KNCNA Third Conference

AUGUST 4-5 1990 Fullerton, California  

The following is an edited and summarized version of the discussions which took place at the Third Annual Meeting of the Kurdish National Congress of North America, on August 4-5, 1990, in Fullerton, California. If any person’s words have been omitted or misrepresented, I sincerely apologize. 

         -Kristi Khorshid 

Opening Remarks: President of KNC: Professor Asad Khailany, D.Sc. 

KURDISH NATIONAL CONGRESS OF NORTH AMERICA

THIRD NATIONAL CONFERENCE: AUGUST, 1990

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

ASAD KHAILANY

Ladies and Gentlemen Honorable Guests,

Indeed, it is a great honor, on behalf of the board of directors of KNC, to welcome each of you to this third historical conference of our Kurdish National Congress. We hope that this conference will be as successful as our past conferences. Since our second conference of last year, KNC has progressed significantly on its line toward having KNC to be a strong Kurdish organization to unite Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan in North America, and to promote and defend Kurdish interests in USA and Canada. 

As in last year’s keynote speech, we are going to list our achievements and encouragements on one hand and our disappointments and discouragements on the other hand in the period of one year (since the last conference). 

On the encouragement and achievement side, we have: 

  1. KNC participated in the First International Conference on Kurdish Human Rights and Culture in Paris which was sponsored by France Liberte and the Kurdish Institute in Paris. 
  2. KNC has hosted a special reception for Madame Mitterand at Capital Hilton in Washington D.C. on October 23, 1989. 
  3. KNC organized a very successful Newrooz party in Washington D.C., where the guest of honor was U.S. Representative, the honorable Jim Bates. 
  4. KNC has established a good name and respect for itself among Kurdish political and non-political organizations in and outside North America. 
  5. KNC is becoming a known Kurdish organization to the legislative bodies in USA. 
  6. KNC was pleased with its efforts and success of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee to recommend to pass a law to have the Voice of America broadcast in the Kurdish Language. 
  7. KNC was represented by Dr. Najmaldin Karim at the Senate Foreign Relation Committee hearing on U.S. relations with Iraq. 
  8. The number of KNC paying members has increased by 250% since last year. 
  9. We were able to publish three issues of our KNC newsletter. 
  10. We were able to publish one issue of our Kurdistan magazine. 
  11. KNC representatives and members participated in several conferences of Amnesty

International. Specifically, the efforts of Dr. Fuad Darweesh, his wife, Mrs. Susan

Darweesh, Jalal Melahji, and others contributed significantly to have Amnesty International to adopt Kurdish human rights case as an example of gross human rights abuses in 1990. 

  1. KNC participated in a Middle East Studies Association (MESA) conference in Toronto. 
  2. Numerous letters, cables, faxes, and telexes have been sent by the President of KNC and other members of KNC to different governments and international organizations regarding Kurdish problems. 
  3. KNC members participated in a campaign which was organized by the Kurdish Medical Association and other Kurdish organizations to raise funds for Kurdish refugees in Turkey. 
  4. KNC has spoken and written letters many times to the US state department to bring Kurdish Refugees to the USA. 
  5. KNC has written a number of letters on behalf of a number of Kurds who have applied for political asylum in USA and Canada. 
  6. A member of the executive committee of KNC, Mr. Mohammed Sinjari, was able to establish a Kurdish radio program in Windsor, Canada. 
  7. The Smithsonian Institute invited KNC to participate in their international week long event in Washington D.C. and to have a member to speak on the Kurds every day for one hour. The Smithsonian Institute has selected a picture taken from KNC Newrooz, and posted it near the Washington Monument during this event to make Kurds known.   
  8. KNC established a database for all villages destroyed and vacated in Iraqi Kurdistan by the Iraqi Regime. 
  9. A list of Iraqi Kurdish Refugees who have relatives in the U.S. and desire to immigrate to the USA has been compiled and issued to the US State Department. 
  10. KNC conducted a joint meeting with the Kurdish Community in Toronto, Canada, where the speakers were: Dr. Ismat Sharif Vanley and myself. 
  11. KNC participated in the First Kurdish Academy Conference in England.  
  12. KNC is invited to attend the Second International Conference on Kurdish Human Rights in Stockholm, Sweden. 
  13. KNC supported and encouraged Kurdish Schools in San Diego; London, Ontario; and Washington D.C. 
  14. The most important achievement in my opinion is that we were able to establish an organization where Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan and with all different ideologies, religions, and political inclinations can join and participate in its activities. KNC is the organization of all Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan in North America. 

