iraqi kurd

Twenty five years ago today, on the 16th of march 1988, Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s deceased former ruler, plotted against the Kurds in the northern province of Iraq and systematically murdered thousands of Kurdish civilians. Under the assumption that the Kurds in Halabja were working against the Iraq during the Gulf war, Saddam had decided that it was vital for the regime to make “an example” of the Kurds, in order to avoid any further acts of treachery against the Kurds. However, there wasn’t much concrete proof on their supposed acts of treachery, and even so systematically killing every civilian in a village is an act that is not comprehensible, let alone justifiable.

Saddam decided to name his tirade against the Kurds as “Al-Anfal” ironically, one of the names of the verses in the Quran. The Halabja massacre killed up to 5000 Kurdish civilians in one tirade, victims included women and children.

Saddam’s use of mustard gas (and other chemical agents), till today remains to be one of the largest chemical weapons attack against a civilian populated area. The victims who had survived the attack, later died from either poisoning or cancer because of the chemical weapons.

Halabja is a prime example of how the USA never cared about the Kurdish people. Shortly after the massacre the US government declared the genocide as a fault of Iran, accusing Iran of targeting the civilians. Although they admittedly knew that it was an act by Saddam.

The Kurds have been incredibly isolated to the point where it is definitely sickening. This was a genocide, against an innocent people.

Halabja, Never forget.

My heart just grew into a pomegranate / when war deformed us together / looted us together / poisoned us together / “Anfalised” us together and buried us together / transformed us into dust and blew it away. - Nîgar Nadir

*Having fled their war-torn home near Kirkuk, Iraq, a Kurdish family battles the elements in the ruins of Penjwin, Iraq on the border of Iran. Iraqi Kurds returned to their homes and the rubble of Penjwin after the Gulf War of 1991.

bagelanjeli  asked:

I find it interesting that you keep saying that Asians in Asia don't see themselves as poc. While you may feel that way, I think it's valid to note that Britain (white people) occupied and conquered what was then India (today India, Pakistan, Bhutan, etc.) There is a big difference between the fair indians and the darker indians. To be light skinned is considered beautful. Therefore, that region of Asia does see itself as poc for they were treated as second class to the gori British.

Hey, I appreciate you writing in! I’ll explain my thinking behind the term here.

I too grew up in a former British colony, so while I did have a concept of whiteness and therefore do not see myself as “white”- I want to emphasise that the term “person of colour” does have different political and cultural implications than “non-European” or perhaps “non-white”. Simply, I do not see myself as “white” because of British colonialism, but I does not mean I see myself as a “person of colour”. I see myself as Han Chinese, East Asian or Asian. “ In general, I believe the term should not be used carelessly outside the US due to different ideas of whiteness between the US and Europe, as well as other countries in the Americas, where race isn’t perceived the exact same way. I don’t believe it should be used at all in the non-Western context.

1. Person of colour is a term that specifically originated in the context of the United States’ system of colourist racism, of Jim Crow, of slavery, where the idea of “white” became a vehicle to confer privilege. I say “vehicle” because whiteness has always been a social construct. in much earlier parts of US history, several light-skinned European ethnic groups were not allowed to access whiteness, like Irish people. Today, they are seen as white. Although the term has been used carelessly by many people on tumblr, “person of colour” is first and foremost a racialised identity taken on to organise against white supremacy- in Western contexts.

2. I don’t believe it should be applied to non-Western contexts firstly, because the history of Asian colourist discrimination has actually long-predated European colonial rule. Further, it doesn’t quite just exist as a marker of racial otherness, but as a class division. Fair skin has been prized in China, Japan and Korea for thousands of years due to classism. I believe it is the case with India too- from what I know, it was very much tied to the ancient Indian caste system or other class/regional divisions. That is not to say British rule in India didn’t make it worse (it certainly did) or that Western beauty standards don’t help to reinforce this preference today, but it would be inaccurate for us to ascribe this obsession for light skin all to recent European imperialism. Recognising its ancient roots is crucial: as a light-skinned East Asian, nobody has ever tried to sell me skin-whitening cream, unlike my other Han Chinese friends who were darker-skinned. 

3. As “person of colour” is an organising tool against white supremacy, I do not believe it has much relevance in non-Western contexts because we are no longer under European colonial rule. This is not to say its legacy doesn’t still affect us, but that the fault lines and tensions that matter are very often not going to centre so much around whiteness anymore in day-to-day life. I feel white privilege can be discussed there without us defining ourselves as “persons of colour”. 

