Three Years Ago: Kurdistan Without Lamentations. Fouad Ajami (d. 2014) @HooverInst.

Nov 06, 2016, 12:01 AM

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Three Years Ago: Kurdistan Without Lamentations. Fouad Ajami (d. 2014) @HooverInst.

No Kurd is lamenting the erosion of the borders in this tangled geography. The partition of the successor states of the Ottoman Empire brought the Kurds grief and dispossession. The Persians, Turks and Arabs secured their own states. Indeed, the Arabs were bequeathed several states in the geography of “Turkish Arabia” that runs from the Iraqi border with Iran to the Mediterranean. Kurdistan was singularly betrayed, its people divided among Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Kurdish history became a chronicle of thwarted rebellions. According to a deeply felt expression, the Kurds had no friends but the mountains. Yet a new life is stirring in Kurdistan. Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, once a forgotten fortress town, is a booming city of shopping malls, high-rises and swank hotels. Oil and natural gas have remade the city, as has its political stability, remarkable when set against the mayhem of the rest of Iraq. The Kurds are shrewd. They aren’t about to claim Erbil as the capital of a restored greater Kurdistan, but it has pride of place in their world. It is the home of Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdish regional government, and of almost 5 million people, who are officially part of Iraq but in reality belong to an independent nation. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2013-10-30/the-kurds-get-a-second-chance-in-syria