1/2023      JNS   N E W S L E T T E R     ١/۲۰۲٣

• Being the international foundation that we are, we offer this newsletter in our four versions

• We were established as a foundation by Kurds for Kurds - in honor of Jemal Nebez. We build on his life s work, which we want to preserve and make known far and wide.

• We have legal capacity and are politically independent, not affiliated with any party. Our committees work on a voluntary basis. We rely on donations for our projects and planning.

• We are recognized as a non-profit organization under German law. What we receive in donations is spent and disclosed in accordance with our statutes.

We wish you a great Newroz!

Best of all outdoors,

experiencing the dawn of spring

together with friends!

Dear friends of the Jemal Nebez Foundation!

We are happy to announce that the Jemal Nebez Prize can now be awarded for the first time..

Zara Mohammadi - Jemal Nebez Laureate of the Year 2023

Our internationally active Jemal Nebez Award Commission, agreed last summer to start looking for a suitable laureate, possibly also for a group of laureates.

In a  selection process, the commission agteed to follow, they unanimously and independently chose Zara Mohammadi, a teacher working in Eastern Kurdistan/ Rojhelat, which choice was confirmed by the foundation's management. When contacted by the Jemal Nebez Award-Commisson, Zara accepted and and little later published a confirmation of her acceptance. 

Details of the further are not yet agreed, but will be announced on our website https//:www.jemal-nebez-stiftung.org in due time.

Dear friends of the Jemal Nebez Foundation!

Celebrating Newroz is part of the culture of the Kurds and is considered the most important festival of the year in all parts of Kurdistan. 

In these terrible times - where on a global international level there is repeated talk of the real danger of a third world war - reflection on the culture common to all Kurds is important beyond the day, which is why we are dedicating not only Newroz itself, but this our first newsletter of 2023 to the topic.
Strong common bond.

There are, of course, regional differences to this in Kurdistan, which spans a wide area - from the Middle to deep into the Middle East - when it comes to celebrating Newroz, for example. After all, Bakur/North Kurdistan, Bashur/South Kurdistan, Rojava/West Kurdistan and Rojhelat/East Kurdistan are - from a constitutional point of view - parts of different nation states (Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran), which all have their own laws and regulations (and sometimes, for example, forbid the wearing of the Kurdish costume especially on Newroz).  Furthermore, there are now a significant number of diaspora Kurds living scattered around the world.

All of them are thus despite their partly very different basic conditions and living situation - connected with each other by their culture developed in the long past.

Undoubtedly, the Kurdish culture is alive.

Throughout history, there have been other ways of celebrating Newroz than the ones that are common today. We know through Ahmed-i Chanie, who was born in 1650 in Bayazid in northern Kurdistan and is considered the grand master of poetry among the Kurds, that it was quite common in history to celebrate Newroz as a kind of carnival with dress-up games. Is not spring the season of change par excellence?

The way Newroz is celebrated may well change from year to year. In recent years, the tradition of commemorative minutes has been added.

Kurdish culture is alive in every way, not only at Newroz, but in all fields, whether it is music, the fine arts or the Kurdish language.

Just these days came the good news that now another piece of world literature - James Joyce ! - can now be read by Kurds in Kurdish, which the Institut Kurde de Paris will of course celebrate accordingly in the presence of the translator. Most of those present will have had painful moments of remembrance on this occasion. The translator to be celebrated is from Bakur, or southeastern Turkey.
People from that area have a lot of fresh suffering that still needs to be processed, have lost close or distant relatives, friends and neighbors, in the recent mega earthquake, and in addition know firsthand about the horrors that have been cast over their part of the world like a black cloth for a long time, and again in recent years.

 The black cloth of terror over Bakur and Rojava

It is well known that in Turkey the Islamic-conservative party of President Erdogan AKP - in coalition with the far-right nationalists MHP - massively attacks, threatens and criminalizes the Kurdish oppositionists and the liberal-believing Alevis.

