Rayat was a somewhat derogatory Arabic term used throughout the Middle East and by the Ottoman administration for the peasantry. Indeed, the original meaning of the word was "flock," as in a flock of sheep, which was a productive asset to be exploited. In Kurdistan, the rayat were often held up in contemptuous contrast to the tribesmen because the rayat were deemed unfit to fight. Other terms used for the rayat in various parts of Kurdistan include misken and guran.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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