In light of all the physical anthropology I’ve barraged upon you this last week, balancing it out with some cultural issues seems fitting.
From Kamangir, I found about a new website called Kurdish Rights. The Kurds, as you may know, are an ethic group lodged between Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and some parts of Syria. They are the world’s largest ethnic group without their own country, roughly 30 million people. The Kurds have been struggling for a long time to keep their identity, culture, and lifestyle autonomous. Far too often has this struggle resulted in mass executions, such as Saddam’s ‘Bloody Friday’ in March of 1988. For more information on the Kurds, check out this 7 minute video.
The main stream press hasn’t been giving them a fair shot, ignorantly choosing what the rest of the world considers genocide. And now with Kurdish blogs and sites being blocked by middle eastern ISPs, their voices are even further silenced.
Kurdish Rights, the website I linked above, aims,
“…to prevent Kurdish blogs and sites from being blocked by Middle Eastern ISPs. Throughout our history, Kurds were never given a powerful voice in the mainstream media, and we believe that new technology can effectively change that. However, for that to happen, we first need to allow bloggers and administrators to blog safely and without any censorship.”
Check out this video they made, the music and the message are awesome :
They’ve setup a petition that demands that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) within the Middle East unblock Kurdish blogs and websites in order to ensure the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of information for all Middle Easterners. They will this petition to the send to the Ministries of Information and ISP companies of Turkey, Iran, and Syria once they reach 10,000 signatures.
Knowing how stubborn the governments of Turkey, Iran, and Syria are, I don’t know what good the petitions will do as far as coaxing them to unblock the blogs. If these regimes really gave a rats ass about freedom of speech and information, we wouldn’t being seeing half the problems we see come out of that area of the world. Nonetheless, it is a worthy cause, and I implore you to sign — I can’t rain on the determination this organization has already shown, and I see nothing but good things come out of spreading awareness about the situation of the Kurds.
As far as anthropology goes, the plight of the Kurdish ethnic population is something that will always occupy the cannon. For as long as people try to forcibly wipe out ethnic minorities there will always be those of us that do something to resist.