Category Archives: History

De-islamization in a Free Kurdistan?

Dr. Jan Best de Vries: I am grateful that, as an outsider from Europe, in December 2014 I had the opportunity to relate in broad terms, to staff and students at the Mesopotamia Academy in Qamishlo, the history of the Kurds. When combining all the data from archaeology, history and linguistics at our disposal, one…

Women of Non-State Kurds: From Khanzad Sultan to Rojava Female Fighters   

By Vian Faraj: Part 1 The first division of Kurdistan was made between the Safavid Empire and Ottoman Empire, after the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514 and was later formalized in the Zuhab treaty, 1639, according to which Yerevan, the wide area covering the Iranian part of Kurdistan, eastern Georgia, Dagestan, and Azerbaijan was taken…

Turkey out of East Anatolia

By Dr Jan Best de Vries: Since Mr. Erdogan and his ministers, living in a state that is currently a NATO member, repeatedly accuse NATO members Germany and The Netherlands of being aggressive and racist against people of Turkish descent in these countries (1), one should realize for a moment that, from an historical point…

A Resurgence of Kurdish Studies Research

By Dr.Amir Sharifi: The 48th Annual  Middle East Studies Association of North America in Washington DC Not long ago Kurdish scholars were lamenting the lack of scholarly research about Kurds and Kurdistan and calling on all to initiate and foster much needed multi-disciplinary research. At last Kurdish Studies is emerging as a topic of high…

Aleppo is the prize again

Dr. Jan Best de Vries: In Northwest Syria, between 1700 BCE and 1630 BCE existed the state of Yamkhad with its capital Haleb (Aleppo), in which Yarimlim reigned as king. In Alalakh (Tell Atchana), on the Mediterranean coast at the time, now belonging to Turkey (and not yet to Rojava), reigned his vassal king Ammitaku,…

Democracies or Islamic States in West Asia?

Dr. Jan Best de Vries: Democracy is neither a guarantee for individual happiness nor is it perfect. However, as a polity it may bring political stability, long-lasting peace and economical prosperity to a country, because all its inhabitants have equal rights and, being certain of their constitutional rights, can freely choose their own representatives in…

Poetry in Exile

Yasin Aziz

By Yasin Aziz: ‘The refuge we all seek is protection from forces which wrench us away from the security and comfort, physical and mental, which give dignity and meaning to human existence’ Aung San Suu Kyi Exile from country, family, social life, the atmosphere one is used to for many years: the warm social relations,…

The Birth of West Asia

Dr. Jan Best de Vries: The terms Near East, Middle East and Far East are all European notions, coined from the perspective of the geographical position of Europe in colonial times. So let us, to begin with, henceforward speak of West Asia, Central Asia and East Asia. As for the borders of contemporary states in…

Acknowledge the PKK as Freedom Fighters and a Partner for Peace!

Rebwar Reshid

By Rebwar Rashed: Due to arbitrarily-drawn borders in the Middle East on at least two occasions, the first at the Sykes Picot (also calls the Asian Minor Agreement (16th of May 1916) (1), and the second in the aftermath of World War 1, Kurdistan became four parts, each part belong to a new territorial state: Iraq,…

Helen Ghassemlou’s reminiscences of her life with Abdul Rahman

By Sissy Danninger: German version newly available – Survey of other translations The project took three years, but at the beginning of August 2014 the German translation of Helen’s/Nasrin’s memoirs was finally published by LIT Verlag inVienna/Austria. Unfortunately the book could not be printed in time before the 25th anniversary of Dr Ghassemlou’s assassination on July…

There will not be peace in the Middle East unless the borders are redrawn

Rebwar Reshid

By Rebwar Rashed: Since the England´s Magna Charta (1215), there has been hundreds and thousands of different reforms in “the West”. English, French and American revolutions made fundamental changes in the history of mankind. Abolition of the tyrants and despots, the separation of the state and religion, the democratization of political systems, progress in human…

Kurdish Museum of Qachakh – a permanent treasure

Solin Hacador

By Solin Hacador: I have been to too many museums all around the world in my life but, as a Kurd, I have never had an opportunity to visit any Kurdish museum, till a few days ago. It was a great honour for me to visit the Qachakh Culture Museum, based in the city of Duhok…

Middle East must be re-designed

By Payraw Anwar: There has been no stability in the Middle East from the First World War until now; nothing has happened to remedy this. The Middle East, and the Arabian countries in particular, were divided and designed according to the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement by which three states (Britain, French and Russia) planned the division…

Ghassemlou the Feminist?

By Zakarya Khezeryan: Heralded as the ‘prophet of peace and freedom,’ Adbul Rahman Ghassemlou (A.R.G) was a man of words, action and wisdom far beyond his years. His message, persona and name resonate with every peace and freedom-loving individual that has come to know him. Many know of Ghassemlou the man, the leader, but very…

Cooperative living comes to life in Rojava

By Rojava Report: The Mothers of Peace have been organizing in Rojava since the 1990s. A couple of years ago, when the Syrian regime was still in power in the Kurdish areas, they were able to meet once or twice a year. Only after the Rojava Revolution were they able to come together regularly. The…