Living in Momentous Times

By Hamo Moskofian, Paris-Wiesbaden-Erbil, December 2013

On the night of March 22, 1982, I attended the unforgettable concert of the celebrated Kurdish singer and musician Shivan Perver at the vast “Matualite” Center in Paris. Perver was the voice of the PKK. On the stage, high on the wall behind him, the hammer and sickle, Marx – Engels – Lenin – Stalin – Mao were peering  at the coming revolutionary sunrise.

The Kurdish musician, with his tambour and saz, was in a high fettle singing “Apo Kurdistan” favorite song, with several thousand Kurds chanting with him, while several members collected donations. That same night there was another meeting, dedicated to the A.S.A.L.A. political prisoners who realized the “Van” operation against the Turkish Embassy in Paris. The huge “Matualite” Hall was filled with photographing policewomen, informants, and agents, all in a chaotic atmosphere.

By Hamo Moskofian, Paris-Wiesbaden-Erbil, December 2013

On the night of March 22, 1982, I attended the unforgettable concert of the celebrated Kurdish singer and musician Shivan Perver at the vast “Matualite” Center in Paris. Perver was the voice of the PKK. On the stage, high on the wall behind him, the hammer and sickle, Marx – Engels – Lenin – Stalin – Mao were peering  at the coming revolutionary sunrise.

The Kurdish musician, with his tambour and saz, was in a high fettle singing “Apo Kurdistan” favorite song, with several thousand Kurds chanting with him, while several members collected donations. That same night there was another meeting, dedicated to the A.S.A.L.A. political prisoners who realized the “Van” operation against the Turkish Embassy in Paris. The huge “Matualite” Hall was filled with photographing policewomen, informants, and agents, all in a chaotic atmosphere.

Today the Kurds are creating a powerful state in Iraq, Turkey, Western Armenia, and Iran. Although they had collaborated with the Ottoman Empire and the “Ittihad Ve Tarraki” party, and had massacred thousands of Armenians and Christians, some Kurdish leaders such as Shanin Beg, Hmo Shrro, Jahangir Agha, Seid Aiza saved the lives of thousands of Armenians, thus playing a vital role for the resurrection of the Armenian nation following the Genocide.

A few weeks ago I was surprised to see the great Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Shivan play the role of intermediary between Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and President Barazani of Iraqi-Kurdistan, in the Kurdish (former Armenian) capital Diyarbekir (Amid, Ardzn). Shivan was sharply attacked by his former PKK comrades and severely criticized on the internet.

It seems that a very clever political game is played by the Kurds on their way to creating their state, and avoid the bitter experience of the Republic of Mahabad at the end of World War II. What’s evolving, on one hand “satin gloves” politics, on the other military strikes by day of Abdullah Ocalan and the followers of Martyr Sakine Canciz, the Armenian daughter of Dersim.

During my meetings with Kurdish, Zaza, Kizilbash, Kirmanc, and Yezidi leaders, intellectuals, activists and citizens, I noticed that they greatly admire the Armenians, and consider us a great nation. Nearly every Kurd, Zaza or Yezidi who visits Armenia, considers it his homeland and looks forward to strengthen ties with the Armenian Diaspora and the Republic of Armenia, or see the future model of their state as an ally to highly-cultured nation of the Armenians.

Today the Kurds are a nation of 35 million, mostly living on the lands of their forefathers or the ones that they conquered. We, Armenians, are fewer than 10 million. Most of us live away from the Land of Ararat, while thousands apply for passports to get “easy” entry to the European Union or to America, instead of standing firmly on their liberated land and defending their rights of identity and existence.

We are living in momentous historic times: we either become once more a powerful country or disappear from history. This is a time for action, not of talking or “analyzing” the past. Sevres, Lausanne, Locarno, and Potsdam are all on yellowish papers, and long forgotten. We must trust only ourselves, unite and struggle, and redefine our allies in a changing geo-political landscape.

Hmmo Shrro, Kurdish tribal leader, at age 105 at an Armenian State TV interview, "We at last handed the Armenian Hunchak party leader Arsen Gidour many Armenian orphans whom we protected during the horrible massacres committed by the Turks against our brother Armenians."

Abdullah Ocalan, PKK leader, political prisoner of Imrel, "Go and kneel in front of the Armenians and ask their pardon for crimes that your forefathers committed against them."

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