Tuesday, December 12, 2006

International Conference on Kurdish women for peace and equality-Call for Paper

Kurdish National Congress

The First International  Conference on Kurdish Women for Peace and Equality

Date: March 8th 2007 (International Women’s Day)

Place: Southern Kurdistan (Exact location to be announced)

The Kurdish National Congress of North America intends to hold a conference about Kurdish Women in Greater Kurdistan (Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria) and in the Diaspora.

The conference will be held in Southern Kurdistan and will be focused on the role of Kurdish women in politics, science, art, and history inside Kurdistan and in Diaspora as well as marginal participation of women in politics. Kurdish Women compose half of the citizens in Kurdish society. Opportunities for women to be represented in political bodies and to have influence in political matters are important yardsticks of democracy and thus an integral indication of social development and democratization processes in the region. Increasing the active participation of women in politics and the representation of women in positions of power remains a crucial and critical step towards obtaining gender balance in Kurdish society. At the same time it is important to examine the "gender" of politics, science, art, and the implications of gender in the political, scientific and artistic aspects of life in Kurdistan. “It is our contention that true peace, referred to in the peace studies literature as “positive peace” is only possible under conditions of just and fair gender relations, respect for democratic rights and freedoms, and equal opportunities for economic, social and intellectual development across age, class, ethnicity and gender.”

The conference will address both quantitative and qualitative aspects of Kurdish women’s role in politics, science and art. Studies on women and politics have suggested a variety of possible explanations for the paucity of women leaders and the marginalization of women in politics. These include electoral systems, party systems, gender-role socialization, women's movement, political culture, religion, and women's representation among professions from which potential leaders are drawn. The conference looks at both obstacles/constraints to progress and the emerging practices/strategies leading to progress, and encourages both structurally oriented and actor-oriented explanations for either the lack or the increase of women in political bodies, sciences and art in different cultural, political and developmental contexts across Kurdistan.

As for the qualitative aspect of Kurdish women and politics, science and art, and history the conference will address issues concerning gender and power relations. The conference will look into alternatives or informal channels of participation, Kurdish women's exercise of power through these channels, and Kurdish women's role in influencing political, science and art agendas. Moreover, the conference will address the impact of diverse political discourses and religious systems on shaping the status quo. It will examine what political options these discourses provide for women and how women maneuver within or across different political discourses.

We are looking forward to hear from you or, even better, to see you at the conference. Please call us if you have any questions:

International Kurdish Women’s Conference Coordinators

Chair of Kurdish Women’s Conference

Soraya Fallah
e-mail:sorayaf40@yahoo.com &soraya@vokradio.com
cell#:(818)434 9609 & (818)7000933
Call for papers

International Conference on Kurdish Women
for Peace and Equality

Kurdish women have played a vital role in their societies and in Kurdish political and social movements. Despite this evident fact, women in Kurdish societies have been overlooked and at times neglected. We are striving to emphasize the importance of women’s participation in social and political life, and to highlight the essential part our unsung heroes have played in bringing us to where we are today.
In this light, the “Kurdish Women’s Conference Coordinator Committee” is pleased to announce the upcoming “International Conference on Kurdish Women for Peace and Equality” in Kurdistan. The conference is organized by the Kurdish National Congress (KNC) of North America, and will be held in Erbil (Hewler) on March 8th, and Sulaimany on March 11th, 2007 . Kurdish Women are embracing their position as integral part of civil society and moving forward to claim their natural place in Kurdistan.
➢ Gender and Nation Building in Kurdistan.
o Gender, democracy and statehood in Kurdistan
o Women, power and political representation in Kurdistan and in Iraq opportunities and challenges
o The role of women in conflict negotiations and peace-building and
o The role of gender equality in strengthening democracy and peace
o Economic inequity and how can we increase the chances of women in building small businesses and economic growth in Kurdish society and in Kurdistan
➢ Religious - questioning faith, reason and human rights
o Theocracy, redefining gender roles at home and in society
o Kurdish women and the construction of civil society.
o Engaging men in women issue
➢ Violence against women in public and in private (at home/domestic violence)
o Honor killings as utmost advanced violence against women in Kurdish society, historical aspect
o Cruelty, self mutilation and suicide among women
o Psychosocial aspect of violence in a generation
o Economic violence, and abuse
o Cultural and religious violence
o Societal violence, political violence and state violence.

