Other Middle Eastern Countries

Circassians in Other Parts of the Middle East

In addition to the Circassians who arrived the Middle East after 1864, there are other groups of Circassians or people with Circassian descent whose ancestors arrived in the region between 13th and 16th Century as slave-soldiers or mercenaries and rose to prominence to become the future Turco-Circassian elites of the Mamluk Empire. They remained so even long after its demise after the Ottoman takeover its domains in Egypt, Tunis, Libya, Syria, Lebanon.

The Circassians of Iran, though not directly linked to the Mamluks of Egypt, may well be considered as part of the same process that brought them to Iranian Empire in the 16th and 17th Century.

Of all those aforementioned Circassian groups in the region, it is the Circassians in Iraq, Lebanon, and to an extent Libya, who have gone through a remarkable transformation in the past two decades to reclaim Circassian heritage and identity. Circassians in Lebanon and Iraq have founded their community centers, travelled to the Circassian republics and set up official relations with the authorities.  Their aim is to improve cultural ties, obtain help with Circassian language teaching, and have acquired quotas in the local universities.