The Kurdistani Crescent

By Dr. Saman Shali:

Every nation has the right to have a unified identity. Some have a unified identity under the umbrella of nationalism; others have it through religious solidarity; and still others have their solidarity as part of an economic bloc. For example, one understanding of the Arab unified identity is “United Arab nation”, while the European Union has its identity under the umbrella of an economic union.

Most Islamic nations are divided between Sunnis and Shiites. A Sunni Crescent begins with Turkey and sweeps southward toward Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, encompassing the Gulf countries (the old Ottoman Empire). Turkey and Saudi Arabia usually compete to take the leadership of this crescent.

Sunni Crescent

Sunni Crescent

Iran leads a Shiite Crescent (the old Safavid Empire), which begins with Iran and moves westward toward Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Some maintain that the Crescent begins with Pakistan and Afghanistan, spilling over to the Gulf countries. This Crescent will have a new border with Israel (which angers the Americans and Europeans). In this regard the Iranian President Advisor Ali Younis has stated that “the Middle East is an Iranian Empire and Baghdad is its capital”.

Shia Crescent

Shia Crescent

The Shiites of Iraq, however, talk about a Fertile Crescent that begins with Kuwait, spreading to Iraq and part of Iran, going West to Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt, also touching a small part of Turkey.

Fertile Crescent

Fertile Crescent

A quick study of these various crescents provides a revealing picture as to who supports the Islamic State “DASH” and who does not.

Finally, there is one more important Crescent in the Middle East—the Kurdistani Crescent, whose aim is to unite all parts of what has previously been referred to as the Greater Kurdistan region. It begins in Northern Kurdistan (or southeast Turkey), encompasses northeastern Iran, takes in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, moving West into northeastern Syria.

Kurdistani Crescent

Kurdistani Crescent

In comparing the Kurdistani Crescent with the others, one can easily see that the Sunni and Shiite crescents are based on Islamic religious differences. A quick review of the history of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the development of the Kurdistan Region in north Iraq shows that the Kurdistani Crescent is based on a multinational consensus which believes in freedom, human rights, democracy, pluralism, and peaceful coexistence.

The geography of the Kurdistani Crescent reveals that it encompasses a region for peace and stability, because it separates the other Crescents from one another. Partly due to their past experience of living as an ethnic minority in several other nation-states, Kurdistanis believe in living together in a multi-national region with multiple religions and ideologies that enable maximum freedom for all citizens and inhabitants. This is the only solid foundation for those living inside the Kurdistani Crescent, one that will enable them to build a strong infrastructure, lasting for generations to come.

Israeli Dream

Israeli Dream

We should not forget that there is another crescent in the region—the Jewish Crescent. This Crescent falls between the Nile and the Euphrates and is based on the unique religious beliefs and customs of Jews. Since most Jews living in the Kurdistani region immigrated to Israel after World War Two, the Jewish Crescent does not cross the Kurdistan Crescent.

The fierce fighting in response to the ISIS threat has united the Kurdistani people. Many factors, including the ISIS threat, have made it possible for Kurdistanis to work together optimistically to build a brighter future for themselves. This is the time for our leadership to put forth a unified strategic plan for the people of Kurdistan, just as we see others doing for their crescents. The following points may be useful as a foundation for consolidating the Kurdistani Crescent:

  1. Build trust between people and the leadership.
  2. Unify the Kurdistani House in all parts of Kurdistan.
  3. Merge the Peshmarga forces under one flag. (Same as NATO forces).
  4. Establish a national security agency.
  5. Launch an independent economic strategic plan. (Like the European Union).
  6. Create a united national strategic plan for people in all parts of Kurdistan.
  7. Elect a national parliament for all parts of Kurdistan. (Like the European Union).
  8. Create a new constitution that guarantees equality and equal rights for all people of Kurdistan.
  9. Comply with and respect all the United Nations principles.
  10. Have full confidence in living together and respect our differing ideas in politics, religions, and cultures.
  11. Believe completely in the main principles of peace, freedom and democracy.
  12. Enable and support the rule of women and youth in politics, government, civil society and the community.
  13. Respect the new borders of Kurdistan and restrain from meddling in our neighbors’ internal affairs.

The world respects united, brave, and free nations. People of Kurdistan are free and brave, but unfortunately they are not united.

Today people refer to the Kurdistan of Turkey, the Kurdistan of Iran, the Kurdistan of Iraq and the Kurdistan of Syria. But where is the Kurdistan for the people of Kurdistan?

Dr. Saman Shali is a former President of the Kurdish National Congress of North America (KNC)

4 Responses to The Kurdistani Crescent
  1. Kuvan Bamarny (Abdul-Qahar Mustafa Bamarny)
    June 2, 2015 | 14:48

    Dear Dr Saman

    Apart from being dominated by the neighboring countries and some other super powers,the Kurdistan of Kurdish people you talk about ,has been turned into the competition and fighting field over power ,money, pride,and honor between different political Kurdish parties with different ideologies.

    There has been lack of trust ,unsettled disputes among Kurdish political parties.Some people in Kurdistan have been living at the pick of joy ,have drowned in the ocean of glory(money and happiness) and some others have been dying for justice,protection,basic human rights,so do for a shelter and a peace of bread.That is where the Kurdistan you talk about ,stands at this moment.

    After the amandment of Kurdistan constitution,turning it into a democratic one,people like me have a hope that the political power would be handed to civil people ,the representatives of people of Kurdistan where hopefully the MP of people would work and serve people with consciousness,remove the hidden hands who steal the wealth and oppress poor people of kurdistan ,punish the violators of human rights ,share the wealth and jobs equally ,build the kurdistan as they are supposed to,so that all people of Kurdistan feel happy ,protected and live a dignified life.

    Regards
    Kuvan Bamarny/Duhok

    • Saman Shali
      June 2, 2015 | 21:50

      Dear Kuvan

      I do understand your frustration with current situation in Kurdistan, with all our misgiving we have to work hard for United Free Kurdistan. Young people like you must work harder to make this reality come true. Personally I have been hopeful with all misgiving we did have because I believe in our nation after all we have been through we must not give up for anyone until we do reach our goals. Thanks for your respected comments.

      Truly I am
      Saman

  2. Yasin Aziz
    June 3, 2015 | 15:53

    In fact we always blame ourselves for our shortcomings. Besides all that, we have proved we can manage our country if the West really interested in democracy in middle east. Our main problem is the West does not really back us even for a realistic economic autonomy yet. We have proven in the last 24 years we keep out terrorists and we have always been ready to defend our country. The main problem we have now, we are too dependent on petrol. In early 1960s and 50s there were hardly any on monthly government salary. We were self-sufficient, we did not need Iranian or Turkish products. If we look back how we lived and how we earned our living and do the same we can survive and be united. We have to prove we do not need Baghdad’s money or any others before we seek independence. Our main problem is the superpowers, they keep treating us as less than humans, but we can always and have proven a few times we can have leaders like Zoroastrian’s superman.

    • Saman Shali
      June 4, 2015 | 07:41

      Dear Yasin

      I agree with you, we have to build our infrastructure before we go fully for independent. To declare independent we need to put our house in order and depend on our self first then seek the International support. Regarding International support we need to have very strong loopy in the US and the West. The current fight against ISIS make the world look again at Kurdistan and the heroism of it is fighter to fight the terrorist on behalf of the world. It is time for the world to undo the unjust committed against our people in Kurdistan. Thx

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