Kurdish New Year Message2014
I wish all Kurds in our beloved land and diaspora a happy Nowroz in 2714. From Hawler to Amed, from Sanadanj to Efrin, from London to Los Angeles, we are celebrating our New Year with great hopes for the future. Nowroz rises from its ancient and deep roots to offer us light, life, and liberty.
The year we are leaving behind will be remembered for both its triumphs, trials and tribulations. Our people in Rojava (Western Kurdistan) are making steady progress towards establishing an emergent democracy and rediscovering their hope for freedom. In Lebanon, there is a cultural revival among Kurds. In Amed, the long and hard fought struggle for a just peace continues to be a beacon of hope to reclaim our identity and history. In Eastern Kurdistan, we are building and creating an enduring legacy against the tyranny and injustice of the Islamic Republic. In Southern Kurdistan, we see the promises of a nascent democracy with its flourishing Spring Festival of freedom, attracting many Kurds and non-Kurds to the celebration of diversity and solidarity.
In 2713 we experienced many challenges, losses and sorrows. Western Kurdistan came under the vicious attacks of monstrous and evil Jihadist forces. Many of us fell. Tens of thousands of Kurds were displaced, now living in refugee camps where their living conditions are deteriorating. We lost our great poet Sherko Bekas whose lament about Halbja and Infal shook the world. Three bright and brave Kurdish women Fidan Dogan, left, Leyla Soylemez and Sakine Cansiz were brutally assassinated in Paris for defending justice and human rights. In Eastern Kurdistan many cultural and human rights activists and journalists were imprisoned and executed, with many more on death row.
In Turkey, there were more than eight thousand Kurdish political prisoners, many of whom are sick and their families and friends have no legal recourse. Kurdish women continued to be victims of acts of violence. The Kurdish Regional Government was plagued by narrow political rivalries, divisions, and interests. Rather than maintaining and advancing economic parity and prosperity for all, it has fallen into an inextricable web of corruption, and gaudy consumerism, Kawa Garmyani, an anti-corruption journalist was the last victim of this oligarchic treachery. We were hopeful to establish the first Kurdish National Conference, but it never materialized as its constitutive body was not able to overcome the divisions; they confused unity with unanimity and were torn between their allegiances to different regional powers.
Nowroz for us is a reminder that we should uphold our lofty values about the sanctity and beauty of the renewed nature, the necessity for unity, and revival of our heritage. We can use infinite possibilities on our path to freedom no matter how tormented and threatened we may be, no matter how treacherous and vicious our enemies may be. We can take great strides to realize our dreams if we remain committed to our common aspirations. We can only hope that our collective local, national, and international efforts contribute to the recognition and discussion of Kurdish legitimate democratic demands and rights.
Let us hope that the Nowroz flame will shine its bright light to usher in a happier life and a brighter future for all Kurds.
Happy New Year
Dr. Amir Sharifi, is the president of the Kurdish American Education Society KAES, Los Angeles, California
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