Appeal to the French Government to Renew Funding to the Kurdish Institute of Paris

By Dr.Amir Sharifi:actualite_104-650x320

Consul general of France in Los Angeles February 26, 2015

10390 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 410

Los Angeles, CA 90025-6915

Dear Mr. Axel Acruau:

We members of the Kurdish American Education Society and the larger Kurdish community in Southern California are saddened that the Kurdish Institute of Paris, an academic and cultural institution dedicated to representing, researching, and preserving Kurdish culture, language, and history is now facing an uncertain and gloomy future after the French Government announced, it would no longer commit itself to funding its programs. If the French Government does not reverse this decision, the iconic Institute may have to shut down.

From its initial inception in Feb 1983 and its subsequent official recognition by the French government in March 1993, the Kurdish Institute of Paris, created a cultural renaissance for Kurdish diasporic communities; from the outset it was greeted with great zest as among its founders were luminaries as the legendary film maker, Yilmaz Güney, the renowned Kurdish poet Cegerxwin; Hejar, the prolific poet and linguist. Iconic names such as Kendal Nezan, a nuclear physicist and president of the Institute, Abbas Vali, scholar and professor, Joyce Blau, professor and scholar of Kurdish Language and Civilization were among its distinguished board members while a wide array of prominent French and world intellectuals such as Simone de Beauvoi, Maurice Bejart, choreographer; Sean McBride, Nobel Peace Prize Winner; Gérard Chaliand, and Andrei Sakharov lent their support to the mission of the Institute. Soon, the Kurdish Institute of Paris became a source of inspiration for cultural heritage of the growing Kurdish diasporic community and an intellectual pathway for Kurdish studies scholars throughout 1980’s to present time.

We do not need to remind the French Government that the grateful 32-year-old institution has demonstrated a unique creativity and flexibility in the ways in which it has used its award funds. In conformity with the French plural democracy, it has consistently championed for Kurdish human, cultural, and linguistic rights; it has used its budgetary funds to inform the French and the world at large about Kurds and Kurdistan through timely and informative publications, films, festivals, art shows, seminars, musical performances, and academic symposiums. The Institute has created the largest digital library and served as a primary source for a great many Kurdish and non-Kurdish researchers; more importantly it has also served the Kurdish diaspora in France by providing educational scholarships to disadvantaged Kurds, many of whom are now serving European countries as professionals and specialists.

We are deeply indebted to your government for its generous support and pleased that the French government played such a principal role in aiding the cause of the Kurdish heritage and cultural diversity. Your support has borne fruit; however, withholding or reducing funds from the Kurdish Institute during this critical time would have adverse effects on the scope of its activities. Since the Institute received the majority of its funds from the French government, withdrawing or substantially reducing the funding would not only have grave implications for its programs and continuity, but it would prove to be an existential threat if other sources of funding are not found. Indeed, the demise of the Kurdish Institute of Paris will be a great tragedy for the Kurdish communities everywhere and the French philanthropic philosophy and democratic convictions.

In the spirit of the French democratic values, the longevity and dynamic consistency of the Institute and its cultural and academic significance, we strongly urge your government to renew and if possible to increase the funding of the Kurdish Institute of Paris as one of the cornerstones of Kurdish cultural heritage and academic endeavors in diaspora.

Dr.Amir Sharifi – President of the Kurdish American Education Society-Los Angeles

One Response to Appeal to the French Government to Renew Funding to the Kurdish Institute of Paris
  1. Reza
    March 1, 2015 | 05:08

    It is one of the primary responsibility of KRG’s Department of Foriegn Relations to fund Kurdish media outlets , Cultural Institutions, Civil and Youths Organizations abroad, especially KT, KNCNA, Kurdish Institute of Paris, Kurdishmedia, etc. Thanks to Souths bipartisan politics. Repeating the same words for millions of times.

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