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Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Breaking News: Results of Turkish Reform in Northern Kurdistan, occupied by Turkey...

In an effort to allow Turkey to join the EU, Turkey was pressured by all European countires to address the Kurdish issue domestically. EU has made it clear for Turkey that Europe will not accept dictatorships into European Union. EU insisted that Turkey has to give every right to the Kurds of Northern Kurdistan, occupied by Turkey, to live in freedom and prosperity, before Turkey can be considered part of the free and democratic EU.

Over the last 6 months, Turkey had given hopefull promises to the Kurds in Northern Kurdistan. Below are the result of Turkey's effort to solve the Kurdish Issue in Turkey.

Turkey needs to make great social reform in all Turkish cities before it can even think about solving the Kurdish issue. Turkey can not be part of EU, when its Turkish citizen don't believe everyone is equal. Turks need to understand that in every European County, Kurds are able to speak their language, they have Kurdish schools, tv's, radios, newspapers, websites, and have every right to practice their culture and heritiage and be proud of their history. Turkey has to understand that Kurds must have all that and even more in Northern Kurdistan because they are the natives of their land and will not accept anything less that a native has to his/her land...

Below are the results of the Turkish reforms:

1) http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-368673, Breaking News, CNN, Kurds under Attack
2) http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3819442,00.html, Report: Kurds, Turkish nationalists clash in Istanbul
3) http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/12/15/turkey.kurds/, Kurds Killed in Diyarbekir by faciest Turks
4) http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-12/15/content_12652707.htm, Turkey Bans the only Kurdish party (DTP) and blocks their political reprsentation in the Turkish parliment for 5 years.
posted by Aryan Akrayi at 9:23 AM | Permalink | 0 commenti

Wednesday, December 09, 2009
So, today I decided to come back to this blog and start blogging again. I remember when I first decided to establish this blog, so I could blog from Kurdistan. A very good Friend of mine helped in establishing this blog and I want to thank him. I had promised to blog from Kurdistan about my experiences; however, as anyone that has ever gone back knows, having time to sit down, think for yourself is very rare, so forget about sitting down, thinking and then having to sit and type to blog.

However, living in Atlanta, GA and being involved with Kurdish Community through Kurdish Cultural Center, every day is a day full of experiences. And I must say most of my understanding of Kurdish community goes back to my year stay in Kurdistan from 2006-2007. I could sit here and blog till tomorrow morning and talk about everything I learned while in Kurdistan. Living in Kurdistan for one year taught me patience, responsibility and sense of appreciation for everything I have had for many years. It only took one year for me to learn what I would not have learned for years and years living in United States. I have to express my dearest thanks to my parents for putting up with my sister and me and our demands in Kurdistan and my thanks to everyone who gave me the chance to work there especially the staff of British Embassy office in Hewler. I miss those days already and a cold day like today only reminds me of the cold winter nights of Kurdistan.

Well, I guess this is a start again to this blog and I hope I can keep up with this promise and I am sure all my future blogs will be somehow affected by my experiences in Kurdistan in 2006-2007.

posted by Aryan Akrayi at 12:08 AM | Permalink | 0 commenti

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Kurds and the 2010 census in United States of America, Part I

Census is a national campaign to count everyone residing in the United States. It is a U.S Constitution requirement to conduct this survey once every 10 years. The census will be held again in 2010 and the census bureau wants to make sure everyone including every race, ethnic group, citizens and non-citizens, refuges and asylums to be counted. It is important for everyone to be counted because the census will determines the population of each state. Based on the census findings, almost 300 billion Federal dollars will get allocated and the numbers of representatives for each state will be determined. These allocations and representations will affect our states for the next 10 years.

The census bureau has acknowledged the difficulties in counting everyone especially within the Refuge and Immigrant communities due to language barriers, confidentiality issues, and distrust in the government and various other reasons. As a result, the census bureau requested the help of refuge and Immigrant organization, communities and local NGOs in promoting the census and helping inform our communities about the importance of being counted in 2010 census.

