Muayad Tayyib, M.P., from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (K.D.P.), is one Kurdish legislator who would like no fewer than three verses in the currently-under-revision national anthem devoted to Iraqi Kurds. Proposed verses include excerpts from the works of poets, including the Iraqi Kurdish versifier Fayak Bekas (How sweet and fulfilling is the water of our homeland ...) and a non-Kurdish Iraqi poet and theologian from Najaf, Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahri, who nonetheless composed verse about Kurdistan’s “high mountains and wide plains, ... your generous people and rich history.”
|Set your poems to music!|
Muhammad Mahdi al-Jawahri in his later years
As could perhaps have been expected, Iraq’s Turkmens (3% of the population, including many in the disputed Kurdish area) and Christians (mostly Chaldeans and Assyrians, 1% of the population and shrinking) want verses too—and in their own languages. So how about some brief mentions for the minuscule Yezidi and Zoroastrian populations? That doesn’t seem too much to ask.
|Turkmens want a piece of the pie too.|
|Faisal I in 1919.|
T. E. Lawrence (“of Arabia”) is to his immediate left behind him.
[Also, for those who are wondering, yes, this blog is tied in with a forthcoming book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas to be published by Auslander and Fox under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements, Independence Struggles, Breakaway Republics, Rebel Provinces, Pseudostates, Puppet States, Tribal Fiefdoms, Micronations, and Do-It-Yourself Countries, from Chiapas to Chechnya and Tibet to Texas. Look for it some time in 2013. I will be keeping readers posted of further publication news.]