The following should be listed on the side of disappointments and discouragements:

  1. Still, we are waiting for the IRS to grant tax-exempt status to KNC. The legal papers were filed in September, 1989. 
  2. We weren’t able to bring any Kurdish Refugees to North America. Indeed, this is very frustrating, especially after promises from state department officials to allow a number of Kurdish Refugees to immigrate to USA. We have not given up. We are still working and we are looking forward to a meeting between the State Department and KNC on Kurdish Refugees. 
  3. We have not made any significant progress on the proposed Kurdish Center in Washington D.C. and no final forms of a brochure has yet been established or approved. 
  4. None of our attempts were successful in establishing for profit business establishments.  5. Resolution Six of the second conference asked to establish a committee of eight members to raise funds for the Kurdish Center in 

Washington D.C. and the goal of the committee was to collect twenty thousand dollars by the time of the Third KNC National Conference. The committee did not hold a single meeting and no money has been collected up to now. 

  • Some of those who were selected to be members of the editorial staff of the KNC Newsletter didn’t participate in writing or supplying any news or information for the KNC Newsletter. 
  • Some members of the editorial staff of Kurdistan Magazine didn’t participate in writing, preparing, or organizing the magazine. 

Ladies and Gentlemen 

All of us know that the current situation of Kurdish people in all parts of Kurdistan is very critical. In southern Kurdistan, the Iraqi regime has destroyed about 4,000 Kurdish villages. Its efforts towards Arabization of Kurdistan and destroying the Kurdish identity is continuing full speed. In northern Kurdistan, the Turkish government has enacted very harsh military rules to continue persecuting   the 15 million Kurdish people under its occupation. Turkey still refuses to recognize Iraqi Kurdish refugees to be UN

refugees.   The Turkish government is in full collaboration with the Iraqi government to make the life of Kurdish refugees so hard that they are forced to return to Iraq against their desires. 

In Eastern Kurdistan, the Islamic government of Iran has not recognized any Kurdish human or national rights. It continues to fight the Kurdish parties who are demanding the recognition of Kurdish human and national rights. The treatment that the Islamic government of Iran puts on Iraqi Kurdish refugees is very shameful and is far from the principles of Islam. The Iranian government does not permit Iraqi Kurdish refugees in

Iran to be recognized as UN refugees and its lack of support forced many brave Peshmerga to become beggars for their survival. 

In western Kurdistan, the Syrian government continues to persecute the Kurdish people and has not recognized any Kurdish human or national rights. Deported Kurds from their homeland are not permitted to return back to their original places. Tens of thousands of Kurds who were stripped of their Syrian citizenship are still without citizenship. As we know, in Syria, as in any Arab country, only citizens are permitted to work for the government or to establish a business. This means that those tens of thousands of Kurds who are Syrian citizens do not have any work and have no opportunity or future in their lives. 

In USSR, as we learned from Professor Nadir Nadirov, many thousands of Kurds have been deported from their homeland during the Stalin Era and they have not been permitted to return to their original places. Kurdish language, literature, and culture are not studied in the elementary or secondary schools. 

Dear Delegates Honorable Guests 

The most important thing facing this conference is to recommend what should be done in this bleak situation of our Kurdish people. Our enemies are strong and we are divided among ourselves. The events of Halabja and Bahdinan proved that the free world is more concerned about economical gains than human rights.   True, KNC is not making the policies and strategies for the Kurdish movement. However, to have each of us feel responsible to what will be happening to the Kurdish people in the future, Kurdish political organizations and their leaders must consider seriously the resolutions and recommendations of organizations such as KNC. In the past, many Kurds said we were not responsible for what happened to the Kurds, because we did not participate in decision making and they put the blame on the current and previous leaderships. KNC does not want to be in that situation, blaming others and not doing anything. In contrast, we want to feel that we participated through our recommendations and resolutions. Based on this principle, before I end my speech, I will put a number of issues in front of this conference for discussion. Most Kurdish uprisings did not achieve their goals because of the lack   of proper   planning, preparation, strategies, and specifically long range plans. I will put in front of this conference the following important issues to be discussed and to come up with resolutions and recommendations so that they can be considered by Kurdish political and non-political organizations and their leaders. 

