Recent events in the Middle East have propelled the once marginalized Kurdish community to the centre of regional and, indeed, world affairs. The growing significance of the Kurds in the politics of the Middle East has led to greater interest amongst both academics and policy makers regarding the community’s culture, politics and history. This current volume seeks to address this growing interest by presenting a selection of articles from leading experts on the history of the Kurds. These articles scrutinize a variety of subjects which provide important context to today’s Kurdish question. It includes contributions which contextualize the evolution of a distinctive Kurdish identity and culture. Furthermore, it includes works which seek to examine the impact of the gradual transformation of state power in the Middle East – more precisely the breakdown of imperial orders and the concurrent emergence of the modern nation-state – on the relationship between the Kurds and the central governments under which they lived during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. In doing so, this volume will be of interest to all those wishing to gain a deeper historical understanding of present day Kurdish affairs.
This book was published as a special issue of Iranian Studies.
1. Introduction: The Kurds and their History: New Perspectives
Djene Rhys Bajalan and Sara Zandi Karimi
2. Arab Ethnonyms (‘Ajam, ‘Arab, Badū and Turk): The Kurdish Case as a Paradigm for Thinking about Differences in the Middle Ages
3. Elî Teremaxî and the Vernacularization of Medrese Learning in Kurdistan
4. In the Name of the Caliph and the Nation: The Sheikh Ubeidullah Rebellion of 1880–81
5. The Rise of Red Kurdistan
6. The Kurds and Settlement Policies from the Late Ottoman Empire to Early Republican Turkey: Continuities and Discontinuities (1916–34)
7. The Kurdish Cultural Movement in Mandatory Syria and Lebanon: An Unfinished Project of "National Renaissance," 1932–46
Jordi Tejel Gorgas