As local NGOs and local leaders we need to make sure we inform our communities about the importance of being counted in 2010 Census. The census will affect our communities in both National and local levels. In the national level, our state population will determine the number of Representative we have in congress representing our communities and neighborhoods and will determine how much of the 300 billion federal dollars our states gets each year. In short it will determine the power and money each state will receive in the next 10 years. In addition, in the local level, the census will determine where that money will be spent. For example, it will determine the number of schools and hospitals that will be built and where they will be built. It will determine where the roads and public transportation are developed and improved. The census will also determine how much money is allocated for each district including the money our non-profit organizations receive in helping our communities.

The Census Day for 2010 is April 1, 2010. The hope is to count everyone that resides in a place on April 1, 2010. The census survey will be delivered to each household in March 2010. The census will send replacement surveys in April. If the questionnaires are not received back, households will be visited by Census workers around June 2010. In its effort to count everyone, the census bureau has taken important steps to make this census better count everyone than previous census. First of all, it has shortened the census questionnaire to only 10 simple questions. The previous detailed socio-economic data will be collected by the newly established American Community Survey every year. Also, to solve the language barrier problems, the questionnaire will be, for the first time, printed in almost 57 languages. Finally, the census has taken another drastic measure in making this census different than previous census by allowing an individual to self-identify themselves as more than one race or ethnic group. This is very important to our refuge communities. As a member of the Kurdish community, I know this will help our community drastically. It helps us motivate our community to participate in this census because for the first time, if more than 100 households identify themselves as a certain group, then the census results will categorize them as a different group. This helps communities and organizations to get these data about their communities from the 2010 census for statistical purpose.

Some of the simple things we need to do is to first raise awareness about the census. In addition, we need to reassure our communities that it is a simple 10 question survey that will have great impact on their lives. We need to make sure we reassure them that the census is confidential by law. The law states in Title 13, U.S. Code that information collected is used only for statistical purpose only. The census bureau cannot share the collected information with other federal departments, agencies or law enforcement departments. Based on Census Bureau´s statements, disclosing such information will be a felony and there are penalties for such violations of the law including 5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $250,000.

The census bureau has established a partnership program with local NGOs and communities. As partners, any entity can help the census bureau better inform the diverse communities about the 2010 census. As a partner, any organization will have to provide space for ´Be Counted Sites and Questionnaire Assistance Centers´ and providing space for testing and training census employees.

The Kurdish Community in Atlanta, GA has established this partnership with the Census Bureau. More information will be provided about the Kurdish Community efforts in Atlanta, GA and how other Kurdish communities in other states can implement similar efforts in their home states to make sure that everyone in our communities gets counted in 2010 Census.
posted by Aryan Akrayi at 11:46 PM | Permalink | 0 commenti

KYC's 1st Kurdish Festival

Atlanta GA January 15-17, 2010

3 Days of Nonstop learning and fun

Kurdish Festival is a celebration of Kurdish Heritage in the United States. The festival will stretch a spam of three days. During which, Kurds and non-Kurds, from a variety of background and across U.S. will gather in Atlanta, Georgia. The festival will take place during the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on January 15, 16, and 17, 2010.

Kurdish Festival will be a gathering to celebrate a heritage that has taken over 8000 years in making. During which many aspects of Kurdish life will be brought to light; from Kurdish film, literature, music, history, dance, and current events. The Festival will also include self-building workshops in leadership, fundraising and conflict management.

For the first time, Kurdish festival will bring together education and entertainment and set a new standard. The festival will entertain with three evenings of music, dance and party; featuring popular Kurdish singers and musicians. In addition, it will conduct two full days of workshops and trainings.

In a segment named Kurds Got Talent, Kurdish Festival will host the first and the largest talent shows across US. In which a variety of talents will compete. The competition is open to all. Many Kurdish singers will be invited to perform live and compete for the title of first Kurdish Singer of 2010 in US. Kurds Got Talent will be a display of many different aspects of Kurdish culture from its beautiful traditional clothes to variety of poetry and modern songs, acting, and comedy. The top three talents will be awarded accordingly. Please help us identify potential talents in your community by contacting KYC at our website.

