Contested map of Kurdistan at California festival

Ah, the politics of of flags and maps.

The Annual Irvine Global Village Festival was held on Saturday, 02 October 2010.

The Kurdish American Education Society (KAES) is a regular participant in this annual festival in Southern California. At its booth were various items including books, instruments, cultural artefacts, and a map of Kurdistan.

A few Middle Eastern attendees at the fair requested that the map of Kurdistan be removed from the display at the KAES booth and called in those responsible at the festival to help. At first the map (written in Persian) was put away.   But then with the intervention of another attendee the map was placed back at the booth, this time outside the booth instead of inside the booth.

If anyone from KAES who was at the festival is reading this, please let us know what happened!

(original story from KurdMedia)

(update: thank you Serxwebun for the eye-witness account.  I have removed the word ‘authorities’ here, which was from the original KurdMedia article)

5 thoughts on “Contested map of Kurdistan at California festival

  1. I was there and witnessed everything. The Middle Eastern: an old and ugly Iranian man brought the site guys in charge of the activities, I don’t think they were so called authority. The map was kind of stupid, it was written in Farsi, not in Kurdish and in a way it could have been provoking because only Iranians could read it. The Kurds should have brought an English or Kurdish written man. The founder of KAES (Dr. Ardashir or Ardy as he calls himself) with a big smile and servant style hid the map under the table. Then Nyma Ardalan who is a true nationalist and intellectual came and absolutely did not settle for such act. He went and made the guys who suggested to put the map away to let display the map. Thanks to Nyma, the map was displayed not inside the booth, but outside-in front of the booth!

    I heard a young Kurdish lady telling the “authority guys” why is Ataturk picture and giant Turkish flag waving when it is simply a cultural festival? Ardashir kept telling the young lady “hush, hush, it is ok”. So you be the judge!

    A fabulous group of Kurdish musicians, singer, and dance group displayed Kurdish culture with their stunning traditional Kurdish clothes and unbelievable voice and music. Thanks to all who brought cultural items and stayed at the booth.

  2. Who ever posted this post, needs to correct his information and state the truth in its entirety. This article only makes Kurds look bad and there was NO police involved what so ever!

  3. Serxwebun: Thanks for the comment. The story from KurdMedia used the word ‘authority’, now I see mistakenly. I put the line in there asking for anyone who was at the festival to comment so that we could find out what the facts were. From your description of events, the whole thing does not seem as newsworthy now and I’m wondering how it even got reported in the first place!

  4. KB:
    I see your valid point. I agree that it was not newsworthy. I wish the reporter had clarified the situation and provided the details.
    when words like authority or “notifying media” are written, it illustrates another picture. The only media I had seen around Kurdish booth was a man and a woman from a TV channel who first interviewed Armenians and then they came to interview the Kurdish singer Nidar about Kurdish culture. It was very nice.

  5. It’s funny that someone wrote “an old ugly Iranian” above. Why is it funny? Because Kurds are Iranian people. Kurds speak an Iranian language. I’m a Kurd from Iran – totally insulting. I could comment in detail on the Arabized half-breed Kurds in Iraq, or the Mongolized Kurds of Turkey, but you can look at that information for yourself. Iranian Kurds and other Iranians are historically closer to original Kurds.

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