Inactive Kurdish youth - By Minhaj Akreyi

Every individual is obligated to bear certain responsibilities. These responsibilities vary from one person to another. Some might not have many while others might feel the world is on their shoulders. For example, a person from a wealthy family does not have to work hard, or at all, to support their family. Conversely, a poor person is financially obligated to work to support themselves and their family. This same concept can be applied to nations as well. A nation like the United States does not need every American to dedicate their life to achieve anything for it, although it is always best to do so. An occupied and divided country like Kurdistan, however, does. It requires each and every individual to stand up and do everything in their power to liberate its people and country from oppression, assimilation, and genocide caused by occupiers. This responsibility falls on the shoulders of our youth more than it does older generations. It is we, who br  ing new ideas to the table and aim to correct past mistakes. Instead what are we presented with? A very small number of active youth. Why are the Kurdish youth, notably the ones in the Diaspora who do not live under harsh conditions, ignoring the sufferings of its people and country?

There are multiple reasons why we have so many Kurdish youth that disregard their motherland's calling. One of these reasons is the influence parents have on their children, or the lack thereof. A child whose parents often talk about Kurdistan and its struggle is more likely to be sympathetic towards their nation than a child whose parents don't. However, that is not always the case because there are some parents who have devoted their life to Kurdistan yet their child would not pass a first grade history test about Kurdistan, and vice-versa. Another important reason is that our government and its leaders have not given the required attention the youth need in order to stimulate interest for Kurdistan's cause. Looking at the Diaspora, our government officials have not opened any cultural centers which are beneficial to current and future generations. A leader bears the responsibility of equipping its citizens with whatever tools necessary to liberate Kurdistan.

Two miles from where I live, Germans have opened "House of Germany," and it got me thinking that although Germany is not subjected to assimilation, oppression, occupation, etc., their citizens continue to strive to promote their culture. And here we have Kurdistan divided among 5 countries, with each occupier more ruthless than the other. We have Kurdish kids, elders, women, men, and even animals (such as the Kurdish cat that is only to be found in the city of Wan, in Northern Kurdistan/Turkish-occupied Kurdistan) getting killed daily; only crime being, they were born as Kurds. We have a banned language and a threatened culture, and yet the people of Kurdistan do no stand up to fight. Every Kurd isn't required to go to the mountains and fight, it could be done through writing articles, putting on cultural celebrations, educating others, promoting the Kurdish culture, getting involved politically, etc.

I know many Kurdish youth who believe their efforts toward a Free Kurdistan will ultimately prove to be fruitless. Others feel that they should not be compelled to defend Kurdistan simply because they are born Kurds. The thought process behind the first reason is somewhat understandable, the latter not at all. This brings me to the question of, how is a nation to gain freedom if its people are not willing to do the work? Kurdistan has more enemies than it can count. How does this not call for the action of every individual?

Today, we have over 1.5 million Kurds residing in Europe and roughly 50,000 in North America, but we have yet to see some solid progress by the Kurdish youth. I am in no way undermining their efforts, on the contrary, I commend them for their dedication. Organizations such as the Kurdish American Youth Organization, Kurdish Youth Club, Kurdish American Student Database, and the recent Kurdish Cultural Center opened in Atlanta, Georgia have succeeded in uniting the Kurdish community in the United States, which is a very important step, if not the most. Imagine the impact they would have if the members were doubled? Kurdistan's fate lies in the hands of our youth, we cannot stand by and watch the destruction of our identity.


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February 14, 2009
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