Into Kurdistan is a journey through the lives of a people without a country. Part travelogue and part political commentary, it portrays both the pride and the oppression of the Kurdish people. Sheri Laizer recounts the drama of a family living close to the border, hearing gunshots and wondering if a favoured son will make it home at night. She shares the companionship of Kurdish women in the mountains, washing in the melted snow. She captures the ambiguity of Kurdish intellectuals entwined in the cultural life of Turkey, a country which refuses to acknowledge the very existence of Kurdish identity. And she paints a vivid picture of the centuries of tradition behind the people who have given the Middle East some of its greatest heroes, from Saladin onwards. Into Kurdistan uncovers the recent atrocities in Iraq, and the systematic persecution suffered by the Kurds in Turkey. In a marvellous blend of political commentary, folktale and sympathetic observation, Sheri Laizer helps us understand the people behind the headlines.
Sheri Laizer is a writer, poet, and film researcher as well as a respected authority on Kurdistan and the Kurdish struggle. Her other works include Martyrs, Traitors and Patriots (Zed Books, 1996).
List of Abbreviations Foreword - Peter Gabriel Introduction: The Kurds, Cinderella of Liberation Movements - Helga Graham Part I 1. Turkish Kurdistan: Feudal Provinces and Prohibition Zones 2. Headlines: Brigands, Troubadours and the Secret Police 3. Tales of the Djinn and the Dangers of the Evil Eye 4. The Southeast Road to Kurdistan: Rituals of State 5. 'Yol': The Way 6. Village Rhythms and Women's Work 7. Fidelity, Honour and Death: The Cross of Kurdish Women 8. Kars: A Citadel at the Crossroads 9. City Life Among the Kurds Part II 10. Beyond the Tribe: Developing New Relationships 11. Peace and Stability? 12. Update: Formidable Constraints on the Kurds Appendices Select Bibliography Index