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 Kurdistan needs a unified language and alphabet

 Opinion — Analysis 
  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


Kurdistan needs a unified language and alphabet ‎ 17.9.2012 
By Alan Rashid
Special to

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September 17, 2012

First of all I would like to state that I do not have much understanding of linguistics nor do I claim to represent the majority of Kurds. Recently I have stumbled upon this very interesting subject and often found myself pondering whether our nation would be better off with a unified language, and so I decided to look at the scenario more extensively to try and analyse whether the lack of a unified language has indeed hindered the prosperity of our nation.

My quest led me to several online forums and websites and after hours of debate with Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan I realised that there was no real common ground between the speakers of the different Kurdish dialects but instead I found that they each preferred their own respective dialect over the other; the majority of them admitted to not understanding the alternative dialects. After many hours of debate the impression I got was that a significant amount of Kurds are afraid of their dialect being dominated by the other; here we must ask ourselves, is that a sign of a small cut with the potential of turning into a big crack in the very foundation of the Kurdish nation?

Most Kurds speak more than one language, sadly however the overwhelming majority of Kurds do not have the benefit of a mother tongue education, yet most Kurds living in Kurdish cities can speak one of the dialects, and so if a Kurd from Diyarbakir can speak both Kurmanji and Turkish, what is stopping us as a nation from learning a new unified version of Kurdish and any dialect we wish? I will not dare suggest we scrap our wonderful dialects, no! My humble request of my beloved people is to work on a unified language to further enhance the level of communication and brotherhood between all segments of the Kurdish nation and thus prosper together as one.

Without a language that is mutually comprehensible in all corners of our community we risk our unity and the chance to prosper together, in fact I believe that the lack of a unified language has created gaps between our community and that can be illustrated in Iraqi Kurdistan; I don’t want to go into this too much but I hope that my dear readers are able to overcome the emotional attachment and realise the importance of a unified Kurdish language.

While I recognise the importance of a unified language and the way the lack of it has influences our history I simply cannot end this article without pointing out the fact that our neighbours have had a significant role in our misery. Having said that, we must have a stable house, and as we all know a house will not hold without pillars. A unified Kurdish language is one of the most important pillars and we must look into it sooner, not later.

The logic behind the setup of two or more opposing ethnic or religious groups is a common tactic used by regional and super powers. Regimes can be manipulated and brought down by supporting one group over another in accordance with the geopolitical interests of the parties involved. This logic can be applied to different dialects as well, it may not be as significant but in our case it has proven to be time after time in history and so we can’t risk taking chances.

I would like to end on this note. There are revolutionary events taking place in the Middle East, we must take caution and not fall into civil war as we may not live to see another chance. We must not use violence as a mean to achieve our god given rights to self determination as we will not receive any sympathy from the international community, instead we will give those opposing our determination ways to create diversions and propaganda. Let us not occupy ourselves with petty arguments instead we should debate how we can improve the lives of our innocent people. We must not allow anything to get in-between our brotherhood, we are all Kurds! People of the mountains and that bond shall never be broken.

Alan Rashid is a Mechanical Engineering student living in the U.K. with interest in the Kurdish nation. A
contributing writer for

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


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