Suggestions for additional sub-themes within the overall theme are also welcome.
The conference is multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary and welcomes papers from the social, experimental sciences, and the humanities.
Since the conference organizers will not be responsible for paper circulation, it is important that you mail your paper to this address, once the paper is accepted please print out the papers you have received (accepted papers) and takes the papers with you to the conference. This address is only for the purpose of paper circulation
You are invited to submit a proposal for a 10-15 minute original paper presentation on any aspect of the conference theme or related topics. Panels and poster presentations will also be considered. The proposal (one page maximum) must include: name(s), personal title(s), institutional affiliation(s), paper title, abstract (100 word maximum), biographical details of presenter(s) (100 word maximum), and contact details. The deadline for submissions is February1st, 2007. Please send the abstract paper presentation to the following address knc@KURDISHNATIONALCONGRESS.ORG , womenconference@vokradio.com and soraya@vokradio.com
Proposals Due .................................................February 1st, 2007
Notification of Acceptance...............................February 8th , 2007
Papers Due......................................................February 15th, 2007
Conference.......................................................March 8th ,and 11th 2007

- The Conference will be open to the public.
Conference participants will be responsible for their airfare (flight tickets and insurance) The guests are not responsible for their local travel, and accommodation.
The Conference will be conducted in Kurdish and English.
The Coordinator Committee will review conference papers and may consider them for publication. Final papers will be selected and authors/presenters will be notified of their selection for final presentation. A final copy of the paper is required before the conference (give a date when papers are required)


Please type the requested information below as you would like it to appear on your name badge. Please complete a form for each person attending and submit prior to Feb 15th.

Name_____________________________________________________________Title ________________________________________
Company/Agency/affiliation___________________________________________Address___________________________________________________________ State or country _______________ Zip_______________
Work Phone ___________________________
Home Phone_____________________________
Fax ____________________________
E-Mail _______________________________________
Language ________________________________
Presentation title_________________________________

You can simply e-mail your information via address provided on contact information.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

International Day of Violance Against Women

Domestic violence exposed: a series of monthly online features
"Hands Tied" artwork by Alice Horton
© Alice Horton

"Violence shatters the peaceful image of the home, the safety that kinship provides. None the less, the insidious nature of domestic violence has been documented across nations worldwide."
- UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women 1996

Women from all countries and from all religions, cultures and social backgrounds - living in war or peace times - suffer from violence at the hands of their partners, husbands or ex-husbands.

"I really don’t know what it was that evening that made me decide to call the police, but I always say that it was the sight of cleaning up my own blood."
- Lorraine, a British woman, was regularly beaten up by her partner for eight years before telling anybody.

Amnesty International calls on every individual, community and government to add their voice to stop violence against women and end this human rights scandal.

Monday, November 13, 2006

brief biography of Soraya Fallah

Soraya Fallah is a lifelong Women and Human Rights activist, and a researcher of Kurdish origin, currently residing in the United States. She was born in Eastern Kurdistan - Kurdistan of Iran. She reared in a political environment, and started political activities at a very young age. She took part in politics in the time of revolution in Iran, and worked with the Kurdish movement during the revolution. She has been just as active ever since.

She attended IAU of Tehran were she received her Master Degree in “International Relations and Law.” In addition to this, she also received her Bachelor Degree in “Political Science”. Her MA Thesis was on “The Role of the United Nations in the Progress of Women’s Rights”. Her recent research and work has been focused on women and violence in the Middle East from a legal perspective. . She has published a several books on different political and legal matters, and many other articles on Kurdistan, woman and controversial issues.
She was working as a researcher in the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) affiliated with Ministry of Foreign Affair in Tehran. Her family and she had fled to Russia to seek political safety. There, she and her husband continued activities in the Kurdish Cultural Center and researched about the Kurdish society in Middle Asia.
After hard and unsafe years in Baku (where Kurdish activist were not safe, due to Iran’s regimes terrorist), she sought political asylum in Denmark with her husband and two children. She continued her activities and education in Denmark. She was involved with the Kurdish Movement Organization and worked as legal adviser and member of Amnesty International, Red Cross and social helper in the Danish Refugee Council.And remain an active member of Amnesty International since than.
On July of 2000 she immigrated to the United States. Instantly she started working with the Kurdish Society of Southern California, broadcasted Kurdish cultural and human rights issues in California, and was involved with many other activities for Kurdish people.

Soraya is also a board member and co-founder of Society for Human Rights in Iran, Southern California, a non governmental organization that its mission is to undertake action to raise the public awareness on preventing the abuses of human rights in Iran. She is an active member of “Campaign for One Million Signature, Change for Equality”, which is a women’s movement in Iran. She delegated Campaign’s message for first time to the UN Commission on Status of Women. She is the chair and adviser of several other non-for-profit organizations, such as International Pen Kurdish sector, Northern America, VP Programing of UNAUSA, SanFernando chapter, and chair of Kurdish women Rights Committee, KNC, all working for the advancement of human rights and democracy especially for women and minority rights.

