Kurdistan on the Global Stage
Kinship, Land, and Community in Iraq
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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List of Illustrations
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Note on the Transliteration, Pronunciation, and Proper Nouns
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1. Kurdistan Glocal
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In 1991, hundreds of thousands of people fled up the soggy, freezing mountainsides of Kurdistan, the Kurdish homeland that spans Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, to escape attacks by the Iraqi military. The attacks were ordered by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, one of the world’s most brutal dictators, in response to an uprising by three main categories of Kurdish...
2. Fieldwork in a Danger Zone
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In 1991, the Cable News Network (CNN) and other television channels broadcast the plight of the Kurds to the world. Thousands of people fled Saddam Hussein’s military, up muddy, inhospitable slopes, afraid they would be attacked as they had been in previous years, when hundreds of thousands died. Millions of people around the world, including me,...
3. A Man on the Land: Lineages, Identity, and Place
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Kurdistan’s valleys and peaks, villages and cities comprise a place imbued with meaning, meaning that for many people is framed in terms of generations of male ancestors traced backward and forward in time using the logic of patriliny. In patriliny, biological relationships through males are regarded as having special significance over other kin relationships. Patriliny...
4. Gendered Challenges: Women Navigating Patriliny
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Historic shifts have taken place in the gender system of Iraqi Kurdistan. While the Iraqi government during much of the twentieth century promoted girls’ education and encouraged women to come into the public sphere (Al-Ali 2007), those efforts had little impact on Iraqi Kurdistan. Since 1991, however, education rates for both males and females in...
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The Kurdistan Region is abuzz with politicking, a form of, and impetus for, much of the social connecting that takes place there. By “politicking,” I mean political activity in the form of conversations and actions. Politicking is by definition active and always in process. Politicking comprises the political stuff of state, local, tribal, and lineage governance, aspirations to...
6. Refuge Seeking, Patriliny, and the Global
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I am a guest for lunch at the home of a family living in the Barushki neighborhood of Dohuk. The conversation turns to the Anfal campaign, in which the Iraqi government led by Saddam Hussein attacked people in Kurdish villages from the air, dropping chemical weapons on them. Suzan, a relative of the family who is also a lunch guest, tells her personal story of...
7. Kurdistan in the World
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The Kurdistan Region of Iraq is now a participant in the world’s system of states, even though it is, technically, only a “region” within a federated state. It conducts its own foreign policy business without going through Baghdad. Iraqi Kurdistan has long been called “autonomous” within Iraq, but it in many ways now exercises autonomy in the world, too....
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Glossary and Acronyms
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About the Author
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Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 19 photographs, 2 figures, 4 maps
Publication Year: 2013