The educational component of the festival will include key figures in modern Kurdish, politics, music, history and literature. Attendee will be able to hear from those that have influenced lives of Kurds either directly or indirectly. A different aspect of the festival will expand to include small sized workshops that will help the youth and attendees to better function, organize and plan back in their own local organizations. Self building workshops will be about fundraising, conflict management and leadership. They will be followed by discussion groups on many aspect of Kurdish life such as history, current event, and literature.

In three days of nonstop learning and fun, Kurdish Festival will start a tradition of celebration of Kurdish Heritage in the United States. We invite you to join us on this important event. We will be honored with your support and present.

Kurdish festival is being organized by the members and friends of Kurdish Youth Club (KYC). A 501(c)3 non-profit and independent Kurdish youth organization dedicated to promoting Kurdish Culture and advocating for the youth.

For more information please visit: www.KurdishYouthClub.com
posted by Aryan Akrayi at 11:43 PM | Permalink | 0 commenti

Monday, January 01, 2007
Happy New Year
SeR-SaLa 2007 PiRoZ Be

I hope this year will be a year of freedom, propserity, achievements and accomplishments for Our Country and Our Nation.
Hividarim Sala 2007 an bibe sala serfirazi, serxwebon, azadi u arami ji bo Kurd u Kurdistan. Bila sala 2007 bibe sala serxwebona kesatiya mirove Kurd ji bo ku em di nezik da welatek Serbixwe bibin.
Happy New Year, SerSal Nu PiRoZ
posted by Aryan Akrayi at 1:20 AM | Permalink | 4 commenti

Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Summer Camp for Diaspora Youth In Kurdistan

There is a very interesting Article on KRG's website from the Ministry of Sports and Youth in Kurdistan calling on Diaspora youth to come and discover Kurdistan in a two week summer camp for June/July of 2007...

I think I had a conversation a year or so back with some freinds about doing such doing activity as Kurdish American Youth Organization; however, with lack of resources, it hasn't been possible.

So, this announcement from the Ministry of Youth and Sports I think, is something that has been in need for years. As we see the gaps grow between youth in Kurdistan and Diaspora, we see the need for such activites to be more essential if we want to close these gaps.

I think the MOSY needs to be applauded for such efforts and such ideas.

The camp is for people with different educational backgrounds and anyone interested between the age of 18 and 30. They offer accomodiation costs for every participant except flight expenses and financial assistance to anyone that can't afford joining such program.

I think such program will be very successful with everyone's participation and everyone should take advantage of such opportunities.

To read more about it and how to register, go to:

posted by Aryan Akrayi at 1:17 AM | Permalink | 4 commenti

Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Ey Reqib, then Flag, Next thing is KURDISTAN.

If you havn't heard this already, let me inform you all about it live from Kurdistan.... This news however might be of great danger to those with even slight medical conditions. It is recommended however for everyone that is a Kurd, a Kurdistan, knows a little bit about Kurds, is freinds with Kurds, believes in Kurdistan and Kurdayeti.

Recently a poem of one of great kurdish writers, Sherko Bekes, named Kurdistan has been apporved by the council of ministers as the new national anthem for Kurdistan which will replace our Ey Reqib as it better represents the current political situation of Kurdistan and includes the other minorities living in Kurdistan today. http://www.netkurd.org/nuce.asp?id=4675 The argument for it is that Ey reqib was used when we were in a different political situation and we were refering to our enemies. Right now, they think, we should stop refering to our enemies and so move forward with a new national anthem.

I guess they think Ey Reqib is only for Southern Kurdistan. Even if it was, I guess they don't hear about the kurds being slaughtered by faciest Arabs at every chance they get, or they might be living in a dream that Southern Kurdistan has become independent and been transfered to another spot in the world where no enemies exist.

Wait, don't relax, that was the good news. Next, a Front has been established by the Turkumen and the Assyrian who are demanding the change of Kurdistan Flag. In thier minds, Kurdistan Flag does not represent these communities so they are advocating for change. Of course, we all know that there is a parliment in Southern Kurdistan and if it is not approved by it then we still get to keep our beloved flag. Guess what however, It is reported that the idea is being accepted by many politicians in Kurdistan including Mr. Felekedin Kakayi who has already proposed two other Flags that can Replace Kurdistan Flag, one of which is the military flag of Selahaddin. Mr. Kakayi's proposal says that Kurds should create a new flag for the Kurdish nation or keep the current one, but draw a new flag for Southern Kurdistan or Kurdistan region as known.

