Saturday, March 21, 2009

The future of Kurdistan: Thinking Like a Nation

چاپ ارسال به دوست, Los Angeles, CA, USA

kncflag.jpgKurdish National Congress of North America

"The Future of Kurdistan, Thinking like a Nation"

21st annual conference, 27-28 of March, 2009,Rockville, MD

On 27-28 of March, 2009 Kurdish National Congress of North America (KNC-NA) held its 21st annual conference titled "The Future of Kurdistan, Thinking like a Nation" at the Legacy Hotel and Meeting Center, Rockville, MD. The topics included:
Flag Raising Ceremony by Dr. Khaylani and Mrs. Soraya Fallah, accompanied by guests and members along with the singing of the Kurdish anthem by all attendees

kncna_soraya_fallah_2009.jpgFriday's program started at 12:30pm by welcoming remarks from Mrs. Soraya Fallah, KNC-NA board member.

Kurdish American Youth Organization (KAYO): Mrs. Sheinei Saleem, Mrs. Zeen Al-Missouri, Silvoe Barawri. Sheinei spoke on the roll of the new Kurdish generation and the necessity of their involvement in the Kurdish issue, the structure of KAYO and some of their activities, which was presented kncna_kayo_2009_02.jpgon Power Point. Mrs. Zeen Al-MIssouri and Silvoe Barawri of KAYO-San Diego office, proudly announced the 3rd annual conference of KAYO on Apr.18 in San Diego in Southern California. They held a very active panel and ended with several questions by the audience.
After break Dr. Goran Sabir MD and PHD Candidate in public health, presented his kncna_goransabir_2009.jpgresearch on Health Factors in Measuring Good Governance of a New Nation. He criticized the health system in new Iraqi government and KRG in particular as well. His presentation created intensive discussion among attendees at the conference who practice in the field of medicine and public health; including Dr. Najmaldin Karim, Dr. Foud Darwish, and Dr. Mahmoud Osman.
At the end of the first day of the conference, KNC's board of directors held its General Assembly: KNC affairs began with a short introduction on each member along with a report presented by active board members. The secretary of KNC proposed an amendment to the KNC constitution on behalf of two other board members.kncna_bod_2009.jpg This was objected to by KNC board, the bylaw committee, and the advisory board. It was suggested that the amendment be presented 60 days prior to the General Assembly to the bylaw committee. The proposal was postponed to next year if agreed on by the committee.
In conclusion the KNC's board received advice to modify some of the subject expert committees and report their activities to the board of Directors.
kncna_tomvploeg.jpgThe second day began by welcoming attendees and an Opening Remarks by Mr. Tom Ver Ploeg, KNC-NA secretary.
A letter of support and congratulation from Mr. Mostafa Hejri, the secretary General of PDKI was read by Mr. Rebwar Salimi, representative of Washington DC Committee of PDKI.

Mr. Aref Ahmadi, representative of Independence Party of Kurdistan talked on the Struggle for Independence. This was conducted in the Kurdish language
kncna_rebwarsalimi.jpg kncna_gharaniilkanizadeh.jpg kncna_arifahmadi.jpg
kncna_drk_abdian.jpg kncna_kamranbalnour.jpg kncna_zagrosyazdanpanah.jpg

kncna_samouljordan.jpgSamoul Jordan, former Director, Program to Abolish the Death Penalty, Amnesty International USA, discussed the Kurdish question, his experience working on Kurdish issue in Turkey, stressed the Kurdish right to claim independence based on International law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Letters of Congratulation to KNC were read by: Mr. Gharani Ilkhanzadeh, Komala Party, Mr. Kamran Balnour, KDP-Iran, and Mr. Zagros Yazdanpanah, PAK (Party Azadi Kurdistan), Dr. Karim Abdian, the Congress of Iranian Nationalities for Federal Iran (CIFNI), Along with sending their support and solidarity, they stressed KNC-NA's role in creating lasting ties between the Kurds residing in Iran and being able to be a strong lobbying voice for those Kurds.

kncna_halabja-committee.jpgHalabja/Anfal Panel consisted of Mr. Shwan Karim, Mr. Ken McCallion (Progress and legal proceedings), Mrs. Muazaz Amin, and Dr. Kirmanj Gundi. They presented a report on Mr. Ken McCallion. They spoke of the challenges and obstacles they have faced so far and the funds collected for this cause. They requested the public's financial support. They also reported that a law suit will be filed at a Maryland court case by end of March 2009.

kncna_frahmani_mpersaud.jpgKurdish-Canadian Panel consisted of talks by Dr. Fereydoon Rahamani who spoke on the Greater Toronto Kurdish House and reported on their past and current activities.
Mr. Mark Persaud, Chairman and Executive Officer of the Canadian International Peace Project, spoke about his connection to the Kurdish people and spoke about how Kurds can find avenues to relate to other communities and integrate better with the greater society.

