Voices of the Middle East and North Africa

Voices of the Middle East and North Africa – September 27, 2006

On tonight’s program, we will hear a discussion on the Kurdish issue across three neighboring states, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Shahram Aghamir speaks with Professor Amir Hassanpour of the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto, Canada, and Dr. Burhan Elturan, a researcher on Kurdish language, history, politics and society at the Indiana University, Bloomington. In 1919, the Kurds brought their demands for an autonomous state to the Paris Conference in the wake of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Eighty-seven years later, the Kurdish question remains unresolved in the three countries where most Kurdish people live today: Iran, Iraq and Turkey.

Later on the program, we will have a conversation with Kutay Kugay, program director and co-founder of the San Francisco World Music Festival, and Hussein Zahawy, a percussionist and ethno-musicologist about the history of Kurdish music in the Middle East. The festival will feature a special program titled "VOICES OF KURDISTAN", a new collaborative work in three parts, combining traditional and newly composed Kurdish music, poetry, and dance by Kurdish artists from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

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