Tag Archives: Newroz

Newroz marks sacrifice, freedom, and gallant survival for Kurds

The festival of Newroz, marking the beginning of the vernal or spring equinox, is not just any new year for the Kurds. It’s the very symbol of the Kurdish fight to preserve their nationality.

For thousands of years, Newroz has been a reminder of ancient Kurdish culture and identity, but above all, how the resolve of the Kurdish nation has continuously overcome the fiercest of tyrants to mark new dawns.

According to Kurdish mythology, Kawa, a fearless Kurdish blacksmith ended the tyrannical reign of King Zahak. Fires were lit to mark the end of oppression and the beginning of a new dawn of freedom.

To this day, Kurds have continued to suffer hardships, repression and a battle for survival against all odds. Whether defying the Baathist regime in Iraq, dictatorial rule in Syria or challenging the harsh denial policies of Turkey, Newroz has come to symbolize the strong determination of the Kurds.

Although Kurdish lands were divided and people were separated against their will, Newroz served as a representation of the unity of the Kurdish spirit.

Today, Kurdish fortunes may have transformed, particularly with Kurds enjoying strategic standing in Iraq and Syria, but the symbolic power of Newroz is undiminished.

What should be a festival commemorated by joy and peace, more often, celebration have culminated in tensions, bloodshed and deeper divisions in countries such as Iraq, Iran and Syria but particularly in Turkey.

Citing security concerns about possible “tension and provocations between people who will participate in the celebrations and others,” the decision by governors of Ankara and Istanbul to ban Newroz celebrations this year is likely to fuel more tensions and violence.

With the festival heavily politicized, denial of Newroz celebrations has become synonymous with denial of Kurdish identity and rights.

Turkey is a far cry from the Newroz celebrations of 2013. Firstly, the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, declared a ceasefire and start of peace talks, heralding an unprecedented chapter in the decades-old PKK-Turkey conflict.

Meanwhile, in the same year, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was Prime Minister at the time, in a powerful statement, took stage in Diyarbakir alongside the popular Kurdish singers Sivan Perwer and Ibrahim Tatlises.

With an increasing climate of hope and expectation at the time, Erdogan promised a future filled with peace and fraternity. Unfortunately, today, in Turkey, with tensions in Kurdish-dominated parts, curfews and return to violence, this message appears as distant as ever.

As Kurds celebrate across all parts of Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Region continues to serve as the greatest beacon of light in the Kurdish nationalist renaissance.

Faced with a bitter enemy, the Islamic State, it is carrying the global flag against terrorism.

In a public message marking Newroz, the Kurdistan Region President, Masoud Barzani, while reiterating his drive for statehood, stated, “the month of March has been the month of triumph, joy and also the suffering of the Kurdish people.”  President Barzani added, “but it has also been the demise of the enemy and the start of new light and life, proving that sacrifice bears fruit.”

Indeed, the March 1991 uprising or “Raparin” that saw Kurds expel the tyrannical Saddam Hussein regime from their lands ended second-class citizenship and opened a new passage to the freedom and prosperity of today.

However, nothing would have been possible without the immense sacrifices of the Peshmerga and the Kurdish people throughout history, with a refusal to succumb to tyranny, no matter the odds or the strength of the enemy.

Today, many dangers and perils remain for Kurdistan. Newroz should serve as a reminder for the Kurds, to avoid slipping into a false sense of security, and that unity is needed as much as ever.

First Published: Kurdistan 24

Poem for Newroz: The Eternal Flame

The Eternal Flame

The flame of Newroz is forever burning bright,

Many may have tried but none succeeded in stealing our heart and pride,

Our desire, our yearning, our quest for freedom, knows no bound,

For whenever our adversaries have tried and denied, a Kurdish saviour has always been found,

Callously and cruelly they did strive, yet the beauty of our souls was our only crime,

As a New Day is proclaimed, the breeze of spring will mark our new place in time,

For even a thousand years later, the eternal flame of our martyrs will always shine,

Our resolve is undiminished, our courage divine, this passion remains perpetually sublime,

As the spring equinox flourishes, a new dawn is upon us and a new age arrives

Where we proudly proclaim we are free, for the valour of our heroes we will always survive

First Published On: Kurdish Globe

Other Publication Sources: Peyamner, Various Misc.

