“I am puzzled by God’s wisdom That, among all nations, has denied Kurds a state of their own!”
This is how Kurdish poet Ahmadi Khani expressed his people’s feelings in “Love and Life,” the epic he composed in 1690.
A statue of Kurdish writer, poet,
astronomer and philosopher Ahmad Khani
Three centuries later, the Kurds still don’t have a state but represent a spider’s-web set of ethnic and sectarian fractures that threaten the integrity of at least five nations.
At the time Khani wrote, a majority of mankind lived in a dozen empires or a jigsaw of isolated tribal entities with the concept of nation-state unknown outside Europe.
Now, in a world dotted with 198 nation-states, the Kurds represent the largest “nation” without a “state.”
Stuck in the center of every Middle East conflict, the Kurds are a rarity: a sympathetic ally. Supporting them is not without risk, as it could cause even more upheaval in the region, but if the US acts strongly and prudently, the Kurds could help keep Iran, ISIS and others in check.
A Kurdish protestor wears a Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK) t-shirt, and waves a Turkish flag during the pro-
Kurdish rally, ahead of Turkey’s general elections
this past June. Getty Images
While there is no Kurdish state, there certainly is a Kurdish “space” designated by the Persian-Kurdish word “Kurdivary,” which means “Kurdishness.”
That space spans a large chunk of the Middle East plus a large Kurdish diaspora.
|The only major defeats suffered by ISIS so far, |
were the work of Kurdish fighters. Getty Images
The many communities included in “Kurdivary” number between 30 and 40 million people, according to who is counting. Almost half live in Turkey, representing a quarter of the population. The second-largest community, more than 5 million, is in Iraq, and a further 4 million in Iran. Syria is home to 2.2 million Kurds. Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet republics, are home to around 1 million Kurds.Read the rest of the story HERE and view a related video below:
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