  1. Creation of a Kurdish government and a Kurdish parliament in exile. First, a Kurdish parliament should be created. Its members should be from all parts of Kurdistan and from all political parties and non-political organizations. From the parliament a Kurdish government should be created to be the sole representative and speaker of all Kurdish people. The Kurdish flag should be promoted and should become the symbol of unity for Kurdish people.
  • The Kurdish government should declare that for a period of two years there will be no violence in all parts of Kurdistan and should try to encourage negotiations between the Kurdish organizations in each part of Kurdistan and their occupying governments. 

The Kurdish government should declare that in 

  1. Iraq:

a.All Kurdish villagers must be allowed to return to their homeland and be compensated for their losses. 

b.Kurdish political parties, newspapers, and publications be legalized. 

c.To make the current Kurdistan autonomous region a genuine one and to include all parts of Iraqi Kurdistan. 

d.To return Arab tribes which have been settled in Kurdish areas to their homelands. 

  • Turkey: 
  • Kurdish political parties included PKK should be recognized. 
  • Kurdish language be legalized and taught in school. 
  • Kurdish publications be permitted. 
  • Kurdish nationality be recognized. 
  • A genuine autonomous Kurdistan government be created to include all parts of Kurdistan in Turkey. 

3. Iran: 

  1. Kurdish political parties, newspapers, and publications be legalized. 
  2. Kurdish language be taught in schools.  
  3. A genuine Kurdistan autonomous region be created. 

4. Syria: 

  1. Kurdish political parties and newspapers be legalized.
  2. Kurdish people who have been deported from their homeland be returned to their homeland and their property be given back to them with compensation. 
  3. Kurdish language be legalized and taught to Kurdish students.
  4. Kurdish publications be permitted.
  5. Syrian citizenship be returned back to those citizens who the Syrian government stripped of their citizenship.
  6. Kurds be permitted to be admitted into the military academy, police academy, and other colleges. 

g .Kurds be permitted to serve in all sections of the government. 

5. USSR: 

a.Kurds be permitted to return to their homeland. 

b.The Kurdish language and culture be taught to Kurdish students. 

After two years, if no progress is made in a certain part of Kurdistan, alternate methods of struggle should be considered in that part. 

Again, I welcome each of you. 

Thank You 

Secretary of KNC: Professor Ahmed Uthman, D.S.S.  

Dr. Uthman opened his remarks with a condemnation of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. This was followed by an invitation for non-Kurds and women to actively participate in KNC.

Dr. Uthman continued with a list of goals for KNC: 

1} Bring together Kurds annually to build friendships, make cultural ties, and practice speaking the language. 

  • Publicize the Kurdish plight. Our voice has been heard in the U.S. government. Involvement in local governments is strongly encouraged, as well as participation in the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and other groups in the U.S. and Canada. 
  • Assist Kurds in educational pursuits and finding jobs to help increase their status. 
  • Support the United Front. 
  • Study the years 1960-1990, and learn of the events leading to the present problems. 
  • Don’t risk any Kurdish lives by trying to fight Saddam Hussein. 

Dr. Uthman reminded the participants of the right for freedom of expression in KNC and then ended with a Kurdish poem emphasizing Kurdish unity. 

Vice-Chairman of the Conference: Saman Shali, Ph.D. 

Dr. Shali gave thanks for the support and attendance at the conference. Dr. Shali stated regret for the lack of unity among Kurds, and that it took a tragedy like Halabja to begin KNC. He proposed a theme for the conference with an analogy. He encouraged the conference to be like a Kurdish dance, in which people hold hands, form circles, and support one another. 

Honored Guest Speakers  

Councilwoman Molly McClanahan. Fullerton City Council, Director of Youth Employment  

Councilwoman McClanahan presented a Proclamation of Kurdish American Day, August 4, from Mayor Buck Kaitlin. She stated that the equal opportunity for women in the KNC was commendable. She shared that she first learned of the Kurds from Cameron Darweesh. She supported the vision of there being no boundaries on the earth, as it is viewed from the moon. The councilwoman supported human rights above economic gains. She suggested that we speak to Past Presidents Ford and Carter, if we cannot get President Bush to listen. 