As We Rejoice in the Dawn of the Spring Equinox – Let Us Never Forget the Sacrifice of Our Martyrs


March – Forever, the Divine Month in Kurdish Folklore and History.

From ubiquitous hardship throughout existence to the brutal persecution at the hands of tyrants and oppressors in recent times, the Kurds have survived against the odds.

No amount of sophisticated military arsenal, attack helicopters, superior jets or even chemical weapons could defeat the resolve and determination of the nation. Even as global powers watched passively as merciless regimes across the mountainous plains committed unprecedented crimes in sheer daylight, the Kurds rejected repeated attempts to erase their identity. 

Indeed for many a year, the mountains have been our only friends. On the eve of this Newroz, 2008 can mark a new dawn in our heritage and existence. Lands can be divided and people can be dispersed against their will, but the unity of their hearts is indivisible.

Let us never forget the tremendous courage of our slain brothers and sisters, who fought in the mountains in spite of no food or shelter whilst facing bitter temperatures, without their families and against the toughest of obstacles. It is the immense courage of our martyrs that prevailed in battle. It was a refusal to succumb to second-class citizenship, to accept tyranny and to accept demise.

Weapons may wipe thousands of villages off the map but for a ferocious loyal, proud and valiant folk, their identity can never be driven off the maps of history.

As divinity and fortune would dictate, March will forever stand as a truly remarkable month in the history of every Kurd. There are three events that are perpetually imprinted within our blood and sprit.

The occasion of Newroz, marks the beginning of the vernal equinox, the beginning of a new day and the beginning of a new era in our existence. Each Newroz through thousands of years has reminded us of our ancient culture, civilisation and how the undiminished resolve of a forceful soul can overcome even the fiercest of tyrants, the cruellest of rulers.

It was in the March 1991 uprising that Kurds chose to forever expel evil from their land, to no longer accept second-class citizenship and begin a ‘Newroz’ or a new chapter of existence. It was the ‘Raparin’ of 1991 that opened the passage to the freedom, democracy and prosperity of today.

As we rejoice, dance and sing in delight on the occasion of Newroz, let us also pay the highest respects and tribulations for the thousands of our men and woman who faced death, in the manner that their legendary resistance fighters based their ethos. Without the selfless sacrifice of the thousands who chose their nationality and moral integrity over their own lives throughout history and in the uprising of 1991, we would never be where we are today.

Above each and everything let us never forget the atrocity of Halabja committed in March 1988. This will forever be etched as the blackest day in our history and also the day of greatest triumph. The day, as the world stood by and watched one of the gruesome acts ever afflicted – in the hour of beckoning and sorrow, the Kurdish eagle refused to die down. The eagle instead chose to strengthen its sprit, its resolve and the ferocity of the way it flew through the mystic lands.

Let us not forget ourselves in the mist of high-rise buildings, new highways, airports and the freedom of today. There is nothing wrong with assimilation into a democratic, modern and prosperous way of life – everyone has the right to a high standard of living, to a brighter future and to happiness, the Kurds are no different but let’s never forget the very essence that has made us who we are throughout our history. Let us not forget, our common spirit and ties of kinship that has placated our eternal path.

Our history has been tainted with stories of double-crossing and betrayals. Let us not linger in false sense of security, in a cocoon of neglect and taking for granted and to believe that we can depend on our allies. Let us not rest on our laurels and accept self-deception and belief that we have reached the end.

In our struggle and fight to preserve our identity, culture, history and to defeat the forces of repression – our fight is not over. For this is only the end of the beginning, our fight for stature, solidarity and nationhood begins on this Newroz.

Let the Newroz of March 2008, mark yet another epic milestone in our history.

First Published On: Kurdish Globe

Other Publication Sources: Peyamner, Various Misc.