Agenda of KNC-NA 23rd Annual Conference, April 29-30, Calgary, Canada

Friday April 29, 2011

12:00 Registration

01:00 Introduction and National Anthem by Ms. Soz Ibrahim (MC)

01:15 Welcoming Remarks by Chair of the Conference, Dr. Ihsan Efrini

01:30 History of KNC-NA by its Founder Dr. Asad Khailani

01:45 Last Year’s Activities and Finances by KNC-NA Treasurer Mr. Dyari Ahmed

02:00 Open Discussion Public

02:30 Break

02:45 An Observation from N-Kurdistan by KNC-NA PR Chair, Mr. Luqman Barwari

03:15 The Case of Dersim by Dr. Barry Fisher

03:45 History of Kurdish Refugees by Mr. Aram Dohoki

04:00 The Role of the Opposition S-Kurdistan by Mr. Shwan Shwani

04:15 The Case of Halabja by Mr. Ali Waissi

04:30 Kurdish Identity Through Art and Culture by Mr. Najat Abdulla

04:45 Messages from Mrs. Sohaila Qazi, Mr. Mustafa Hijri, and Mr. Ed Stelmach

05:00 Open Discussion Public

Saturday April 30, 2011

08:00 Registration

10:00 Panel Current Political Trends and Human Rights in the Middle East

10:15 S-Kurdistan by Mr. Dyari Ahmed

10:30 N-Kurdistan by Mr. Cengo Hejai

10:45 E-Kurdistan by Mr. Hiresh Palani

11:00 W-Kurdistan by Dr. Ihsan Efrini

11:15 Open discussion Public

11:30 Break

11:45 Panel Historical Perspectives

12:00 Modern History of Northern Kurdistan by Mr. Luqman Barwari

12:15 The History and Impact of Southeastern Kurdistan by Mr. Aliashraf Moradi

12:30 The New Generation and Diaspora by Ms. Zahida Efrini

12:45 A Brief History and the New Movement in Eastern Kurdistan by Mr. Ibrahim Baghi

01:00 Open Discussion Public

01:15 Lunch Break

02:30 Panel Future of (a United) Kurdistan

02:30 The Impact of Demographic Changes on Kurdish Politic by Dr. Kajal Rahmani

03:00 Reality vs. Idealism by Dr. Mehdi Kordistani

03:15 The Crisis in S-Kurdistan by by Dr. Asad Khailani

03:30 One vs. Multiple States, Presidential Address

03:45 Open Discussion Public

04:00 Greeting from Calgary by Mr. Moe Amery, MLA

05:00 Survey

Saturday Night

07:30 Reception

08:00 Introduction and Honoring Mr. T. Ver Ploeg, Dr. S. Shali, and Dr. K. Gundi

09:00 Banquet, Live Music by Nidar, Kazim, Nihad, Renas

Biography of the speakers

Ms. Soz Ibrahim is currently a student at the University of Calgary in the communication and culture faculty in the law and society program. She is an aspiring lawyer and hope to one day make a difference in the world and within the Kurdish community. She will introduce the speakers as the Master of Ceremony of the 23rd Annual Conference of KNC-NA.

Dr. Ihsan Efrini is the chair of this year’s conference. He was born in west Kurdistan, the city of Efrin to be exact. He moved to Hungary to pursue a career in dentistry and completed his dental faculty in 1993. He practiced as a dentist for 4 years in Ukraine. He then went to Syria. He attempted to practice his dentistry but was prohibited due to political issues. He was then forced to leave Syria in search of a safer life in Canada. He is a member of the board of directors of KNCNA, an active member of the Canadian liberal party, as well as a representative for a Syrian Kurdish political assembly in North America. He is an entrepreneur and lives with his wife and three children.

Dr. Asad Khailany is from Southern Kurdistan. He was educated in Baghdad and in USA and taught for 34 years. In 1966 he decided to go to the US to study with $37 in his pocket. Currently He is an emeritus professor at Eastern Michigan University. He published various articles and books on Computer Science. Dr. Khailany was the first Kurd who had a meeting with United State President and the first Kurd invited by US State Department to address state department employees on the “US Policy Toward Kurdish Problems”, the first Kurd who had a meeting with under secretary of the United States in 1962. On behalf of KNC he invited Madam Mitterrand to attend a conference on Kurdsiatn in the US Senate building she accepted and joined the conference.  He introduced Jalal Talebani,  Barham Salih, and Hoshiar Zibari to the state department. Dr. Khailani was also the President of Kurdistan Student Union 1959, Member of leadership committee of KDP and accompanied Late Mustafa Barzani to Baghdad for licensing KDP as a legal party in Iraq in 1960. He established many connections with foreign embassies including the embassies of US, England, India, Egypt in Bagdad. More importantly Dr. Asad Khailani is the founder of the Kurdish National Congress of North America.