My opinion on this is that the real force behind all this is Turkey. They see right now that the flag of Kurdistan is being represented in different international arena's and is being respected and considered as the national flag of Kurdistan and when I say Kurdistan of course it represents all the people that live in Kurdistan. Out of their fear, they are establishing and pushing minorities in Kurdistan to belieive that this flag does not represent them because they want the flag to disappeare fron the international attention that it has been getting. The next think we will hear is the name KURDISTAN is exclusive and it means the land of kurds and descriminates againts the Turkumen and Assyrian so we have to change that, we might get a proposal this time from other politicians proposing something like TurkAssyrianSTAN

Many people will say well if Kurds demand such demands in Iraqi flag or Iraqi anthem then the turkumen and Assyrian have the right to ask for such demand as well. I think though, Iraqi flag is souly the representation of Arabs in Iraq and was used to torture, prosecute the people of Kurdistan. The Kurdistan flag however represents and symbolizes Kurdistan first which includes the every true people that lived in this land.

The danger here is that many people take this news for granted and because of the holy place that things like Ey reqib or flag hold in their lives and heart, they think such things could never happen. However, the process has already started. In regards to the Anthem, it is only awaiting the approval of the parliment. We might actually to some point agree with the new anthem but the process does nto stop here. It will go to the flag and then Kurdistan and with that come great consequences.

One additional point to everything I mentioned above. Kurdistan Islamic Party http://www.netkurd.org/nuce.asp?id=4674 is demanding that Sorani dialect be the official dialect in southern Kurdistan and all the other local dialects like northern Kirmanci/behdini and Hewrami be removed from school or educational institution which are right now being studied in those areas where the majority of people speak those local dialects. So is this all coincedence or is it a well studied plan by other local powers to marginalize Kurds, their rich culture and language by changing everything that seems to be working for Kurds.
posted by Aryan Akrayi at 3:02 AM | Permalink | 3 commenti

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ciwan Haco in Kurdistan

Ciwan Haco along with his band has been in Kurdistan for some time now and Friday November 3, 2006 they held a concert for his fans in High City Hall in Hevler. The concert started at 8:00 in the evening with an introductory speech from one of Zagros T.V.’s representatives. And soon after the Kurdish Rock/Pop star Ciwan Haco was welcomed on stage by the representative accompanied with the crowds claps and shouts. As soon as Ciwan Haco appeared on stage the crowd got on their feet and shouted, “Ciwan, Ciwan, Ciwan!”

Ciwan started off the concert with a slow soothing song and soon after all the guests had their entire attention on Ciwan and his beautiful voice. He welcomed his fans with patriotic slogans. Ciwan was handed a Kurdish flag by one of his fan, he expressed his love towards the flag with some heart felt phrases. Ciwan said, “rengê wê xweşikin u dikevin dilê yeki, ev ala kurdistane û di danêm ser sere xwe...” He continued by saying, “Li cihek baş danên” referring to the beautiful Kurdish flag.

Ciwan Haco continued the concert with many of his wonderful songs from various albums, such as Berivanê, Helbçe, Zinê, Gula min, Sê Sê, Weys, Peshmerge…etc…

Later he sang few fast beat songs that turned the crowd’s dancing gears on and many danced along different traditional dances such as şemo, milanî, şêxanî, bablekanê and many more… Even the guards were on their feet dancing and singing along with Ciwano.

Ciwan Haco again thanked the crowd and KRG for inviting him and his band to Kurdistan, wished everyone a lovely night and ended the concert with his most well known and favored song by his fans DIYARBEKIR. The concert was very successful and very entertaining. Ciwan Haco has scheduled to do many more concerts all around southern Kurdistan, one of which coming very soon will be held in Peshmerge Hall in Silêmanî on October 5, 2006 at 7:00 in the evening.
posted by Keça Rojê at 9:32 AM | Permalink | 1 commenti
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