She is continuing her education now in her minor specialty (Psychology) and working as a Social Worker,and in her major specialty she will continue human rights activity to be a voice for the Kurdish women and represent them to other societies.She was the chairwoman of "International Conference on Kurdish Women for Peace and Equality"which was held in Erbil,capital city of southern Kurdistna on March8th,2007.

She chaired several International Conference in Iraq and US and delegated violence against Kurdish women in their oppressed states to UN for first time in Kurdish women history in 2007.

Her deep believe in democracy made her to work in "Kurdish/American Committee for Democracy in Iran"which affiliated with Kurdish National Congress of North America and servs the organization as the board member and chair of Kurdish women rigths committee.
Soraya Fallah works extensively with local and International NGOs to promote human rights in the USA and throughout the world, specifically protecting the rights of ethnic minorities in the Middle East. She is the President and co-founder of World’s Women For Life, which is a world-wide movement to promote culture of life and preemptive peace. As the president of World's Women For Life movement she chaired "culture of life" conference and lead a delegation to Iraq on Aug 2009 to promote culture of life and preemptive peace.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bahman Ghobadi: My Favorite movie producer from my home city Baneh, Kurdistan

Interview with Bahman Ghobadi

Last year on Aug 27, when I was the Master of Ceremony for Kurdish/American Society for "Honoring Award program"(http://www.kurdmedia.com/news.asp?id=7456) I told attendees that Bahman will be an Oscar winer, he deserve it. I am so proved of him.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Kurdish community of southern california in Festival

Kurdish Activity in Southern California
> Soraya/Fallah
> Los Angeles
> On September 16 Kuridsh community in Southern
> California for second year participated in Irvine
> Global Village Festival. Kurdish-American Education
> Society arranged the participation.Kurdish booth
> contained many attractive Kurdish handcraft.
> The purpose of the festival is to celebrate the
> diverse cultural heritage of the Southern
> California’s Community. This festival is one of the most crawdad
> festival in southern California. It is a day planned
> for the entire family including many fun activities
> for the children Sample delicious ethnic food from a
> variety of local restaurants and shop in the
> international market place where unique treasures
> abound. this multifaceted festival featured25
> international cuisines, 17live entertainment,
> 21children’s activities, 28cultural exhibits, 39
> community partners’ pavilion, and world marketplace,
> and 32merchant booths.
> Kurdish booth also represented group of local
> musicians under the leadership of Kourosh Moradi
> gave a glimpse into the Kurdish music,, which was
> received very warmly by the public, and Kurdish
dance perfomance made the environment very warm and
> happy.The booth with its raised Kurdish flag has had
> most visitors with many questions about Kurdish
> issues.
> Pictures:Azad, Dyari and his children,Windy,Ardshir,Kamal,Nariman,Soraya

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


After a couple lovely e-mail we met in Barnes and Nobels. We spent all day on Saturday in Harwest festival...

Cejni xrmanan in Southern california

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sunday, August 06, 2006

My Nation

By Soraya Fallah
As a Kurdish woman, my nation’s faith occupies my thoughts constantly. I always follow news, read about and talk about it in my family, a nation who has more than 2 thousands years of history without any international borders. More than 40 million people don’t have self-determination, which is in based of International law. By the United Nation’s manifest they have the right to have it, but we human beings want everything for ourselves not for the other. A hundred years ago powers, used of their ability by promising them to help to get self determination, but finally what happened was, a small changes, and nothing farther.
The Kurds are the largest minority in the Middle East without a country of their own. Forty million strong, they live in an area some call Kurdistan, which spreads across six countries: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The Kurds were left dispersed and divided after World War I, even though the treaty that carved up the Ottoman Empire at the end of the war called for the creation of an autonomous Kurdish state. But the Kurds have continued to press for their rights in demonstrations like this one last year in Turkey, which was met with fierce repression, and also with arms, as shown here in Iraq. In 1988, entire villages of Kurds were driven from their homes in Iraq when the government of Saddam Hussein used poison gas as part of a large offensive against Kurdish separatists. Thousands were killed and maimed, including children among these refugees who had fled to Turkey.

Arbaba, highest mountain in Eastern Kurdistan located in Baneh

When I try to introduce my nation, identity and history to my child, he is wondering where the land is on the map. Many people even don’t know what we are, they think maybe we made it up, or it is a new name for a part of USSR. But we are part of many countries. He still does not know why it has been divided between countries. “Are there any Chances for cousins to see each other after 80 years, who even don’t understand each others languages” is always his question. Obviously it will be big problem for million of people who were under the authority of other nation’s government to keep their own language, culture and folklore. Many of children don’t know who they are, because they have not been accepted as an ethnic and one Nation. One time he said when he told his friend that he is Kurdish; his friend answered “Is it any kind of candy or what?” He became frustrated.
During the war he was happy hearing Kurdish name from media. He is asking me if it is correct to be under umbrella and authority of another powerful country or not. I said if it doesn’t destroy the other Nation’s civilization, why not?