Rusty Kennedy, Director of the Orange County Human Relations Commission  

Mr. Kennedy spoke of the cultural diversity in Orange County and emphasized the need for cultural awareness, education, and respect for diversity. He cited many atrocities against the Kurds. 

Magdaleno Rose-Avilla, Western Regional Director of Amnesty International  

Stated that the 1990 Amnesty International Report focused on forgotten prisoners all over the world, including Kurds. Amnesty’s goal is to remind the world that all is not right, to translate the pains, sufferings, and knowledge of life around the world to others, so they can understand. He gave some touching remarks about Kurdish families and children and disappeared Kurds. He pledged Amnesty International’s support of the Kurds. 

Baktiar Amin, Kurdish Institute, Paris, France  

Mr. Amin expressed pleasure in seeing Kurds, so far from their homeland, unified in such an organized conference. He followed with a description of the background and goals of the Kurdish Institute. 

Lateef Rashid, Kurdish Academy in Germany 

Dr. Rashid discussed the background and the   accomplishments of the Kurdish

Academy. He stated that KNC has become a focal point around Europe and Kurdistan. He has heard positive comments made by many about the KNC. Dr. Rashid suggested that KNC appeal to governments for support, stating that we have unity, but lack political support of governments around the world.  

Reading of Telegrams by Dr. Ahmed Uthman  

P.U.K., Jalal Talabani 

Gave congratulations and wishes for a successful conference, which he regretted that he could not attend. He acknowledged that” KNC has become an important front to support the Kurdish Cause and it plays a significant role in this regard.” He expressed hopes that KNC would continue in the struggle and cooperate with the Kurdish political groups. 

Popular Democratic Party of Kurdistan, Secretary General Sami Abdul Rahman 

Kak Sami gave thanks and praise to KNC for the invitation and the efforts on behalf of the Kurds. He pledged his support of KNC. 

Mahmood Mala Azet, Sweden 

Gave congratulations and praise for KNC’s efforts. 

Ralph Anderson, President of the United Nations Office of Orange County, California 

Telephoned his best wishes for a successful conference. 

Session 1: “Greater Occupied Kurdistan” 

Dr. Nusrettin Ulker 

Dr. Ulker saluted the peshmergas. He discussed the plight of the Kurds in Turkey and gave historical examples of their persecution.

Hiwa Nazhedian  

Mr. Nazhedian discussed the plight of the Kurds in Iran and cited historical events, such as the 1979 Jihad by Khomeni. He suggested that KNC contact organizations in Iran and work out difficulties through democratic dialog. 

Dr. Asfandiar Shukri 

Dr. Shukri discussed the ancient history of Kurds from 2000 B.C. to A.D.1961. He gave specific information about events in Iraqi Occupied Kurdistan. 

Jalal Malahaji  

Mr. Malahaji spoke of the history of Kurds in Syria since the 1920’s. He spoke of the harsh living conditions, especially between 1959-61. 

Baktiar Amin  

Mr. Amin volunteered to speak briefly on the Kurdish situation in Russia. He stated that Kurds have been living in Russia for a long time and that Shireen Hakim has written a book about such. Also, Kurds had autonomy in Azerbajan in the 1920’s, but Stalin took it back, as well as closing down their newspaper. 

The issue of having one charismatic leader for the Kurds, as South Africa has, was discussed. The difficulty of this was expressed by Dr. Shukri, stating that the Kurdish population is so diverse that it requires a democratic umbrella organization to unite and lead the Kurds. 

There was a suggestion from the audience that Kurds should unite with other minorities. Dr. Shukri responded that the Kurdish movement has always included other minorities, such as Turks, and Chaldeans. 

In regards to which government would be the most sympathetic to the Kurds in Syria, it was stated that a democratic government would be best. 