  • Primarily, I am against the term because it posits a false illusion of solidarity that erases local oppressor-oppressed dynamics, and centering on whiteness very often becomes a tool of deflection for their own crimes (like in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, when he took ownership of land from white farmers ostensibly to correct the inequality in land ownership suffered by black Zimbabweans. Sounds fair, considering how colonial rule historically stripped people of their land. But the problem is rather than actually giving it to experienced black Zimbabwean farmers or training people to use the land, he mostly gave it to his cronies. Who didn’t utilise the land properly, causing food shortages that eventually hurt thousands of black Zimbabweans and made people worse off.) On another level, I don’t wish to centre around whiteness all the time because I think the fixation on it at the expense of other fault lines is in of itself a perpetuation of Eurocentric/whitecentric history and narratives.
  • To me, the attendant notions of solidarity underpinning the idea of POC have very little relevance when outside the Western world, our oppressive structures and systems of privileges are very often run by other non-Europeans. Whiteness is the “default” in the US, but in mainland China? It’s being Han Chinese. Han Chinese supremacy is the reason for continued racism and Sinicisation of non-Han minorities like Uighur Muslims and Tibetan. And this racism has a history in Chinese imperialism that long-predates European colonialism. To call all of us “POC” flattens the power structure and posits false solidarity between oppressor and victim- it allows the oppressor to wrongly occupy the space as the victim: as if the Han Chinese general is the same as the non-Han people he has captured for human sacrifices to the gods during the Shang Dynasty. You can have groups of people in the Middle-East and North Africa like Kurds, Amazigh who are very often marginalised by Arab supremacy- such as when Saddam Hussein enacted a genocide against Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s, using chemical weapons. The Nigerian government’s slow response to the Boko Haram crisis despite angry protests by Nigerians? The government not caring when people in Northern Nigeria, which is much more impoverished- die. For my own family history, some of the deepest grievances stem from how the Japanese mistreated my grandparents during WW2.

4. Lastly, the term “POC” outside the Western context tends to flatten the power structure between non-Europeans who live in the West or otherwise have a Western background vis a vis people from our ancestral countries. 

  • White privilege can reinforce Western privilege but they are not totally synonymous: Because even people not considered white do benefit from citizenship in a Western country or a Westernised background. When it comes to global economic inequality, we are closer to the centre of the empire, to the position of those who benefit, not the exploited. People like myself benefit from speaking English, from appearing “more European” and generally Westernised. It’s the reason my friend, who is of Indian ancestry, was treated very differently by the immigration officer when his British accent became obvious- compared to Indians from India who were on the same flight as him. There would for example, be a huge power differential between an Arab-American soldier and the other Arab people in say, Iraq. I cannot in good faith say my experiences are the same as the Chinese workers who work long hours in factories, many of whom start working at 16. At 16? I wasn’t done with schooling. It was taken for granted I would get a university education, and so on. 

5. So, the term “person of colour” is meaningless to me in the non-Western context context, and I personally find it actively harmful when people lump us as “POC cultures” because it purports to create an illusion of solidarity that obscures the massive amount of racism and oppression Asians are enacting against each other till today. Further, I see it as a projection of Western race politics on a non-Western context, which is decentering from local dynamics.

In conclusion, I very much see myself as “non-white” in Asia due to growing up in a former European colony. But I do not see myself as a “person of colour” there. I see myself somewhat as a person of colour in Europe, because it is a Western context where light-skinned Europeans are the majority. Still, not entirely- because it is quite an American term and European racism has a lot of ethnicity dimensions. I tend to see myself as a SEAsian Chinese, most specifically.

8

Samantha Bee went to the one place where Trump is universally beloved: Iraq. Its Kurdish community especially love him so much, they name their children after him.

First (And Probably Last Ever) Trump-Positive Field Piece | August 2, 2017 Act 3

I went out like a sleepwalker. Aroused by nightmares. I began searching for my homeland, in all continents, on earth and in heaven. Praying. Reciting every supplication. Carrying shrines. And a generation of orphaned martyrs. And a generation of veteran martyrs. And another awaiting the massacre… oh homeland of the innocent, were you for us a graveyard or a homeland? - Abd Al Latif Ataymish 

Pity the children. 

An Iraqi young boy holds a weapon from the window of a car as people gather to show readiness to join Iraqi security forces in the fight against Jihadist militant who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities in the capital Baghdad.

New Year, don’t come to our homes, for we are wanderers from a ghost-world, denied by man. Night flees from us. Fate has deserted us. We live as wandering spirits with no memory, no dreams, no longings, no hopes. We wish to be dead, and are refused by the graves. We wish to write history by the years. If only we knew what it is to be bound to a place… If only memory, or hope, or regret could one day block our country from its path. If only we feared madness. If only our lives could be disturbed by traveller shock, or the sadness of an impossible love. If only we could die like other people. - Nazik Al Malaika

*Kurdish girl, Iraq, 1991 Al Anfal Campaign 

a last decant for the krg

the dream of kurdistan
was a shadow on the wall
played for by many empires
before they had their fall
a little wooden horse
a plastic doily with a bear
last thing many a victim heard
was “we’re sorry, we just don’t care”
from the shores of the last forsaken place
to the ivory in your comb
there’s a price for every smiling face
but the cost is never yours
(oh.
thanks for fighting ISIS, tho)

Dé zuu!!!
Berê ku dilopê çavên te
di dilê min de, zinarek ava bike,
kenê xwe bi hêle ji min re…

( hadi çabuk,
Gözyaşların yüreğimde bir uçurum yapmadan
Gülüşünü bana bırak.)

