pasha Jaff in the Armenian and Kurdish Khalidiyya Sectarian violence in the aftermath of the Russo Ottoman war of 1878.


Mahmud Pasha Jaff and The Triumph of the Jaff Tribe’s Inevitable Destiny


Google Books document

A piece most unique to the Jaff, concerning Christian Jaff scholar of the insurrectionist Sheikh Ubeidullah in the 1880s, Keffee Effendi. Keffee Effendi was translating Christian texts for the Armenians, who were revolting against the Ottoman Empire along with Sheikh Ubeydullah.

The Jaff have a hand in the Armenian Christian identity through Keffee Effendi.


Jaff family findings

Click to open: Report on the Sulaimania district of Kurdistan

Narrative of a residence in Kurdistan, and on the site of ancient Nineveh


Here are pages about the Jaff’s relationship to the Babans before Mohamed Pasha Jaff became the governor of the Shahrizor of the present day Garmiyan Region of Kurdistan. The chief was Kai Khosrow Beg Jaff.

The Ottoman Reformation and the Muslim Generation

This book is about how Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II ultimately dealt to contain Mahmud Pasha Jaff during his insurgencies in the aftermath of the Russo Ottoman war of 1878 and how the he was considered a great threat by not only the Ottomans but the Barzanis as well, who were rivals in region.


Ottoman-Iranian Borderlands: Making a Boundary, 1843-1914 – Sabri Ateş

This book supports my hypothesis about Mahmud being Hamid. The graph is for the Zohab region, which this book states Mahmud Pasha Jaff occupied.


The translation of Chirikov’s books … mentions the Jaff family

The book written by Colonel Egor Ivanovich Chirikov in Russian language, entitled: Putevoi Zhurnal by Turetsko Persidiskomu razgranicheniiu in 1849-1852.

It is clarified why Mahmud Pasha Jaff lost power over the Jaff to his brother Osman Pasha Jaff, and the popularity of the Ottoman Sultan and Qajar Shah.


Khalid I Baghdadi

This is all about Khalid I Baghdadi’s disciples of the El Cezeri clan, who became Sheikhs under his guidance. Most of it is in Turkish.

The El Cezeri clan is a Kurdish religious clan of Cizre of the Red Medrese. Cizre was leveled recently in 2015 in war between the PKK and the Turkish Army.

Khalid I Bahdadi is a major religious leader of the Jaff tribe, he influenced the political structure in Modern day Turkey from the Government Diyanet to the ruling AKP.

Khalid influenced the belief system of the Kurds in South Eastern Turkey as well, and that their religious leaders were his disciples, which is what the paper talks about. Cizre is a main cultural center for Turkish Kurdistan.


Khaled I Baghdadi tomb

Mausoleum and Tomb of Khaled I Baghdadi in Damascus, Syria, a great Sheikh from the Jaff tribe during the reign of Mohamed Pasha Jaff and Khashrow Kai Beg Jaff in the early 19th Century. The Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid II, who issued the Gulhanne Edict of reform in the Ottoman Empire, was a member of his sect. He built this mausoleum for his tomb after his death in Damascus, Syria.

Click: Tribute of the Jaff Tribe

In Quest for God and Freedom: The Sufi Response to the Russian Advance in the North Caucasus

This book explains in detail Sheikh Khalid I Baghdadi Jaff and his rise to prominence, and spread of his influence within the 19th century Ottoman Empire, and transformation of it’s belief system.

Sheikh Khalid I Baghdadi would shape Mahmud Pasha Jaff and even Sheikh Mahmud Barzinji’s belief system. His influence spread in response to the Russian Armenian expansion within the Ottoman Empire with the rise of such Khalidi figures as Sheikh Ubeydullah of Nehri.

Mahmud Pasha Jaff would join in Ubeydullah’s war against Russian Armenian subversion, and would fight the Pro Russian Hamavands, conquering Persian Zohab.


Sheikh Ubeydullah of Nehri

Here are British Embassy reports of Sheikh Ubeydullah’s invasion of the Persian Qajar Vilayet of Kordestan, and his spreading of the Naqsbendi Khalidi Order to the Ardalan regions and homeland of the future Jaff Queen Adela Khanum in the early 1880s.

Sheikh Ubeydullah was a disciple of Jaff Sheikh Khalid I Baghdadi from the Hakkari region of Turkish Kurdistan.

Mahmud Pasha Jaff would join in the invasion of Persia, besieging Qasr I Shirin to destroy the remnants of the Aziz Beg Faction and Hamavand to avenge the death of Mohamed Pasha Jaff his father. Mahmud Pasha Jaff would take all of Zohab. The old Ardalan foes of the Jaff would come to respect the Jaff, who were the tribe of Sheikh Khalid I Baghdadi, patron of Sheikh Ubeydullah.

The Ardalan would give Adela Khanum as a bride to Mahmud Pasha Jaff’s brother Osman Pasha Jaff to cement an alliance with the Jaff.

Living in Romantic Baghdad

This is memoir of Ida Donges Staudt, an American Missionary teacher, who taught one of Adela Khanums daughters at a School opened by an American Mission Board. She has nothing but praise for Adela Khanum.


Belief and Islam

Here is another analysis of Sheikh Khalid I Baghdadi’s Belief and Islam: Fundamentals of Islam comparison with the Gospel of Matthew: Sermon on the Mount.

Sheikh Khalid I Baghdadi, he greatly influenced many people and history in the Middle East.


Soane at Halabja

Within this book is mentioned Tahir Beg’s Education and knowledge.

Ely Banister was directed to Halabja by the Ottoman Sheikh Ul Islam from Constantinople, who was the successor of Sheikh Khalid I Baghdadi of Sanandaj.

Amin Effendi was a German medical doctor, who advised Lady Adela Khanum, and hated Soane.

Tahir Beg found out that Soane was British and sent him away for fear of reprisal from the Ottoman government.


Iran at War

This is a book about Adela Khanum’s grandfather cementing ties with the Qajar emperor, Mohammed Agha Qajar in his rise to power against the Zand in his war for the Persian throne.


Document collections

Click to open: Sheikh Ubeydullah had many Armenian Christians swell his ranks within his army

Sherwana Castle 

Here are Saddam Hussein visit to the castle, era articles on the Sherwana Castle from Baathist Iraq times.

Dawood Beg Jaff  with the President of Iraq, Abdul Karim Qasim, in 1958.

The Ottoman Origins of Modern Iraq

This book mentions Mohamed Pasha Jaff’s appointment as governor of Gulanbar by the Mutasarrif of Suliamania, and a document that states this in 1869.


Kurds, Turks and Arabs: Politics, Travel and Research in North-Eastern Iraq, 1919-1925

London, 1957

Cecil J. Edmonds


Narrative Of A Residence In Koordistan, And On The Site Of Ancient Nineveh; Vol. I


The Jaff are mentioned on pages:  11, 12, 15, 153, 155, 156,164,165,169,170,175,187,205,226,227,229,231,233,234,235,236,238,242,269,280,328,329,330,334,340,341