Around the world

Who are the Kurds?


The Kurds live in the mountainous region that straddles the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Armenia, and their number ranges between twenty and thirty million. They are the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East, but they have never had an independent state.

Ethnicity and nomenclature.

The origin of the Kurds is shrouded in mystery, but most researchers agree that they belong to the Indo-European group, and that they are the descendants of the Medes tribes that migrated at the beginning of the second millennium BC and were able to spread their influence among the ancient population and may have been able to dissolve them to form a new population structure later known as the Kurds.

There is what can be called the historical gap between the Medan domination and the emergence of the Kurds, and the origin of the name remains ambiguous. Some researchers believe that their name as Kurds is due to the word kutu, which links them to the people (kutu), a people who lived in the kingdom of Gutium located on the eastern bank of the Tigris River and between the Zab River and the Diyala River.

Others believe that the word “kotu” is taken from the Assyrian word Kurtu, and it evolved into its current form by fusion of the letter “R” after the short “U”, meaning that Kurtu became Gutu. Such fusion is a linguistic rule in most Indo-Aryan languages. There is a second theory due to the name Kyrtii or Cyrtii, linking the Kurds to the Kirti, a people who originally lived in the mountainous region west of Lake Van, and then spread widely in the countries of Iran and Media, and the rest of the areas in which the Kurds live today.

Scholars believe that the word Kurti evolved into first Qurtu or Kurrdu, then to Kurt, and then to Kardouchi mentioned, for the first time, by the Greek leader Xenephon. The Kurds are divided into four main peoples: the Kurmanj, the Goran (the Goran), the Lur, and the Kalhor.

Assets .

Kurdish origins of the people that combines a number of tribal groups or ethnic Aryan past , including the people of Gotti , Medion , to Oluba , Kurti , Carducci .

The Kurds are one of the Iranian peoples , whose homeland is the mountainous region in the Middle East , which is known as Kurdistan.  The Iranian peoples are a term that differs from the citizens within the borders of the state of Iran . They spread over the Iranian plateau, starting from the Hindu Kush to central Anatolia , and from Central Asia to the Arabian Gulf, which is the region Sometimes called Greater Iran . The first people who knew them in the region were the Mitanni , who established a kingdom in northern Syria five centuries after the fall of Gotium .  The Mitanni spoke a language ofIndo-Aryan . They also contributed to the Kurdish ethnogenesis to some extent, at least genetically.

Theories .

Theories differ on the origin of the Kurds:

▪️Some literature defines the Kurds as “the Bedouins of the Persians ,” as Tabari and Ibn Khaldun mentioned in the introduction.

▪️The Kurds are originally from the Arabs , and this is what Ibn Abd al-Barr went to in his book “The Purpose and the Nations” that “the Kurds are the descendants of Amr Maziqiya bin Amer bin Maa al-Sama’a, and they fell to the land of the non-Arabs, so they reproduced there, and their children multiplied, so they were called the Kurds.”

▪️Says Mohammad Amin Zaki (1880 – 1948) in his book «summary of the history of the Kurds and Kurdistan» that there are two layers of the Kurds, the first layer, and felt she was living Kurdistan and calls it « the peoples of the Zagros Mountains », says that the people of Lulu, Coty, Kurti, Gotti , Judy , Kasai , Supari, Khaldi , Mitanni , Hori (or Houry), Nairi, is a very ancient origin of the Kurdish people. The second layer: is the class of Indo-European peoples who migrated in the tenth century BC, the Medes and the Kardukians , and mixed with their original peoples to form the Kurdish nation.

▪️The Greek historian Zenfone (427 – 355) BC mentioned in his writings a people he described as “hardened warriors who inhabit the mountainous regions,” and called them Karduk, which consists of kard with the ancient Greek suffix “wakh,” and they attacked the Greek army while crossing the region in the year 400 BC, and that area was based on Zenfon southeast of Lake Van in eastern Turkey  . However, some historians (such as Muhammad Amin Zaki) consider the Kurdukhis to be an Indo-European people who later joined the Kurdish people whose roots are in the non-Indo-European peoples of the Zagros Mountains .

