‘Arabs and Kurds: Dialogue is the way to a common future’

2.1 women's rights panelists ZW
The women’s rights panelists at the “Arabs and Kurds: Dialogue is the way to a common future” conference. (Photo: Zane Wolfang/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Al-Quds Center for Political Studies on Saturday held a conference titled “Arabs and Kurds: Dialogue is the way to a common future”, the first of a series of events geared toward strengthening social, political, and academic ties between the Arab and Kurdish people of the region. It featured a diverse array of Kurdish and Arab panelists across three sessions of discussion. اضافة اعلان

Director of Al-Quds Center for Political Studies Oraib Al-Rantawi said that while many conferences on the topic have been held, “this dialogue has not been institutionalized”.

Participants at the “Arabs and Kurds: Dialogue is the way to a common future” conference which took place on Saturday, January 22, 2022. (Photo: Zane Wolfang/Jordan News)

The three sessions tackled “an overview of the common history of Arabs and Kurds, and ideas for building on commonalities, dispelling stereotypes and any mutual fears”, “the role of Kurdish and Arab women in maintaining peace and stability, establishing rules for coexistence and achieving justice for all”, and “a map of common interests and how to deal with the Kurdish question: equal citizenship, a democratic nation, self-determination, unified sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Rantawi said Arabs and Kurds “were founding nations of this region, thousands of years ago. Now, the Kurdish question is a big issue in Syria, in Iraq, in Iran ... We have many Jordanians and Palestinians of Kurdish origins, therefore, there is need to communicate and establish a serious dialogue with each other in order to reach a better understanding of our priorities, our interests, our fears, our concerns”.

The dialogue, he said, may help both Arabs and Kurds to build a more stable and prosperous future based on common interests and a common cultural ground.

“Without solving the Kurdish issue, I do not think the Levant, at large — Syria, Iraq, Lebanon — will be stable, prosperous or secure.”

Panelist Hanan Othman, head of Nawroz Association, a social and cultural center for Kurds in Lebanon, member of the Lebanese Women Council, the Lebanese Committee for Defending Women’s Rights, and a member of Kongreya Star, a women’s rights organization based in northeast Syria, focused on the role of Arab and Kurdish women.

She told Jordan News she attended the conference because “I see this dialogue as essential — the solution for the Kurdish people is through the Arab world; the Arab people, not the authorities. The way forward is to have solidarity between the Kurdish and the Arab peoples”.

As for the role of women, she referred to a “revolution of women” led by Kurdish women in the autonomous region of northeast Syria and cited a “unique experience” where Kurdish, Arab, Armenian, and Assyrian women are involved at every level, including leadership, of the military, politics, diplomacy, and all areas of society and culture.

She said that Arab women can look to these Kurdish women to learn a lesson about independence and struggling for equal rights, just as Kurdish women have learned from the experience of Palestinian and other Arab women in the past.

Attending the dialogue was also Rafiq Ghafoor, representing the Committee of the Kurdish-Arab Initiative.

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