Mr. Dyari Ahmed was born in Southern Kurdistan. He finished his undergraduate degree in civil engineering at University of Mosul. After graduation he volunteered with Kurdistan shelter reconstruction organization and Kurdistan save the children to help the reconstruction of Kurdistan. He then moved to the USA in 1997 due to political turbulence. He received his masters in engineering from California state university Los Angeles. Currently he’s working for the state of California as a professional engineer. He has been active with Kurdish organization such as KAES ( served as a board member for 2 years), KNC ( currently is board member and treasurer), he also is the current president of Kurdish community of southern California and treasurer of KNC-NA.

Mr. Luqman Barwari was born in Southern Kurdistan. He has been living in the USA since 1982. He obtained his education in the USA, and is currently working as an Associate Scientist in a major Biotechnology company in Southern CA. He is advisory member of Kurdish American Youth Group and former vice president of Kurdish American Education Society. He is the author and co-author of several Scientific, and political papers. He has been the chair of Public Relations Committee of KNC-NA since 2008.

Dr. Barry Fisher is an attorney. Barry a fisher’s law practice focuses on international human rights, constitutional and complex litigation issues on behalf of ethnic, racial, religious and political minorities in the united states and internationally. He has served as vice president, human rights advocates international, received to no gun-peace prize in Korea, and assisted the drafting on constitutions and legislation for Romania, Moldova, Albania, Bosnia, and Belarus. He has consulted on legal matters in many countries, including Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Canada, Germany, and elsewhere. Mr. Fisher served on the German and Austrian holocaust restitution multinational negotiation teams and was a signatory to the resulting treaties. He serves as a counsel on behalf of Chinese, Korean, and other Asian victims of sexual slavery and slave labor systems of wartime Japan. Courts have relied on Mr. Fisher as an expert witness in minority immigration political asylum cases.

Mr. Jamal Suleman (known as Aram Duhoki) is from Duhok city-south of Kurdistan arrived to Canada 20 years ago. He is a graduate of the Office Administration. He has been Manager of Kurdish Magazine (Roja Nu) published between 1994 and1996 in Ottawa, Canada. Jamal has published his first poem book in Kurdish 2002. He has been working with Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth for 4 year as family assistance coordinator helping new immigrants to Canada. Jamal is the executive editor of Kurdish-English (Pengav) for its second year which is publishes in Calgary and Edmonton. He has been a writer in regular bases publish his articles about various subjects in Azadiya Walat, Emro, War and Rudaw, etc. He has been a member of KNC since 2010, a member of Kurdish Writer Union of Kurdistan, and a member of Kurdish Community of Calgary.

Mr. Ali Waissi was born in Kermashan, Eastern Kurdistan. He left Iranian Kurdistan at age one with his family in 1980s, due to political situation. He was in Iraq for 21 years and came to Canada in 2001.  He is a student at the University of Calgary majoring in Political Science and minoring in Law and Society. He is the president for Wildrose Alliance, Calgary McCall constituency Association. He is interested in making the public aware of the Halabja Genocide and has written various articles for the local and online media on why Kurds have not obtained their national rights. He believes Halbaj’s Memorial Day should become a national holiday in all parts of Kurdistan.

Mr. Shwan Shwani was born in southern Kurdistan, He has a bachelors in biological sciences, he then worked as a translator, reporter and news anchor, working with the media from 2002-2007. He came to Canada as a refugee, and begun pursuing his education in environmental sciences from Mount Royal University in Calgary Alberta. He is active in representing the Goran movement in S-Kurdistan.

Mr. Najat Abdullah is from S-Kurdistan. He has served in many music groups in Kurdistan such as folk groups and youth groups, fine art institute groups in Erbil and Sulaimania. He has been both in Fine art institute in Erbil and Sulaimania to study his music. He has served the Kurdish community from 1997-1999 in Syria. He has been living in the USA since 1999 as a refugee. He has organized Kurdish cultural events for the Kurdish community in the US. He is directing art and culture from the KRG-US since 2007.

Mr. Ismael Ebrahimi was born in Sardasht, Eastern Kurdistan. He received his BA in political science from Tehran

University. He became involved in Kurdish movement during his teenage years and joined PDKI as a young adult. He left Kurdistan in 1998 due to political activities. He is working on his Masters Degree on International Relations. He represents PDKI in Canada and has a message from Mr. Mustafa Hijri, the secretary General of PDKI. 

Mr. Jengo N. Hejiyi was born in north Kurdistan, (van district), He finished his high school diploma in North west Kurdistan (modern turkey) as soon as he realized there was no life for the kurds living under Turkish rule, and policies under assimilation, He gave up on school and immigrated to Canada in the early 1980’s and became a human rights activist in the Vancouver multicultural society in 1996-97. He helped and organized rallies, working against violations in human rights in Kurdistan. Educating the Canadian public on the violations against the kurds that occurred in iran, iraq, Syria, and turkey. In 1991 he was one of the organizers with the Canadian parliamentarian and helped red cross and axfam. He helped the Kurdish people flee to the mountains when under Saddam Hussiens regime. Gave them a voice when they did not have one to the world. Established a Kurdish Canadian center in Vancouver b.c  and Kurd tv of British Colombia. Mr Hejiyi is currently representating Kurdish Canadian federation.

