Sanandaj is the capital of Kordestan province in the west of Iran.
The city of Sanandaj was originally called Saneh, and because it was located near an important castle it was later called Sanehdaj, meaning castle at the foot of a mountain. This presumably turned into Sanandaj over time.
Sanandaj’s founding is fairly recent, (about 250 years ago), yet under its short existence, it has grown to become one of the centres of Kurdish culture. Since 2019 UNESCO has recognized Sineh (Sanandaj) as a Creative City of Music.
The population of Sanandaj is mainly Kurdish. The city also had an Armenian minority who gradually emigrated from the city. Until the Iranian Revolution (1979), the city had a small Aramaic-speaking Jewish community of about 4,000 people. The city boasted a sizable Assyrian community that spoke a unique dialect of Aramaic called Senaya. The economy of Sanandaj is based upon the production of carpets, processed hides and skins, milled rice, refined sugar, woodworking, cotton weaving, metalware and cutlery.
Most of the people of Sanandaj follow the Shafi‘i branch of Sunni Islam.