Today I want to tell you about a nation of beautiful, civilised, very artistic and full of humour people: the Kurds. It’s very hard for me to write about them and their awesome country, because they suffered and still suffer so much injustice and an unspeakable violence that I can’t put into words. When I lived in Greece, I had many Kurdish friends and also later on here and there I kept on meeting Kurds.
It’s always warm recognising each other. We have so much in common with them as Greeks. Not only because we share the same enemy: Turkey, but also our personalities are very much alike. The Kurds who live in Greece can speak perfectly Greek and no-one notices they are foreigners. My roots from father’s side are from Ikónio in Asia Minor, which is close to their land Kurdistan. We aren’t even allowed to call their country a country, since the Turks, Arabs and Persians are sitting on it. That doesn’t mean however they are the rightful owners of the Kurdish regions. Here on this website we just tell the truth as it is and … there is a country called Kurdistan. It is about as large as France, has around 45 million people called Kurds who speak the Kurdish language – called Kurmancî.
These very civilised, harmony and music loving people have been living in the same area for at least 10,000 years. Probably longer, just since the first Kurd was born. As you can see on the right side and above also, it’s a green, mountainous country full of lakes, rivers, flowers and ancient cities. On the picture above this article you see Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan. It’s the only autonomous region of the country at the moment, but there are always pieces of the country that are freed or that have autonomy.
Western and Middle Eastern media want to make us believe the Kurds are some dumb and poor mountain apes from more than behind and not well-cared for pieces of land somewhere all the way south in Turkey. Nothing is less true than that as you see. The fact that their land is occupied by brutal strangers just means they are a peaceful nation. Actually the fairy-tales of Halima or the 1001 Arabian Nights are Kurdish stories. They are also known as the Parthian Empire that existed in the 3rd century B.C. and as the proud, heroic people with horses in one of the stories of Karl May if you remember those. In the shadow of the Padishah is the title of his book about the Kurds. Also Kurdish are these wonderfully dancing Dervishes.
The Kurds are an enormous civilisation, but every time they blossom, they do with a different name. Not because they like it, but because they have been divided by Turks, Arabs and Persians. Many things we know as “Arabic” or “Persian”, are really Kurdish, even the game of chess and the zero! I wish these great, great people that they may have their freedom back very soon. The Turks have lots of space in about five countries on the south side of Russia, the Arabs have got the whole Arabic peninsula and if the Turks leave Iran, the Kurds will remain.
Because I am not courageous enough to write about the horror, violence and humiliations these people face in their daily lives, I have a link for you here to a page where you can at least read something of it. Kurdish kids are beaten up and I heard they are even raped at school in Turkey if they can’t pronounce Turkish words right. Not many Kurds actually remember how great they are and have always been, even if it was with other names. Here is a Dutch website with Kurdish news and this is a website in many languages, one of which is English. Only don’t forget that most books and websites about Kurdistan are very modest and don’t tell about how huge these people actually are.
Underneath I have shared this new and fantastic new song from one of the nation’s most famous artists Aynur Doǵan. It’s called Hedûr – or Solace Of Time – and is composed by Aynur herself. She also plays this awesome instrument, the tembûr (tamboor) and I’m sure you will enjoy it to the utmost. Don’t forget to give a thumbs-up, a reaction, to sign up for the newsletter and to share the article!
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© Natassa Vassiliou
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