A Kurdish Wish for a Happy New Year!
Dr. Artin Dec. 05 2005 - Kurdish American Education Society
Dr. Artin is a member of Kurdish American Education Society; however, his views are not reflecting the views of all members.
I asked myself what is the difference between New Year's day and any other day. I couldn't find any major difference except for the symbolic meaning of an end and a new beginning. New beginnings are usually associated with reviewing of the past, with hope and vitality, and with motivation to implement new ideas for a better future. Although a new year's wish or event is non political, nothing Kurdish can be separated from politic at this stage of Kurdish movement. Independent nations have it easier to organize purely cultural, social, educational, or professional events; for people whose national identity is not recognized by other nations, anything that hints to that identity becomes political. Even the Kurdish American Education Society (KAES), that I happened to have been leading for the past year, is considered political by some standards.
KAES aims to educate Americans about the history and culture of Kurds. During the past year, at times it was inevitable for some of us at KAES to express a clear political view such as preference for a peaceful and democratic Kurdish State over being part of any of the dysfunctional and dictatorial Middle Eastern countries! Some friends distanced themselves from KAES for fear of involving themselves with politics. Some others did the same arguing KAES is not political enough. Some remained supportive of KAES and did whatever they could to help the Kurdish cause in this land of opportunity for brave, free, yet responsible people! Those of us at KAES who thought more can be done politically, participated in activities of Kurdish National Congress in North America (KNC). KNC as the major non-partisan Kurdish organization in North America seems to have a clear political view in supporting the ultimate dream of independence for a greater Kurdistan, an ambitious but not impossible objective. This objective has made it easier for me to have a new year's resolution: gradually asking other friends to lead KAES, so I could be more proactive in KNC.
Each part of the greater Kurdistan during the past year made some steps forwards and some backwards. While Iran's reformists failed to make any significant progress and Iranian decided to remain a member of "axis of terror" by electing a hardliner as their president, some groups in opposition have come to the realization that federalism is the future of Iranian Kurdistan; a Kurdish Alliance there is in progress. After the other member of "axis of terror", allegedly assassinated a progressive Arab leader in Lebanon, the suppression of Kurdish minority in Syria became more known to public and another Kurdish Alliance is in progress there. While the arrested previous leader of the major Northern Kurdistani organization had given up in making Kurdish independence a priority, the people of Eastern Anatolian cities have become more aware of their rights and available means to obtain those rights. As an example, recently the mayors of those cities collectively requested from the semi democratic Turkish state to stop shutting down Roj TV. As a member of KAES, KNC or any other non-partisan organization with similar objectives, my focus for the past year was mainly moral support of Southern Kurdistan. Despite some usual flaws in the leadership, because of the efforts of its dedicated, democratic, and thoughtful people and the support of coalition forces, this part of Kurdish land seems to be getting closer to its independence, while still remaining within Iraqi boundaries! Many might wonder what might be the next in Southern Kurdistan.
My thoughts on the above subject was: For a peaceful transition toward Kurdish independence, there is no other option at this time for Southern Kurdistan but to participate in the Iraqi government. The alternative might trigger an attack from all sides and Kurds could lose. To my knowledge without approval of the United States a real change in world politics is not pragmatic and almost impossible. At this stage the US is not ready to engage in another risk and support a Kurdish state, even if many Americans might know that an independent Kurdistan is their best bet for the Middle East. The alternative to awaiting US approval is a romantic approach in which unity and passive resistance of Mahatma Ghandi's or Rosa Park's style among all Kurds becomes a priority for a true liberation!
As you saw, I couldn't separate even my Kurdish New Year Wish from a political viewpoint, although I am not a politician. Coming back to New Year's Wish, I hope the coming year is the year of achieving your dreams and objectives, if those objectives do not include violating anyone's rights! Happy New Year!