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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.
Djene Rhys Bajalan is a lecturer in the department of Social Sciences at the American University of Iraq Suliamani. Sara Zandi Karimi is a researcher and holds an M.Phil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford.
1. Introduction: The Kurds and their History: New Perspectives Djene Rhys Bajalan and Sara Zandi Karimi 2. Arab Ethnonyms ('Ajam, 'Arab, Badu and Turk): The Kurdish Case as a Paradigm for Thinking about Differences in the Middle Ages Boris James 3. Eli Teremaxi and the Vernacularization of Medrese Learning in Kurdistan Michiel Leezenberg 4. In the Name of the Caliph and the Nation: The Sheikh Ubeidullah Rebellion of 1880-81 Sabri Ates 5. The Rise of Red Kurdistan Harun Yilmaz 6. The Kurds and Settlement Policies from the Late Ottoman Empire to Early Republican Turkey: Continuities and Discontinuities (1916-34) Serhat Bozkurt 7. The Kurdish Cultural Movement in Mandatory Syria and Lebanon: An Unfinished Project of "National Renaissance," 1932-46 Jordi Tejel Gorgas
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