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The Kurdish Blogosphere-Identities of Silence

Recently on the Iraqi Bloggers Central an epic seven part update on the Kurdish/Iraqi blogs was written. While the summary was excellent (and a highly recommended read!) it also begs the question why were the Kurdish blogs and the Iraqi blogs linked together? It all comes down to the issue of multiple identities. While it is important to make the distinction that not all of those that belong to the Kurdish blogosphere are from Southern Kurdistan, the majority of Kurdish bloggers who blog in English are originally from the Northern Iraq-Southern Kurdistan area. It is possible to be both Kurdish and Iraqi at the same time, just as one is able to be American and Kurdish, Dutch and Kurdish, or Iranian and Kurdish…the Kurdish identity is only a part of who we are.
One such blogger who has found a balance between being Iraqi and Kurdish is Sami from Iraqi Thoughts, who recently talked about rejection in his last post. Rejection in the sense of being pushed in from all sides because he doesn't agree with those around him, something that I think that many bloggers can identity with. In another recent post entitled stupidity, Sami has an interesting point to make about Iraqis in general, but also can be applied to the Kurds as well:

The deal is that now Iraqis have freedom of speech, they are abusing it and sadly instead of pushing towards changing the country, they instead try and build bridges between themselves. The Sunnis say that federalism will split the country, when their real fear is that federalism would mean that the resources that exist in the South and North can't be taken advantage of.

While Sami is angry that what he sees as an abuse of freedom of speech, the failure to use it as a catalyst for action, at least the there is some sort of dialogue going on. Looking into the Kurdish blogosphere it is very clear to see a difference between what is said, and what isn't. The Iraqi/Kurdish bloggers are discussing the major issues at hand, such as the recent conference on the Iraqi constitution. However the other Kurdish bloggers from the other regions of Kurdistan have been incredibly quiet. I think that we are witnessing an extrememly formative period in Kurdish dialouge within cyber-space. Instead of putting their resources into blogs, many Kurds are joining the discussion in online forums, such as the KBU forum, where many Kurds can feel free(er) to debate in a setting that doesn't feel as if their respective home governments are watching over them. Other efforts have been put into Newsites, where Kurds are writing the news that they are making. One such notable site (out of many) is The Kurdistani. While news isn't exactly blogging, isn't the very act of writing news an act of free expression in itself?

So what are we to do while we are waiting for the Kurdish silence to end? Good question. Read the news, visit the forums, be patient….and visit frequently the blogs who are trying to keep the dialogue going like the Kurdistand Bloggers Union and From Holland to Kurdistan. Soon the Kurdish Blogosphere will be buzzing again.

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