It is well known how the earthquake relief of some areas in Northern Kurdistan from Ankara got off to a slow start, although the international aid for Turkey had already started briskly. It is also known that the Rojava Kurds on the other side of the Turkish-Syrian border remained completely cut off from international earthquake aid.

Yet it was precisely this region that had made the greatest sacrifices in the fight against the terrorist entity "Islamic State." Although they were supported by the International Coalition against IS from the air and with light weapons and ammunition, it was they who faced the enemy head-on and fell accordingly in battle.

When the terrorist entity "IS" was declared defeated by the International Coalition, the autonomous Rojava administration asked the allies to confirm its autonomous status, as one of several such parts in the civil war country of Syria. This was important for the Rojava region to be allowed to sit at the table in upcoming - internationally accompanied - negotiations on the future of Syria.

Turkey was against it. Recognition failed to materialize. Had there been international recognition of Rojava as an autonomous region after the victory over IS, the region would probably not have been excluded from international earthquake aid now.

So much for what did not happen at the request of the autonomous Kurdish region. And this is what happened instead:

The Rojava region in the civil war country of Syria had part of its territory cut off from it by NATO partner Turkey under the eyes of the world - as Ankara rallied Islamist mercenary groups around it and established a Turkish-controlled occupation regime in the area strategically located near the border with Turkey in violation of international law.

However, the autonomous Rojava, created in 2011, continues to exist and demands the return of the now Turkish-occupied part of its autonomously administered region. since 2018 officially under the name Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria AANES.

Dear friends of the Jemal Nebez Foundation!

Holding on to the contents of their culture has certainly helped the Kurds to get through the most terrible times.

Moreover, the culture of the Kurds has also enriched the cultures of neighboring peoples - especially in times far in the past. Just to remind you, Kurdish is older than Persian.

There is no doubt that the culture of the Kurds is characterized by diversity and openness. At the same time, it is true to observe that Kurdish society tends to be closed and has difficulty opening itself to strangers. A tendency to keep one's distance could be a third important characteristic of Kurdish culture, in addition to diversity and openness. The Kurdish language is another.

In the long period of history, the geographical middle position of Kurdistan certainly also played a role, whereby the constant exchange with the other peoples of the Orient began in the geographically more accessible areas. In any case, Kurds have become skilled translators and have been called upon by the Islamic rule as early as in the early Middle Ages to carry out scientific elaborations in the language of the Koran, namely Arabic. Last but not least, also in the present, the reputation of the Kurds as translators is excellent, and their know-how - as far as the Near and Middle East is concerned - is extraordinary.

An exemplary representative of Kurdish culture par excellence was, of course, our namesake. One of his friends once said: Where Jemal Nebez is, Kurdistan is. Because of his knowledge of languages and his linguistic wit, he attracted many colleagues and intellectuals from other peoples of the Orient. Through his liberality and cosmopolitanism, spontaneous and planned meetings quickly and easily created an atmosphere of richness in diversity, from which everyone benefited.

Rudaw Youtube Documentary – Thinker of Freedom

This documentary film shows stations of the life of our name giver and lets many different humans come to word, who knew him. It shows and is itself a piece of culture of the Kurds, which is expressed not least by the chosen title - Thinker of Freedom.

Incidentally, the placement of the 48-minute documentary on Youtube, where it can be played free of charge by anyone interested, also has something of this culture. It reminds of the widely spread generous invitations to important occasions, for which the wealthier Kurds are just known not only in history, but also in the present.

The title is a gift and posting it on Youtube is a free ticket to enjoy, get to know or to remember the richness of Kurdish culture.

Thank you very much!

Dear friends of the Jemal Nebez Foundation!

Our second newsletter this year we will mail before the summer break. 

See you then!

Hoping for your continued interest.

With best wishes,
Reez w silav!

Jemal Nebez Foundation,
Legal and non-profit


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