B.B.

Görsel : Eric Lafforgue Yezidi Refugee Man Displaced From Sinjar Living In Lalesh Temple, Kurdistan, Iraq

Look what Israël is doing to Palestina. We Kurds feel the Palestinian pain.
But, oh brothers and sisters my people are treated like the Palestinians since the 16th century. Where were you then? Where were you when Arafat shook hands with Saddam Hussein and congratulated him on the massacre of 5000 Kurds in Halabja. And I’m not even talking about the 10.000 Kurds who got injured and the survivors who are still hurting till this day. Oh brothers and sisters, where were you when Kurdistan and the Kurdish people needed you? Where were you when Kurds were gassed? Where were you? Ya Allah. Where were you when Saddam’s Ba'ath regime raped Kurdish sisters and tortured Kurdish brothers? How can you be proud of a man who killed thousands brothers and sister? Where were you when Iraqi leader Maliki massacred Kurds? And where are you now? Now when Kurds are being attacked in Syria and Iraq where is your support? where is your sense of loyalty and solidarity for your muslim brothers and sisters? Allah (swt) is my witness when I say I won’t turn my back on the suffering of my muslim brothers and sisters every where, but Allah (swt) is your witness on how you turned your back on the Kurds, how you accept the murders on Kurds, how you don’t talk about it and how you close your eyes when it comes to Kurds. Open your eyes our current Ummah has forgotten the Kurds. Ya Ummah wake up, protect all muslims. Do not allow this. Talk about any injustice that is being done to Muslims, including those of the Kurds.
—  Kvrdish
Where shall I go? I’m weary of the ways. I’m bored with the meadows and with the persistent, hidden enemy following my footsteps. Where can I escape? The trails and roads that carry songs to every strange horizon. The paths of life; the corridors in night’s total darkness; the corners of the bare days… I’ve wandered along them all, with my relentless enemy behind me. Keeping a steady pace, or sitting firmly. Like the mountains of snow in the far north. - Nazik Al-Malaika 

*Portrait of a Kurdish woman, Al-Anfal Campaign,1981 

politico.com
U.S. demands Iraqi Kurds cancel vote on independence
The White House statement came hours after the parliament of Iraqi Kurdistan voted to go ahead with the referendum.

I’m sorry, but how is Kurdish independence going to distract from military effort against ISIS? Kurds were some of the first to take up arms against ISIS?

Instead of holding the referendum, Trump aides are urging the Kurds to enter into new talks with the Iraqi central government that could, perhaps, lead to even more autonomy for their region of the country. In her statement Friday, Sanders reiterated that call for a new “serious and sustained dialogue with Baghdad.”

Has the Trump administrated talked to Baghdad about this or are they just assuming Iraq will agree?

Kurdish leaders have suggested they may delay the vote if they can get ironclad guarantees from international leaders, such as the U.S. president and the United Nations secretary-general, that they will one day support a Kurdish referendum and will recognize its outcome. But so far they’ve not been assured that such guarantees are forthcoming.

“One day”? Sure, one day 30 years from nor or one day 100 years from now? That’s not iron clad and that’s not a guarantee even if they agree to it, leaders leave office, new agendas come up. At this point the Kurds have to do what is best for them and their people and not what everyone else wants. 

sometimes I forget how Eurocentric our society (world?) is til I see posts like ‘trump is going to start ww3 with north Korea’ flooding my timeline. To Iraqis, afghans ,libyans, Syrians, Kurds, Yemenis, Bahrainis (to name a few) ww3′s has started for what’s been years now but because of how racist we all are (we must be honest about this) we don’t consider the pain of someone being killed by a Russian or American or saudi airstrike in Aleppo or Saada ‘relevant’ enough to have it shape our world view. 

“Oh mother!” - a rattle, tears and darkness. Blood gushed out, and the stabbed body trembled. “Oh mother!”, heard only by the executioner. Tomorrow the dawn will come and roses will wake up. Youth and enchanted hopes will ask for her. The meadows and the flowers will answer, “She left to wash the disgrace.” The brutal executioner will return and meet the people “Disgrace?”, he wipes his knife, “We’ve torn it apart and returned virtuous with a white reputation.” - Nazik Al-Malaika
vimeo

Message To Iraq by Ali Kareem Al-Yasiri

Check out my latest video! A peace and unity message to my beautiful homeland.