The subject of Kurdistan (be it in a political or idealist setting) has always been a controversial one. While no political entity of Kurdistan exists, the topic of establishing a homeland for the Kurds (the largest single ethnic group in the world without their own state) is still a primary political aim of the majority of Kurdish peoples. Kurdish history, culture and language is decidedly rich; and many of the Kurdish bloggers have made it their mission to disseminate as much information as possible about the Kurds to a wider audience. Countries with large populations of Kurdish peoples and/or have regions referred to as Kurdistan are: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The majority of bloggers who blog from Kurdistan are located in Northern Iraq, however the Diaspora movement has been gaining more and more ground in the blogosphere. The goal of this weekly posting is to introduce readers to the world of the Kurdish Blogosphere and provide updates onto the current issues being discussed and debated within their blogs.
Perhaps the best site for an introduction into the Kurdish Blogosphere is the Kurdistan Bloggers Union, which has done an excellent job of bringing many diverse voices together in support of the Kurdish peoples. Recently celebrating its one year anniversary, the Kurdistan Bloggers Union has tackled topics ranging from the history of the Kurds, current events in the region, to more whimsical subjects such as combining popular culture with Kurdish culture. Reader support has even lead to the creation of a KBU Forum, used to discuss everything Kurdish, and a News-site. The links on this blog are highly recommended as they have one of the most comprehensive lists of Kurdish Blogs that are written in English. Recent activity on this blog has been focused on the activities of the various members. Vladimir, a Dutch journalist, was recently highlighted for his efforts in the Kurdish cause and an intro was given to his new blog From Holland to Kurdistan, which focuses on the history of the Kurdish people. Piling, another member of the Kurdistan Bloggers Union, gave a photo tour of the Library in the Kurdish Institute of Paris where she is employed as a librarian.
Thematically, the Kurdish Blogs can be divided into 3 main areas of content: Culture, History and Political Commentary. A more detailed explanation of these areas will be given in next week’s installment. However, within the Kurdish Blogosphere it is important to note that in times of crisis the Kurdish Bloggers have proven themselves to be surprisingly quick to respond to issues and, in some cases, fill in the gaps left by media coverage. An example would be of the July 2005 violence against the Kurds within the borders of Iran, most notably in the province of Mahabad. When little or no news was to be found on the events taking place, Kurdish Bloggers formed a site dedicated strictly to giving news about the happenings in Mahabad. This ability (while still in its infancy) to form grassroots activism in the blogosphere is a sign of strength within the Kurdish bloggers and should prove to be interesting to monitor the political development that will generate in the days, months and years to come.