a kurdish woman from the province of khorasan in the 1960s.
a large number kurds were forcefully moved to the province of khorasan by the safavid empire in the 17th century in an attempt to isolate and divide the kurds.
From the Sephardi egalitarian synagogue in Jerusalem (yes Virginia, they exist!) Degel Yehuda, a beautiful recording of three different tunes from the Kurdish Jewish community for the book of Lamentations, traditionally read on Tisha beAv.
In northern Iraq, where soldiers are battling the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS, one fiery singer is on a mission to stir up patriotic sentiment.
Crimson-haired Iraqi performer Helly Luv has a recording contract in the U.S., but she didn’t want to shoot her latest video in Hollywood.
Her track, called “Revolution,” is a tribute to the ethnically Kurdish soldiers known as peshmerga who are fighting against ISIS. So she took a video team to a front-line village, as bullets flew and battles raged.
“Yeah!” she tells me. “We shot the video right there, and it was so crazy.”
The video features a bejeweled Helly Luv — herself Kurdish — dancing in a traditional peshmerga outfit, and in a tank firing a shell.
“Rise up, ‘cause we’re so much stronger as one,” she sings in English. “Breaking the silence as loud as a gun. Brothers and sisters, we all come from one. Different religions, we share the same blood.”
YPS-Jin is a Kurdish military organization that was set up in 2016 as the female brigade of the Civil Protection Units.
The YPS-Jin was formed by Kurdish women in North Kurdistan as part of the general YPS, (Civil Protection Units) Kurdish women need to be able to protect themselves and their spaces using arms when necessary.
The Kurdish people have been fighting for their existence until today, with Kurdish women playing a great part in this struggle. Is it not our mothers who have protected the Kurdish language from assimilation for the past hundred years by being teachers to their children and the carriers of this language? The system and enemy knows this and attacks the people’s culture, even women’s traditional Kurdish clothing. Kurdish women are part of an epic struggle today and as the YPS-Jin we will either create a free life or die resisting against the slavery that is being imposed on us. We want our people to be hopeful; Kurdistan is going to be a reality soon. If a sacrifice needs to be made, we will make the sacrifice but our people will have their freedom.
March 20 2016 - Pro-Kurdish revolutionaries clash with Turkish police in the Gazi district of Istanbul, after Turkish authorities banned the celebration of Newroz, the traditional Kurdish new year. [video]