Kurdish Iraqi aid workers feel heat as corruption and war take toll

Non-government organisations in Iraqi Kurdistan have warned that their activities are being curtailed by a mixture of financial insecurity and interference by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Read more in MiddleEastEye

Very Quietly, Israel and Iraqi Kurdistan Build Ties

Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the removal of Saddam Hussein, Israel and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region have steadily converged toward one another, despite their official stance that there are no such relations. In reality, their forbidden friendship is purposefully opaque due to lack of formal ties between Tel Aviv and Baghdad—and has frequently circumvented such diplomatic protocols.

Read more here in WarisBoring,com

An American Jew in Kurdistan

There are roughly 200,000 Jews of Kurdish origin living in Israel, descendants of the Jewish community of Kurdistan, which mostly made aliyah in 1950-1952, along with the rest of Iraqi Jewry, as part of the Israeli airlift code-named “Operation Ezra and Nehemiah.” There is a smattering of mostly secretive Crypto-Jews remaining in Iraqi Kurdistan (formally known as the Kurdistan Region of Iraq) called BenJews those whose ancestors converted to Islam but who are still vaguely aware of their Jewish origins.

Read more here in Jewish Currents

Kurds Must Be Part of the New Middle East: Interview with Dr. Mehmet Gurses & Dr. David Romano

Now [Kurds] have two main choices (mostly in Iraq): 1. they can chose to become independent or they can somehow persuade these countries to provide them with full equality and democracy. There is a cost to war sometimes and it may pit democracy against independence. This may not result in the same outcome in all four countries but as it is often said, ‘democracy is a journey, not a destination.’

Read more here in Kurdistan Tribune

Yezidi vulnerability before ISIS

ISIS’ infamous brutality is a culmination of an otherwise long and violent record of militant attacks against this persecuted minority over the last several years. Out of the dozens of attacks, it is noteworthy that as far back (at least) as 2004, Yezidis have been targeted by extremists.

Read more here at Kurdistan24.net.

Why Kurdistan Matters

I never learned about Kurds. Not once. Nor did I learn about any of the other ethnic and religious minorities in the region such as Alawis, Armenians, Assyrians, Amazigh, Chaldeans, Copts, Ibadis, Kaka’i, Shabak, Yezidis, and Zoroastrians. My formal education was incomplete at best, and subjective at worst.

Read more here at Kurdistan24.net.