Armenian Kurds welcome President's Nawroz message
By Roni Alasor
BRUSSELS, March 27 (AKnews) - Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan congratulated the country's Kurdish community on the occasion of the Kurdish new year, Nawroz, in a message that was positively welcomed by the Kurds, who have strong historical ties with Armenia but have not been officially recognized as an Kurdish-ethnic minority by the capital Yerevan in recent years.
In his congratulatory message President Sargsyan said: “Dear Kurd compatriots, I cordially congratulate the Kurdish community of Armenia on the occasion of Nawroz. Let this dazzling holiday bring joy and happiness to each Kurdish family.
"I wish that together with spring and awakening, your cherished wishes and goals come true and success comes to every area of your community life and social life of our common home.
"From our side, we're ready to provide all-round assistance in the resolution of the arising problems. Your concerns are our common concerns, and your joy is our common joy. I once again congratulate you and wish all the best."
The Armenian president's congratulations have been positively welcomed by the Kurdish community in Armenia and Kurds all over the world. A selection of Armenian politicians did not recognize the ethnic Kurdish population in Armenia in previous times, but they accepted them as a “religious community” of Yezidi, the original Kurdish religion.
The Kurdish community in Armenia has had a good relationship with Armenians for many centuries. Several thousand Kurds fled the Turkish massacres in the Ottoman Empire before and immediately after the Armenian genocide.
Kurds received significant support and help from Armenian intellectuals and authorities under the Soviet Russia period to learn their mother language. The Kurdish community, along with Kurdish intellectuals, still remember the names of Hakob Xazariyan (Lazo/Apo), H Orbelî and Gurgen Akopov who contributed to the development of Kurdish language and culture.
According to unofficial sources, some 40,000 Kurds still live in Armenia today. There are also many thousands of Kurds living in the neighboring countries of Georgia and Azerbaijan, where they are under assimilation. During Stalin's time, several thousands of Kurds in South Caucasus were deported to Central Asia and Siberia.
Nawroz is celebrated by different cultures, including the Iranian ethnic minorities and Azerbaijani groups. But Kurds celebrate March 21 as the start of spring. Kurdish Nawroz is a new year day against pain and oppression and a national day for freedom, peace and brotherhood.
By Roni Alasor / AKnews