French president Emmanuel Macron isn’t sure of how to deal with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A French magazine writer recently praised Mr. Macron for his “cool” job only have his president snarl, “I am the one who has to talk with Erdogan every 10 days.” A Kurdish columnist promptly quipped: “Erdogan is indeed irritating… Continue reading

Dear Mr. Talabani, As someone who is sometimes asked to comment on the affairs of our hapless Kurds, I have been confronted with the question of just who is Bafil Talabani? Before October 12, I would have declined the request or referred people to the good folks at the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) office, named… Continue reading

An ancient Kurdish love song came alive by way of a beautiful movie in New York City last month. A Kurdish grandmother sang it for her American grandson on a hospital bed in Manhattan. The remarkable film is Zer, which rivals Shakespeare’s tragic Romeo and Juliet with its heart-rending after-effects of true love sacrificed upon… Continue reading

I recently attended a rally in Washington, DC to express my support for the Kurdish referendum in Kurdistan/Iraq. We enjoyed short speeches, pleasant music and joined hands in large circular dances to celebrate the Kurdish vote on independence from an overbearing partner, Arab Iraq. Kurds flocked from Tennessee, New Jersey, New York and even Canada.… Continue reading

First our commonalities: we are both the children of the soil. Jews fondly call the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael) their homeland; we reserve the same affection for Kurdistan, the land of our ancestors. Jews ruled their homeland for nearly a thousand years—but mighty Rome destroyed their sacred Temple (built by Solomon) in 70 AD… Continue reading

The Poles have a state of their own now, but were stateless, like us Kurds, for 123 years at one time. How they got their homeland back can help Kurds get ours. Unlike us, the Poles once had a kingdom, but lost it to Germans, Austrians and Russians—were even declared “foreigners” in their own country… Continue reading

Many Kurds may not know who Lord Byron is. Those who do are richer for it; those who don’t, poorer. George Gordon Byron (1788-1824), the great English poet, was born with a clubfoot but towered tall in his valiant defense of freedom. Indeed, the 6th Baron Byron died while supporting a brigade of Greek freedom… Continue reading

“We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.”—Blaise Pascal When French philosopher Pascal (1623-1662) said that, he didn’t have Algeria in mind—but he could well have. An Algerian joke in the 1990s had a young Algerian asking his father: “What do the colors of the Algerian flag signify?”… Continue reading

Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) didn’t live long enough to see a free Italy, but wrote some of the most moving verses to lament his homeland’s subjugation by France under Napoleon Bonaparte. In a poem titled, To Italy, he mourns the loss of Italian soldiers in Bonaparte’s ill-fated Russian campaign with these haunting words that… Continue reading

Sofia, Bulgaria is not a popular destination for travelling Kurds, but if you find yourself in the Bulgarian capital, make sure you visit the monument of Vasil Levski outside the National Cultural Center. Greeting you will be the words of the selfless and fearless Bulgarian patriot in large block letters: “If I succeed, I shall… Continue reading