Who We Are
Advocates from dynamic beginnings to modern day
What We Do
We are here to advocate for a free and united Kurdistan with the USA and Canada
KNCNA has a long history as advocates of Kurds in the USA and Canada. In 1991, following the Persian Gulf War, Dr. Assad Khailany, along with others from KNCNA went to Washington D.C. to inform on the plight of the Kurdish people. In 2003, Dr. Khailany met with President Bush to further discuss the Kurdish cause in Iraq.
Today, our duty as non-partisan advocates has become more important than ever. With ISIS in the area, human rights violations all around Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, we are doing what we can to represent our Kurdish people here in North America.
Why We Do It
The Kurdish National Congress of North America shall promote unity and common purpose among all Kurds, regardless of their political and religious orientation.
To this end, KNC shall:
- Represent and serve the interests of Kurds in North America
- Mobilize resources for establishing Kurdish cultural centers and developing grassroots community programs aimed at the preservation of the Kurdish culture and history
- Initiate self-help programs for promoting stronger communal bonds between Kurds and non- Kurds
- Develop local KNC chapters with a view to providing training in Kurdish language, literature, history, art, and music
- Assist in the articulation of plans and strategies for attaining Kurdish national and democratic aspirations
- Provide a podium for resolving ongoing and emerging conflicts in Kurdistan
- Train community activists for the protection of human rights in Kurdistan
- Create a think-tank for studying and discussing Kurdish topics
- Coordinate and maintain close ties with like-minded Kurdish organizations in Kurdistan and abroad
- Mobilize volunteers for action programs aimed at improving living conditions in Kurdistan
- Establish headquarters in the Washington, DC National Capital area with a view to serving as an information and documentation resource center for policy makers and scholars on the Kurdish issue
KNCNA's First Meeting in 1988
Kurds and Kurdistan
Who are the Kurds?
Due to dashed hopes of an independent state with the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, Kurds never formally acquired a country of their own. From that day, Kurdistan was split between Turkey (Bakur), Syria (Rojava), Iraq (Bashur), and Iran (Rojhalat), and they have been fighting for independence since.
The next major uprising was in 1945-46 by Mustafa Barzani in the areas surrounding Erbil and Badinan in (Iraqi) Kurdistan, but trials of self-determination were thwarted again and again.
Throughout the years, many political parties such as PUK and KDP in Iraq, HDP and PKK in Turkey, YPJ and KDP-S in Syria, and KDPI in Iran have come about. However, no official regional government was set up until the Kurdish Region Government (KRG) was formed in northern Iraq in 1992.
Although Kurdistan is usually described as a singular region, the four regions vastly differ in culture. Food differs, clothing differs, language varies vastly. Dialects of Kurdish range from Kurmanji (northwest), Sorani (southeast), Zazaki(east Turkey), Hawramani (west Iran), Gorani (north Iraq), and more.
Recently, Kurds have been at the forefront of the news due to the rise of ISIS. YPG and other Kurdish fighting forces around Syria and Iraq were forced to defend their homelands and fight ISIS. they were helped by western forces, but many Kurds lost their lives.
In October of 2019, President Donald Trump announced he was retreating U.S troops from northern Syria (Rojava). This unpredictable event gave way for Turkey to invade and attack this area largely populated by Syrian Kurds, and may have influenced a resurgence of ISIS. Today, the Syrian Kurds are still having trouble staving off Turkey’s attacks and many remain displaced from their homes.
In January of 2020, President Barzani of KRG (Iraq) met with President Trump at a summit in Davos, Switzerland to discuss the Kurdistan Region’s relationship with the international community.