A picture from Kirkuk/city of oil in Southern Kurdistan
According to the information Professor M.R. Izadi gave us: The vast Kurdish homeland consists of about 200,000 square miles of territory. Its area is roughly equal to that of France, or of the states of California and New York combined. Kurdistan straddles the mountainous northern boundaries of the Middle East, separating the region from the former Soviet Union. It resembles an inverted letter V, with the joint pointing in the direction of the Caucasus and the arms toward the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. The geopolitics of Kurdistan has effectively precluded the formation of
an independent Kurdish state in this century. Currently stretching over seven inter-national boundaries (and detached pockets in two more states), Kurdistan resembles an arching shield of highlands, which separated the Middle East from the advance defense lines of the Soviet Union in the Caucasus for 74 eventful years. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, coupled with the receding power of Russia, an unclear future looms on the northern horizons of the Middle East, with Kurdistan continuing to serve as a buffer zone.

Kurdish Language:
Kurdish is a member of the Indo-Iranian language group which is a branch of the Indo-European family, the largest language family in the world. Kurdish (like Persian) is grouped under the Western Iranian branch of Indo European languages.

| |
Indian Iranian
| ________|___________
| | |
| | |
Sanskrit Western Eastern
____|____ ____|____
| | | |
Old Persian Median Scythian Avestan
(Figure from S. Karimi( 1989) Phd Dissertation)

Kurdish population:
Today Kurds are the fourth largest ethnic group in the greater Middle East, after the Arabs, Persians and Turks. Their largest concentrations are now respectively in Turkey (approx. 52% of all Kurds), Iran (25.5%), Iraq (16.%), Syria (5%) and the CIS (1.5%). Barring a catastrophe, Kurds will become the third most populous ethnic group in the Middle East by the year 2000, displacing the Turks. Furthermore, if present demographic trends hold, as is likely, in less than fifty years Kurds will also replace the Turks as the largest ethnic group in Turkey itself.
Kurds are estimated from 20-40 Millions. A percentage of these are native speakers. The following, based on Hassanpour(1992) shows the estimated number of Kurds in year 2000 projected from Kurdish Nationalist references:
Country Population (M.) Kurds M.(% of total)
Iraq[c] 23.753 6.65 (28%)
Turkey[a] 67.748 15.58 (23%)
Iran[b] 74.644 11.94 (16%)
Syria[d] 17.328 1.90 (11%)
USSR[e] 0.73
Total 36.800 million

Population of Kurds in 2000 ---

Based on the experience of other nations, two types of independence are possible for Kurdistan:
A Pan-Kurdish State. A near all-inclusive, pan Kurdish state, is the most elusive of all options, not just for external reasons, but internal as well. This option foresees the dismemberment of four Middle Eastern states, including its two most populous and powerful ones: Iran and Turkey. Middle Eastern societies are far from that level of social maturity that allows for the Quebecers or the Slovaks to divorce Canada and Czechoslovakia by simply voting for it. None of the states administering portions of Kurdistan are about to allow such a luxury to the Kurds or any other group living under their jurisdiction any time soon. In view of the effectiveness of modern weaponry (impact of some of them were well tasted by the Iraqi Kurds in the last decade), a protracted bloody war between the Kurds and these states will surely result in destroying more than would ever survive to become part of that pan-Kurdish state. Short of a cataclysm of the magnitude of the WWI and the break up of the all local states' structure, one cannot see how else the Kurds can extract all their people and territories from these states.
Many Kurdistans: But why should there be the only one Kurdistan, small or large? Let us not forget that in the very neighborhood of Kurdistan there are now over a score of Arabic-speaking and three Persian-speaking states. Farther a field, there are four German-speaking, a score or so Spanish and a dozen English-speaking states. Each groups of these countries have much in common historically and culturally in addition to the

element of language. National identity takes more than just a common language or a common culture to translate into a unitary state.
None of the above-mentioned states are rushing to unify under a single flag. Such a feat requires either brute force or a plain and immediate profit to compel the average person opting for it. Lacking these, the prospect of a unified, pan-Kurdish state emanating solely from a common Kurdish national identity is as unlikely as a pan-Arab, pan-German or a pan-Persian state. In case of Kurdistan, even now when there are no immediate prospect of independence, the various Kurdish political parties are often compelled to settle their differences through open warfare (see Recent History and Political Parties). How realistic is to expect that these same groups put their differences aside for the sake of a unified greater Kurdistan when and if such a prospect present itself? What would prevent the far-flung, heterogeneous Kurdistan not go the way of all these other nations given as examples above, splitting into many "Kurdistans"?