Session 2: “Role of the Kurdish Woman”  

Dela Jaff  

Kurdish women have more freedom than Arab, Turkish, and Persian women. They are less veiled, and associate more freely with men. Many are educated and have leadership roles, however, there are still those who are illiterate and remain segregated. In the villages the division of labor is very clear. In urban areas the division of labor is more complex, depending on economic status and female employment and education. Ms. Jaff cited examples of significant female involvement in politics. Since 1983 the Komala Party has trained women and encouraged women to join the movement. National leaders need to encourage women to participate. Women need to prove that they are capable, and no longer demonstrate helplessness. Kurds tend to blame others for their problems – the solution to the problems lies with us (the Kurds). 

Soraya Mufti  

Men and women need to work together towards our precious goal. Women should be given a chance to be involved in every aspect of the movement and cause. Sharing and cooperation in child rearing is needed, i.e. teaching the language and culture. The educated women have an obligation to participate in the Kurdish cause. 

Dr. Kejal Rahmani 

Dr. Rahmani discussed the status of women in prehistory. Women’s status has been in a regressive pattern due to the different modes of production of food. As hunters and gatherers there existed an equal sharing of labor. Later, animal herding required more workers, thus leading to polygamy, slavery of women. Farming became a family affair, thus, more equal status. Now, education is needed for both men and women. Forming a Kurdish Women’s Organization was suggested, also. 

Additional comments from the audience: 

Participation of women in Kurdish history has been great. The KDP has an elected female member. The first female judge in Iraq was a Kurd. Kurdish customs were kept by women, as opposed to men according to Margaret Kahn’s observations in Iran. Women must take freedom, it will not be given. 

Session 3: “Education and History”  

Hiwa Shwan 

Discussed the education of Kurdish youth. Knowledge will gain freedom for the Kurds.

The lack of education has caused deprivation and suffering for the Kurds. Depriving Kurds of their language has been a serious blow. The new generation needs to learn the language to help Kurds succeed. A common Kurdish written language is needed to communicate among the various parts of Kurdistan. Suggested that KNC form a committee to create a common written language. Suggested using the Latin alphabet. 

Dr. Hassan Ahmedi 

Discussed difficulty Kurds have in obtaining an education. KNC needs to provide support by advising, and offering grants and scholarships. A college student is like an ambassador advancing awareness and positive images of Kurds on foreign campuses. Expressed need for a Kurdish Library and Documentation Center for research, publishing of periodicals, such as a “Who’s Who ?” of Kurds. 

Dr. Ghalamali Edrissian 

Kurdish people have always been under the control of others. Throughout history Kurds had not been able to write down their history, so others did it. These were often their enemies, who were trying to prove that the Kurds were a part of their nation, such as the Turks and Arabs. KNC and the Institute of Kurds in Paris should take leadership in the objective research of Kurdish history. 

Discussion following: 

Inquiry about the status of Kurdish education in San Diego. The Kurdish School of San Diego has twenty students, ranging in age from 7-20 years old. Lack of parental support was sighted as a problem. Another person supported the idea of using the Latin alphabet, because it is easier to understand by students who speak English. Praise was given for Dr.

Edrissian’s publishing.  

Congressman Jim Bates, San Diego  

Gave congratulations for KNC third conference. Spoke of resolution #298. It has passed the Human Rights Sub-Committee, of which Congressman Gus Yatron is the Chairman. This resolution would allow relief personnel to enter Kurdish areas. They are currently waiting for the State Department’s response. This committee had met with Mrs. Mitterrand and Margaret Hensen, from Sweden, and seen photos and art depicting the sufferings of children and women in the Turkish refugee camps. He expressed future hopes of the reestablishment of a Kurdish state. He was at a loss of how to deal with Saddam Hussein. 

Discussion following:  

  • Don’t just condemn the use of chemical weapons, but rather condemn all the abuses.

The chemical bombing brought an awareness of the situation to the world, but there are numerous other abuses going on too. 

  • If there were no chemical weapons, Kurds could fight the government. The Kurds need a friend to support them militarily, financially, and through the media. The Western powers need to come to the aid of the Kurds, so they are not left to the mercy of the government. 
  • Suggestion given on what to do with Saddam Hussein: Stop supporting him. He is supported by the U.S., Europe, and the Soviet Union militarily, financially, and with food. 

