An insightful look at the meaning of history for Kurds and for Kurdistan by Jake Hollis, a friend and colleague. Head on over to Brains of the Living for more!
The name of this blog is borrowed from Marx, who wrote that ‘The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living’. Maybe this image is more apt in some cases than others. In Britain, old traditions might seem less nightmarish than they are embarrassing. At least, George Orwell thought as much:
‘It is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every institution, from horse racing to suet puddings.’
For the Kurds, the largest national group in the world without a state, the crush of history on human consciousness is in air you breathe. Kurdistan stretches across southern Turkey, eastern Syria, northern Iraq, and western Iran. The ‘Land of the Kurds’ has been in the eye of geopolitical storms ranging from the Ottoman empire to the British, from the Cold…
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