kncna-a_hamparian.jpgThe next speaker was from Armenian National Committee, Mr. Aram Hamparian spoke on "Kurdish American Advocacy: Grassroots make the difference." He expressed his support for the Kurdish cause and spoke about the parallels between the Armenian plight for independence and that of the Kurds. Ms. Soraya Fallah did an interview with Mr. Arman Hamparian on behalf of
kncna_drk_gundi.jpgPresidential Address was given by Dr. Kirmanj Gundi: "The Future of Kurdistan, Thinking like a Nation." He gave a report on the current social and political situation of Kurds in the areas they reside and the role of KNC in regards to bringing their issues forth and finding ways to solve them.

"Challenges before the Kurdish Nation and the Quest for Federalism in Iraq" was given kncna_drmahmud_osman.jpgby Dr. Mahmud Osman, an Independent Kurdish Member of the Iraqi Parliament. This talk was one of the most productive speeches presented at the conference. He gave a thorough analysis of the Kurdish cause within Iraq, Iraq's current statues, and the Kurdish question in the region. Mr. Mahmud Osman was also interviewed by Ms. Soraya Fallah on behalf of

kncna_mr_rf_br_.jpgThe History Panel consisted of talks by Mr. Brusk Reshvan, Dr. Rebwar Fatah, who spoke of “History of Media & its Impact on Nation Building”, Dr. Mustefa Rechid who spoke on “Current Situation of Kurds in Kurdistan of Syria, and Mr. Tosine Reshid who spoke on Ezidism and Ezedis in the former Soviet Republics. The panel ended with attendees asking several questions.

An update from Kurdistan-Turkey was given by Mr. Luqman Barwari. Mr. Luqman Barwari gave a power-point presentation with a photo gallery of his travels and reported on his work and observations in Turkey and among the Kurds.

kncna_mk_nh_rf_lb.jpgLanguage Panel consisted of presentations by Mr. Luqman Barwari, Dr. Rebwar Fatah, who spoke on "The Science of Kurdish language", Mr. Newzad Hirori who spoke of "The Status of Northern Dialect (Kurmanji- Bakur in Kurdistan-Iraq and the Current Trends to Standardize the Kurdish Language", and Dr. Murat Kilnic who spoke on the "History of the Kurdish Language."

The Women and Leadership Panel was moderated by kncna_sf_sl_ssn.jpg
presented the importance of building the "culture of life in Southern Kurdistan", and how it relates to nation building. Her topic name was "Southern Kurdistan; Building the Culture of Life". This was a very empowering panel. Ms. Susan Shahab was interviewed by Mrs. Soraya Fallah on behalf of
kncna_s_baderkhan.jpgA message from KNK representative in US, Mr. Saif Baderkhan was read. Along with a message of success to the conference, he stressed the importance of friendship between the two organizations and gave a brief general talk on the Kurdish situation.

The Current Situation in Kurdistan Panel was moderated by Mr. Azad Moradian who kncna_sb_mo_mr_a_moradian.jpgpresented a brief overview on the current issues and progress of all four regions of Kurdistan and also briefly presented the biography of the following speakers: Dr. Mahmud Osman who spoke of the situation in Kurdistan-Iraq, Mr. Sharif Behrouz, PDKI, representative in US, who spoke on the situation in Kurdistan-Iran, and Mr. Mustafa Rechid, voice president of PEN-International Kurdish Chapter who spoke of the situation in Kurdistan-Syria. A guest speaker was supposed to be present to speak on the situation in Kurdistan-Turkey; however, he was absent, therefore Mr. Azad Moradian briefly presented this part in order for all the Kurdish parts to have adequate representation.

kncna_mustafa_reshid.jpg kncna_drmahmud_osman_azad_moradian.jpg

"The Archetype of a Median Descendent", was a satirical show prepared by, Dr. Kamal Artin. This was a unique and entertaining presentation seeking to convey the Kurdish problem.
The night ended with the NewRoz Banquet, which was full of Music, poetry, and dance. The banquet also consisted of an honorary ceremony. This year KNC-NA presented awards to Ms. Susan Shahab Nouri, Dr. Mahmud Osman, and Dr Kurdo

To see more picture of this conference please cklic on the following picture:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Day the Sun Never Rose

چاپ ارسال به دوست

Never forget Halabja
by Cklara Moradian

halabja_02.jpgI awoke far before the sun rays could creep in with their playful hands through the thick colorless curtains of my father's house and bring the message of dawn to our perhaps dreamless sleeps and silently whisper that she has arrived. I awoke and wore a dress of the bluebell's and violet's grace and set out to the fields of my mother's land.