Congressman Jim Bates continued: 

When Congress reconvenes in September, he will recommend that the U.S. discontinue the selling of arms, and other aid. Also, he will speak to the U.N. and other organizations which deal with the question of creating a Kurdish state. He will form a delegation to visit camps in Turkey. He is willing to go himself. 

There was an appeal by a conference to support Jim Bates in his upcoming November election. 

The video of the 1990 New Roz, of which Jim Bates and his wife attended, was presented to the congressman.

Slide Show by Dr. Kamal Rashid 

Kurdistan: The Land, The People, The Struggle 

Solutions:Improve refugee conditions – food, medical supplies, shelter. 

                  Provide educational opportunities for children                   Move refugees to U.S. and Europe. 

It was suggested that we refer to the specific area of Kurdistan by stating Occupied Kurdistan of Iraq, not Iraqi Kurdistan, for example.

The Plight of the Kurdish Refugee 

Dr. Najmaldeen Karim, moderator, spoke briefly of the achievements and efforts made since last year. Stated that the conditions of refugees in Iran are as bad or worse than those in Turkey. 

Bakhtiar Zuhdi  

Discussed the events which led to the refugee situation in Turkey. Spoke of the Kurdish Relief Aid, which is a tax exempt licensed organization. Projects of the organization include: Financial assistance to refugees in Turkey and Pakistan, Financing the cost of research on genocide, Sending Kurdish delegation to the U.N. The Kurdish Relief Aid recognizes KNC as an umbrella organization to which they consider belonging. 

Laura Khailany 

Stated that the conditions of refugees, since the last conference, has not changed, despite forming a committee. KNC has sent sponsorship forms to all members on the mailing list. There was also a request for names of known refugees. There was very little response to these. It was suggested that KNC work with the Kurdish Relief Organization, in order to apply for grants and aid, since they have tax exempt status. Two goals were suggested: Undertake the role of getting a limited number of refugees, and push Immigration and the U.S. State office to recognize them as refugees. 

Discussion following: 

  • It was reported that Ambassador Shifter has stated that $11 million has been allocated by the U.S. for Kurdish    refugees. Refugee status allows one to maintain own language, therefore the Turkish government is reluctant to call the Kurds refugees. 
  • It was reported that Ambassador Shifter has stated that Kurds who have direct relations with Kurds in America could pass through quickly. 
  • After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting a follow-up letter should be sent to Senator Moynihan. 
  • The Kurds have Senator Helms’ support. 
  • KAMA has collected money for the refugees, but it has not been delivered.
  • There is a lack of hard evidence of the number of Kurds returning to Iraq by force. 
  • In order to establish a Red Cross, one must be a state, not just an ethnic group. 
  • Concern was expressed for losing Kurdish heritage and culture if refugees were brought here. 
  • Providing those in camps that choice was the response.  

Language, Art, and Literature

Taleb Berzinji 

Spoke of the history of the Kurdish language. Gave a listing of titles of Kurdish works. Proposed that KNC give greater attention to Kurdish schools in Kurdish populated areas, write Kurdish books for parents to educate their children, and accept Kurdish Fine Arts Committee as a sub committee and accept all forms of art. Expressed interest in radio and TV shows in Kurdish. 

Glen Fleming 

“Every child has the right to learn to read in his Mother tongue.” Applauded the efforts to produce literature in Kurdish. There are sociological and linguistic problems in developing a national language. It is unknown as to how many Kurdish dialects there are.

It took several centuries for European languages to become what they are. 

Jamal Baktiar 

Presented a brief report about the status of Kurds and their art activities in Nashville, Tenn. On behalf of the Kurdish community in Nashville, he congratulated KNC on their successful efforts and accomplishments. 

Zuhdi Sardar 

Discussed the history of art in Kurdistan. Kurdish artists in U.S. and Europe appeal to KNC for help and support of their work. 

Discussion following: 

  • U.M. Professor McCarus is looking for Ph.D. students. 
  • KNC is going to offer money to write a thesis on Kurdish linguistics. 
  • A Kurdish mural in a Wash. D.C. subway has had a great effect. It was suggested that more paintings be put in visible places.  

