The Independent Gateway to Kurdish News and Analyses

    Stories: April
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Early Release: An Exclusive Interview with Najmaldin Karim, newly elected Kurdish member of Iraqi Parliament from Kirkuk for the Kurdistan Alliance

Kurdish Herald recently sat down with Dr. Najmaldin Karim, a newly elected Kurdish member of Iraqi Parliament representing Kirkuk and a member of the Kurdistan Alliance, to discuss the unresolved issue of the disputed areas in Iraq and the plans of the Kurdistan Alliance, as well as his own views on the recent Iraqi election. Dr. Karim is well-known for his activism in the U.S. on behalf of the Kurds and founded Washington Kurdish Institute and is a board member of the Kurdish Institute in Paris. He is a practicing neurosurgeon who left his home in the United States earlier this year to run in the 2010 Iraqi elections.

    Stories: Feb-Mar

Turkey’s Shortchange: Dashed Hopes in Anatolia

The Turkish government’s “Kurdish opening”, later renamed the “Democratic initiative”, began with enthusiasm and introduced a new open debate among Turkey’s intellectuals and scholars on how to solve the age-old Kurdish question. In recent months, however, Turkey’s bad habit of censorship through mass arrests of some of the initiative’s most important players – elected Kurdish politicians – have caused unrest and deep mistrust to resurface in the Kurdish region of Turkey. While the ruling party moves ahead with its plans, the wavering support may ultimately kill the initiative and make the conflict unsolvable.

Remembering Ahmet Kaya by Ozan Aksoy

Today, nine years after his death, the leading perpetrator of the attack, Serdar Ortac, apologized for his reaction against Kaya. Ortac admitted he was wrong, but states that he only recently realized this mistake. In a similar change of face, the Turkish Radio Television Broadcasting Company announced that it is going to retract its policy to ban blacklisted singers including Ahmet Kaya following the new government’s democratization policy. Kaya has been among the singers blacklisted and thus banned for more than twenty-five years.

Iraqi Elections: The Fuel for Controversies by Delovan Barwari

Today, new alliances, divisions, conflict, and uncertainty are the words that define the political climate in Baghdad as the third post-Saddam parliamentary elections scheduled for 7 March 2010 approach. At the center of disputes are the Hydrocarbon Law, revenue sharing, and the Kurdish-Arab conflicts over the disputed areas and the status of Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution on the one hand, and the explosive issue of barring more than 450 politicians – mainly Sunnis – from elections on the other.

The Kurdish Immigrant Experience and a Growing American Community by Hero Karimi
The Kurds’ motives to emigrate to the U.S. have been very unlike other minorities that have come to the country. It has rarely been simply an escape from poverty and a search for the American dream. Rather, it has been a desperate attempt to survive in a region of the world where the atrocities inflicted by the states are all too common. In the last 30 years, Kurds have struggled to build a new haven in Nashville, and director of refugee and immigration services at Catholic Charities of Tennessee Holly Johnson says “they have changed Nashville.”.

Tribalism in modern Iraq, Part I: Saddam’s tribal shadow state by Ali Al-Saffar

The nexus of power in Iraq has perpetually been the subject of heated debate amongst readers of politics, members of opposition parties dedicated to dismantling Saddam Hussein’s regime, and more generally, those with an interest in Iraq. The very fact that Saddam managed to remain in power for so long despite dragging Iraq through decades of war, sanctions and unbridled suffering begs the following question: what policies and strategies did Saddam use to consolidate his own power?

Rising Conflict in Iranian Kurdistan by Sayeh Hassan

One of the most under-reported human rights issues in Iran is the current state of Kurdish political prisoners, and in particular, the current eighteen political prisoners who are on death row and may be facing imminent execution. In the past two months, two Kurdish political activists have been executed by the Islamic Regime of Iran (IRI). Unfortunately, serious consequences and escalated conflict may be imminent if the conditions continue to be ignored.

Battling unemployment in Iraqi Kurdistan: How entrepreneurship can fix some of the problems by Aryan Pedawi

The notion that Iraqi Kurdistan is, at the moment, economically weak is not in dispute, but the policies being suggested to fix this problem are. Some say that the government should do more to help the working class earn a wage that provides a reasonable standard of living, while others say that government action would only deepen the structural instability. But there is too much talk over what the government can do and not enough talk over what the market can do.

Polygamy in the Muslim world and new restrictions in Iraqi Kurdistan by Haje Keli

Many see laws addressing polygamy as a barometer of where lawmakers stand on a spectrum of religious versus secular, or even modern versus traditional. Such a view is rather simplistic, but not completely lacking in merit. Indeed, Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers have directly addressed the issue of polygamy and they have set forth a unique law addressing the issue, providing a solution that some see as a compromise of sorts on the issue.

Traveling Kurdistan in the 1960s with Dr. Christensen by Natsumi Ajiki

Dr. Dieter Christensen and his wife, Nerthus Christensen, M.A., immersed themselves into the rural life of Kurdish shepherds and farmers a half-century ago and earned their place among only a handful of prominent experts on the Kurdish culture. During the evening lecture organized by the Kurdish American Society (KAS), Dieter shared their experiences from the early 1960s with stories about the Kurdish life of that era. Dieter’s intimate stories about Kurdish traditions coupled with unique collections of photography and musical recordings from a time when the Kurdish region was virtually unknown to the world enthralled his audience.

In the Footsteps of Ehmede Xani – The Relevance of His Poems Today by Seyhmus Yuksekkaya

Ehmede Xani, a pioneer of Kurdish literature, was one of the first to eloquently address the serious issues that haunt the Kurdish as a nation to this very day – the interdependent phenomena of oppression and division. Long before the emergence of modern nationalism in the Middle East, Xani perceived the sad situation of his people and sought to understand why the Kurds remained oppressed and dispossessed. Long before the emergence of the myriad of political groups claiming to work for the Kurdish people, Xani addressed this issue in a very direct way, bemoaning the current state of affairs and castigating his own people for failing to unite.





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