This post will be insufficient, but for what it's worth: as I've read about the Kurds and their struggles, the great injustices done to them, I think more and more of the Orwell line about symbol of the 20th century: the boot of the fascist treading on the human face. Despite the boot, the Kurds manage to retain their faces, their humanity, and their empathy with their fellow humans. A while back, I mentioned how much I had enjoyed a series of articles written by Sivan Amedi, a Kurdish journalist who wrote a travelogue of sorts on his trip through the Middle East and to Kurdistan. I'd try to sum up the earlier post, but it's probably better to read it; suffice it to say that it has nothing to do with what follows.
Amedi emailed me this link, about the recent suicide attacks in Kurdish Iraq:
...these attacks took place in Hewler (Irbil), the seat of the Iraqi Kurdistan National Assembly. The Hewler offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) were attacked by suicide bombers almost simultaneously as many people were gathered to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. I soon received news that among the dead was Shakhawan Abbas and reacted with sadness, rage, confusion, and disbelief. Some reports indicate that the suicide bomber who struck the PUK headquarters shook kak Shakhawan’s hand and then detonated himself; he was the highest ranking official to be killed in the attack on this building.
I confess to being an ignorant American. I know little about kak Shakhawan. I recommend reading the piece, but I'll end by quoting his conclusion:
Posted by Ideofact at February 5, 2004 11:52 PM
Kurdistan has always had a wealth of enemies. Those who perpetrated this crime against humanity have accomplished nothing save strengthening the resolve of the Kurdish nation to fight for freedom, human rights, democracy, and self determination. The Kurdish movement, the Kurdish love for live and freedom, is immortal. Generations of martyrs have given their lives for this cause. My dear friend kak Shakhawan has joined the ranks of these martyrs whose undying memories give the Kurdish nation strength. Kurdistan has many martyrs, but none have died in vain.