▪️In terms of traditional anthropology , scholars believe that the vast majority of Kurds belong to the Armanoid element .

The Language .

Kurdish ( Kurdish : Kurdish , Kurdî) is a group of related dialects spoken by the Kurds. It is spoken mainly in those parts of Iran, Iraq , Turkey and Syria .  Kurdish holds official status in Iraq as a national language alongside Arabic , and is recognized in Iran as a regional language, and in Armenia as a minority language.

Most Kurds are either bilingual or polyglot , speaking the language of their country of origin, such as Arabic , Persian, and Turkish as a second language besides their original Kurdish language, while those in diaspora communities often speak three or more languages.

According to McKenzie, there are a few linguistic features common to all Kurdish dialects that are not simultaneously present in other Iranian languages .

The Kurdish dialects are classified according to McKinsey as follows:

▪️Northern group ( Kurmanji dialect group ).

▪️Central Group (part of the Sorani dialect group ).

▪️Southern group (part of a set of tone Jun ) , including the order.

The Zaza and Gorani are ethnic Kurds,  but the Zaza-Gorani languages are not classified as Kurdish.

Commenting on the differences between Kurdish dialects, Kryenbroek explains that in some respects, Kurmanji and Sorani are as different from each other as English is from German, giving an example that Karmanji has grammatical gender and case endings, but Sorani does not, noting that the reference to Sorani and Kurmanji on They are the “dialects” of one language supported only by their “common origin…and the fact that this usage reflects a sense of ethnic identity and Kurdish unity”. Defining the language as a Kurdish language is directly related to non-linguistic factors such as political and cultural factors .  In fact, the Kurdish language did not have a unified form, borders, and a unified form, as we see in the Persian language .  Because it does not have a traditional unified linguistic form like other languages, but rather it means a group of types of colloquial speech common among the Kurds. These categories of speech need not be intelligible to all speakers.  The term Kurdish language is used today to refer to a series of northwestern Iranian languages, and these languages, from the perspective of linguistic studies, are sometimes close to each other and at other times are very far from each other as a result of socio-political factors. This is why this series of languages ​​was called the Kurdish language. Such asKermanja , Klhori , Central Kurdish , the Kurdish dialect گoranih and Howeramana and Zaza language . 

According to the Encyclopedia of Islam although Kurdish is not a unified language and has many interrelated dialects at the same time it can be distinguished from other Western Iranian languages. The same source classifies the various Kurdish dialects into two main groups, Northern and Central.  In fact, a mid-level speaker of Kurmanji will have difficulty speaking with the residents of Sulaymaniyah and Halabja provinces.

Although the Kurdish language is used in some media and newspapers in Iran, it was not taught as a subject.

Some linguists believe that the term “Kurdish” was used to define the vernacular language among the Kurds, while the Kurds themselves use this term to describe their ethnic or national identity, and to refer to their language they used the Kurmanji, Sorani, Kalhori names and any other term referring to their languages. Some historians have noted that only recently did the Kurds who speak the Sorani dialect use the term “Kurdish” to refer to their language and identity.


▪️ Most of the Kurdish people condemn the religion of Islam, according to the teachings of the Sunni sect .

▪️ A large section of the Faili Kurds embrace Islam according to the teachings of the Shiite sect in Iraq and Iran .

▪️ There are other religions such as Christianity and Judaism and a few non- Abrahamic religions such as Zoroastrianism .

▪️ There are Alawi Kurds in Turkey and in the Ma’batali district of the Syrian province of Aleppo .

▪️ There is a small number of converts to the Yazidi religion .

▪️ Zoroastrianism. There are a few Kurdish Magi and most of them are newly converted. Temples have been set up for them and the community is trying to introduce new members to their faith.  It is claimed that around 100,000 Iraqi Kurds will practice Zoroastrianism by 2015.

Kurdish holidays.

Nowruz is one of the national holidays of the Kurdish peoples and religious to the rest of the Iranian peoples . As for the traditions of this holiday, the most important of which is lighting a big fire and celebrating around it.

Reference :

الكرد.. معلومات أساسية/https://www-aljazeera-net

كرد /

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button