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Born in 1905, Dawood Fattah al Jaff, also known as Dawood Beg Jaff, was referred to as “The Lion of Kurdistan” and served as a Royal Minister in Iran under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and leader of the Jaff Tribe in Kurdistan. He was also a Member of Parliament in Iraq and was featured on Life Magazine, now known as Time Magazine, along with other Arab leaders for his major contributions to peace, the defense of human rights, and the independence of Kurdistan. His children Salar and Sardar were also Members in Parliament and his son Nozad Dawood Fattah Al Jaff is the current leader of the Jaff tribe. The Jaff family is a noble family, and is still the largest Kurdish tribe today, with four million members.


Pictured: Dawood Beg Jaff (Jaff tribe leader and Royal Minister of Iran) and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (King of Iran) were allies and close friends.

The Jaff tribe of Kurdistan, is an aristocratic family with a 900-year heritage. Its other names  include Jahf, Jaaf, Jaf, Caf, etc. The Kurdistan Region, which includes parts of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, is home to around 40 million Kurds worldwide. The remarkable history of the Jaffi tribe allows people everywhere to understand the group’s impact  on Kurdistan. In  1114, Zaher Beg Jaff founded a clan that is now the largest  and one of the oldest in Kurdistan. Currently there are 4 million members of the tribe.


Pictured: USA President Jimmy Carter, MP Sardar Dawood Beg Jaff, and King of Iran Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi all working as allies.

Mahmud Pasha Jaff was an Ottoman Pasha who lived near the Ottoman Empire. He was born around 1262. He rose to the position of Pasha and was the supreme leader of the Jaffa tribe who ruled with mercy. The region was torn apart by violence in the past, but the great leader, who believed in serving the people, also created peace and united many Kurdish tribes. At its peak, his dominion included territories in North Africa, the Middle East, and southern Europe.


Pictured: Dawood Beg Jaff (center) Royal Minister of Iran and other Arab leaders on Time Magazine,  (use to be called Life Magazine).

Born in 1714, Mohammed Pasha Jaff was the head of the Jaff tribe and one of the most beloved and respected Kurdish Pashas. He fought for human rights during his reign and is now considered one of the few pioneering leaders who openly fought for those rights. He also publicly supported Kurdish independence. He built Sherwana Castle, the ancestral home of the Jaffa family, located in Kalar, Kurdistan, Iraq.


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

Osman Pasha Jaff, was given a noble title by the Ottoman Empire “Pasha”, who was born at the end of the 1850s and showed his ability to rule with wisdom and courage. He made a concerted effort to find and pursue women’s suffrage in the Middle East. Since the Jaff tribe also lived on the other side of the border (Iran), the Ottoman Empire relied on him to keep peace across all borders, including Iran. He received honors and medals from the Ottoman Empire for his efforts and administration of the region. Osman Pasha received an honorary sword from the Shah of Iran in 1894 in recognition of his efforts in maintaining peace. Osman Pasha ruled the region with Lady Adela Khanem, also known as the “Princess of the Brave” titled by the British. In addition, he was a talented administrator who sat in Kurdish courtrooms after being elected “Kadi”.


Pictured: King of Iran Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Dawood Fattah al Jaff sons.


DIPLOMATIC HISTORY: Shah of Iran Grants Assylum to Kurdish Prince Dawood Beg Jaff (1958)


Official Documents Jaff Family of ARCHIVES OF OTTOMAN EMPIRE.


Poetry by Ahmad Mukhtar Beg Jaff.

(The Poetry is all Sorani Kurdish)


Data taken from Jaff.biz (now jafftribe.com)


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


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.

Jaff Tribe

Click to open: National Archives in Great Britain

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


Saryas Jaff

Dawood Jaff

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

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