Mr. Mohaydin Palani was born in Kermansha in 1971, he is a student in Simon Frasier University majoring in Political sciences. He is a member central committee of PDKI. The topic he’ll speak upon today is democratic change in Middle East and north Africa, the Kurdish democratic perspective.

Ms. Zahida Efrini is an 18 years old young lady, she currently completing her senior year in high school. She was born in the Kurdish region of Syria, Efrin, and resided there for approximately 13 years. She moved to Canada in midst of 2004. She have been involved with a couple of organizations such as the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets in Calgary for two years and the Canadian Liberal Party. At several occasions, She volunteered with the Liberal Party especially during this federal election period. She is an honour student at her  High school, she speaks several languages: Kurdish, Arabic, French, English, a bit of Russian and is currently learning Spanish. She believes it is important to give back to the communities which is why upon the completion of her high school diploma this academic year, she hopes to pursue studies in the faculty of medicine, thus she can pursue her dream of helping her people in the Middle East and those in the Third World countries.

Mr. Ebrahim Baghi was born in 1971 in the city of Mahabad East of Kurdistan and went to school at 1977. He could not finish his high school diploma. Due to the political activity, he had to flee Kurdistan to seek better life along with his wife. He lived in Turkey for almost three years as a refugee between 1994 -1998. He has lived in Canada since Feb 1998. He attended college and finished his studies in English language and CNC (computer numeric control) for heavy machinery.  He has been an activist, and since 1998 his focus has been political movement of Northern Kurdistan. Ever since 2008, he has been following and focusing on the political movement of Eastern Kurdistan. He now lives in Vancouver, BC. with his wife and two sons.

Mr. Aliashraf Moradi: He was born in Karmanshan, eastern Kurdistan. He completed his elementary education in

Kermanshan. Before he was able to complete his higher education in accounting he had to flee to Europe, due to his political activities. He was among a group of thirty people who asked to have a fraction of Kurdish representatives in Iranian parliament. He was teaching secretly to students their mother tongue. Currently he lives in Belgium. He is a member of the democratic party of Iranian Kurdistan. He came all the way from Belgium today to join us in this conference. Please welcome him!

Dr. Kajal Rahmani was born and raised in Eastern Kurdistan in the city of Senah/Sanandaj.  She received a Bachelor Degree with Honors from Jundi Shapur University in Iran. Dr. Kajal continued her education in the United States and received her Masters and Doctoral degrees in anthropology with honors from Oklahoma University in 1986.  She is director of K.J.P.A; a former professor of anthropology and a scholar with special interests in Mesopotamia, Kurds, women, and religious minorities in Kurdistan. At the present time she is a research Fellow with Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. Her research project is on Yezids/ Ezdis. She has been an advocate for Kurdish causes for three decades and has presented hundreds of lectures and written many articles on Kurds and ethnic minorities in the Middle East.  Her upcoming book and memoir entitled “That was then and this is now” is the story of a long journey of a Kurdish woman who has been through Shiite, Sunni, Kurdish and Non- Kurdish entanglements. She is a remarkable scholar – a thinker, a visionary, and a polyglot.

Dr. Mehdi Kordestani: He was born in the east of Kurdistan. Moved to Iran to pursue his education at the university of Tehran, which he studied the French language and literature as well as psychology and education in 1950. In 1955 he was admitted into the law faculty and eventually graduated with a PhD in political science in 1969. He studied briefly in Switzerland at Geneva university and the Netherlands at the academy of the hague in the mid 60’s. He had been a professor at the university of Tehran, Farah University, Military college, School of banking sciences and others as well. He now resides in Southern California and is president and founder of his company AMETCO. 

Dr. Kamal Artin was born in Eastern Kurdistan. He migrated to Switzerland and then to US in 1980s. He completed his medical degree in Zurich, Switzerland and his psychiatry training at the University of California in San Diego and Johns Hopkins University. He was an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Southern California for two years and been in private practice in Orange County, CA since 2003. While in Zurich he was a member of Swiss Kurdish

Academic Society and Kurdish Cultural Center. He was also the host of Dangi Bey Dangan (Voice of Voiceless) in

Zurich. In the US he joined Kurdish American Education Society (KAES) and Kurdish National Congress of North America (KNC). He is a former president of KAES and a former board member of KNC. He was elected as the new president of KNC on June 6, 2010. He has given talks at various cultural, political, and academic events and written over hundred articles, essays, and satires to promote the Kurdish cause. 

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