Treasurer’s Report: Mohammed Sinjari  

A report of the income and expenses was given. Disappointment as expressed for the small amount of $640 in donations given for the refugees. In defense of this small amount, it was stated that no campaign or organized effort has been made to collect for the refugee fund. It was suggested that members contribute all that they can, not just the membership fee. Also, it was suggested that the Financial Report be published in the Conference Proceedings. 

Open Session  

Issues raised: 

Should we create a Kurdish Parliament in exile? This was followed by questions for clarification of this idea, arguments for and against it, and alternatives to it. 

  • Telegrams were read from: Shariff Vanli, Kurdish Cultural Center of North America, Abrahim Ahmed, and Aza Doughramachi. 
  • Congratulation cables were also received from Rasoul Maman (Secretary General of Kurdistan Socialist party and the Kurdish Institute in Paris. 
  • Representation from each area of Kurdistan on the Board of Directors. 
  • Discussion regarding whether or not KNC is a political organization. 
  • Accusations of ignoring certain organizations in the KNC newsletter were made to the president. These were denied and information was invited and requested from any organization. There is a lack of information being contributed for publication in the newsletter. 
  • Pleas were made for serious attention   given to the educational issue. If this generation passes, Kurdistan is gone. 
  • It was stated that Kurds have benefited from the Islamic Movement, so it should not be overlooked. Arguments against this were made. 
  • Some felt nomination list was imposed. The president explained that it was done according to the constitution. 
  • The need for updating one’s address to facilitate the successful delivery of the KNC newsletter was expressed. 
  • Annually remembering the Halabja tragedy was raised as an event of which KNC should participate. 
  • It was proposed that regional meetings of KNC be held several times a year to discuss KNC’s activities and accomplishments. 
  • More active participation in KNC would insure that one is informed of KNC’s activities , and more could be accomplished.   
  • Limited chances to speak was cited as a problem in this session. 

Sunday, August 5, 1990  

Closing Session 

At this session, a number of resolutions were approved and are listed below. Active participation of all Kurds was encouraged in various ways: letter writing campaigns, representing Kurds at local community events, creating a Kurdish T.V. or radio show, writing educational materials for youth, speaking the language to the youth, etc. 

It was announced that a New Roz party will be held on March 23, 1991, in Washington D.C.  

Resolutions  

  1. To create three professional societies under the KNC umbrella: Humanities Society, Arts & Culture, Human Rights Society. 
  2. An amendment was made to study how to have fair representation of Kurds on the Board. 
  3. To not allow just any interested person to become a member of KNC. 
  4. To adopt the Kurdish Relief Organization as a sister organization. 
  5. KNC will appeal to all political and non-political groups to form a national conference to discuss the possibility of a Kurdish parliament, congress, or government in exile. This conference will represent all Kurds and will create representation for participation in the International Community. 
  6. To establish a Kurdish library. 
  7. To form local chapters of KNC. 
  8. To form a women’s organization in KNC.  

Election of Officers and Executive Committee  

The chairman of the session was Mr. Kakil Zibari, and the members were Mr. Ali Shwan,

Mr. Salar Mahmoud, Mr. Nariman Awni, Mr. Bourhan Mustafa, Mr. Buland Baban and Ms. Rejan Jaff. These delegates supervised the election. As the result of the election   the following KNC members were elected to the board of directors: 

1. Dr. Fouad Darweesh        2. Dr. Najimaldin Karim 

3. Dr. Ahmad Uthman          4. Dr. Asad Khailany 

5. Dr. Nusrettin Ulker           6. Dr. Saman Shali 

7. Ms. Dela Jaff                    8. Dr. Awat Aliyar 

9. Mr. Jalal Melahaji            10. Mr. Mohammad Sinjari

11. Mr. Kakil Zibari 

The alternate is Mr. Hiwa Nazhadian. 

Then Dr. Asad Khailany gave the closing speech in which he asked for unity among

Kurdish people and for sacrifices from the Kurds in North America to strengthen KNC.

At 12:00 PM the conference ended by singing the Kurdish National Anthem ” Ay Rakeeb”. Mr. Taleb Barzanji led the audience in the singing. Following the conference, the Board of Directors met and in compliance with the KNC constitution, elected the following members of the Executive Committee: 

   President – Asad Khailany 

   Secretary – Ahmed Uthman 

   Treasurer – Mohammad Sinjari 

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