Kurdistan is united geographically, but politically it is divided among Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. There are about 40 million Kurds living in various parts of the Middle East, Russia, Armenia, and Europe.
Kurds are heirs to one of the humanity's oldest civilizations--a civilization that goes back to the Median Empire. Over the centuries this civilization has given rise to a colorful culture, glorious poetry and enchanting music. The Kurdish language belongs to the Indo-Iranian subgroup of Indo-European languages with various dialects. These include Kirmanji, Sorani, Hawrami, Zazaki and Laki.
Kurdistan is situated at the crossroads of several ancient cultures and religious beliefs. This rainbow of ethnic and religious diversity, under non-democratic political leadership in the area, has resulted in forced assimilation, displacement, conflicts, war, genocide, and the tragic destruction of Kurds and their land.
Map of Kurdistan circa 1916
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