Kurdish Awakening: Nation Building in a Fragmented Homeland

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Ofra Bengio
University of Texas Press, 2014 M11 15 - 384 pages

Kurdish Awakening examines key questions related to Kurdish nationalism and identity formation in Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey. The world's largest stateless ethnic group, Kurds have steadily grown in importance as a political power in the Middle East, particularly in light of the "Arab Spring." As a result, Kurdish issues—political, cultural, and historical alike—have emerged as the subject of intense scholarly interest. This book provides fresh ways of understanding the historical and sociopolitical underpinnings of the ongoing Kurdish awakening and its already significant impact on the region.

Rather than focusing on one state or angle, this anthology fills a gap in the literature on the Kurds by providing a panoramic view of the Kurdish homeland's various parts. The volume focuses on aspects of Kurdish nationalism and identity formation not addressed elsewhere, including perspectives on literature, gender, and constitution making. Further, broad thematic essays include a discussion of the historical experiences of the Kurds from the time of their Islamization more than a millennium ago up until the modern era, a comparison of the Kurdish experience with other ethno-national movements, and a treatment of the role of tribalism in modern nation building. This collection is unique in its use of original sources in various languages. The result is an analytically rich portrayal that sheds light on the Kurds' prospects and the challenges they confront in a region undergoing sweeping upheavals.


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Kurdish Nationalism in Comparative Perspective
The Roots of Modern Kurdish Nationalism
The Dual Relationship between Kurdish Tribalism
Process in the KurdistanIraq Region
The Rise of a Nonviolent Kurdish
The Role of Language in the Evolution of Kurdish National Identity
Caught between the Struggle for Civil Equality
Toward a Generational Rupture within the Kurdish Movement
The Quest for Identity
The Kurdish Republic of 1946 and Its Effect
The Kurdish Momentum

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About the author (2014)

OFRA BENGIO is Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Kurdish Studies Program at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, as well as Associate Professor (Emerita) in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University. A frequent commentator in Israeli and world media, she is the author of several books, including The Kurds of Iraq: Building a State within a State. She lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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