I walked among the grass that grew knee high and the crimson flowers who had not yet unveiled from their gentle moonlight rest. With such childlike innocence I flouted like a butterfly that has come to greet the blooming spring. Only days before Nowruj and already I felt revived, already I could smell through the passing breeze the New Year, taste in the melted snow of the racing rivers a new beginning, could touch the purity of my land as I plugged a flower from the fields.

I stood far from the city and looked down from a hill, admiring every scent, every breeze, every sight, every inch of what stood before me, of the metamorphosis that I was given the privilege to witness. As the sun was rising and the glorious dawn was withstanding its triumph upon the winter night, an unnatural wind began to blow behind me and my long dark hair and colorful dress moved about violently. My heart began to pound upon my fragile chest as the birth of day was stopped by a monster shaped helicopter, flying right above me towards the city I had first opened my eyes to see. Fear began to entangle itself around me, squeezing my body, making it hard to catch the ever escaping air. The flying monsters continued to follow and without a sound or trace left as sudden as they had come only to return again and again to pierce the fear through me.

I could not move and stood where I had first set eyes upon them and as I could no longer see or hear their terrifying sight, I began to run towards my home, hoping to find comfort in my mother's embrace. I ran as fast as my small feet permitted and as I began to get closer to my city, I could smell the sweet scent of apples and pears but could no longer take long deep breaths and see clearly. My feet began to tremble beneath me and shook as I was walking through the streets of my city. I put my hands on my face covering my mouth and nose and absent mindedly walked towards my home. There, in the corner of the street, a boy I had often played with, lied motionless, his eyes still open yet hollow, the only movement upon his face was a stream of blood running down his nose...My eyes were burning and tears began to run down my cold cheeks, and as I continued to walk, I was faced with the most terrifying scenes of a morbid city. Another boy carrying a cart was standing, his feet in the same position they had been when he had made his last stop. A man lied faced down, on the concrete of his front yard, a woman, frozen, was sitting in the corner of her door and her spilled milk was still running, a young mother, carrying her child upon her back was half way up the stairs of her house but she remained unmoved, her child was fast asleep.

I passed neighbors, classmates, friends, family, no one spoke, no one raised their heads, no one waved or said "hello", they all lied like statues upon the rocky roads of the streets and the only movement upon the city was the torment of the wind that carried the agonizing sound of shouts, weeping mothers and terrified children who had remained awake. As I was getting closer to my father's house, I had become somehow empty as a drum and I knew that I would not find comfort in my mother's embrace, for although my vision was blurry, I could still see enough of the darkness that had come with sunrise. I ran the last few steps inside to find a lethal silence that tore me apart. I fell on my knees and screamed as my mother lied by my father on the breakfast spread, the tea cold, the glass still between my father's fingers. I continued to scream and cry for I could do nothing else, the room was illuminated by the sky's light but it created a mocking irony upon the depth of misery that had come upon my world. I shook my father's cold body, asking him to awaken, telling him that it is too late to still be asleep, yet he remained where he had been. I threw objects around thinking that maybe somehow my mother would awaken and scold me for misbehaving, but no one said a word, no one was there to silence me...

The only survivor of my family, I was left to carry them all to their graves, left to pick up the crumbled pieces of life. I was left, like so many others, in a city that was shaken, broken, left to horror and merciless pain, to mourn for those innocent souls whose only crime was being born. I wonder if I would have been set free if I had been buried by their side today. There was no Nowruj that year or the years that followed. The only ceremonies that we attended were one funeral after another and the only emotion that filled my emptiness was the penetration of pain. So often did I sit before my window and longed to see those crimson flowers once again, but they had all died, on that day when the sun never rose...

This is not just a young girl's personal story; it is the story of the Kurdish people of Halabcha, of the survivors who were left to carry their loved ones on their bruised knees to mass graves, of the massacre that left the innocent people to clean the bloodshed of the blood thirsty tyrants. It is the story of the Kurdish holocaust and Hiroshima. That Friday morning, on March 16th of 1988, in the city of Halabcha, the city of the strong and brave, the sun did not rise, nor did the winter leave or the spring arrive. That Friday morning in the city of Halabcha was only the beginning of what continued to be a day of genocide upon humanity and it left thousands of Kurds dead and a never ending chain of people sick, and almost two decades later, still no flowers or sincere joy grow . Here we stand, remembering the day the sun never rose and attempt to show our sympathy, strength, our pride, our dignity, which has withstood the test of misery. Here we stand, and although we can not mend the wounds of the Kurdish children of Halabcha, we take a moment of silence to remember them, to remind ourselves that no matter what they do to us, we will never bow down and kneel. How can we ever forgive or forget? We stand here today to raise the voice of the silenced orphans left behind by the corpses of their mothers and fathers. We stand to let them know that they will never be forgotten...