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Nawroz

Friday August 22, 2003 09:08:43 PM -0400

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       Every year on March 21st, the Kurdish people celebrate Nawroz. In the Kurdish language, Nawroz means "new day", by which the Kurds mean the first day of spring. The Kurdish calendar begins on this day. Nawroz, therefore, is the new day, the first day of spring, the first day of the new year. The Kurdish nation has been celebrating Nawroz since the time of ancient history. This tradition dates back to the myth of Kawa the Blacksmith. On March 21st in the year 612 B.C., Kawa killed the Assyrian tyrant Dehak and liberated the Kurds and many other peoples in the Middle East. Dehak was an evil king who represented cruelty, abuse, and the enslavement of peoples. People used to pray every day for God to help them to get rid of Dehak. On Nawroz day, Kawa led a popular uprising and surrounded Dehak's palace. Kawa then rushed passed the king's guards and grabbed Dehak by the neck. Kawa then struck the evil tyrant on the head with a hammer and dragged him off his throne. With this heroic deed, Kawa set the people free and proclaimed freedom throughout the land. A huge fire was light on the mountaintops to send a message: firstly to thank God for helping them defeats Dehak, and secondly to the people to tell them they were free. This is where the tradition of the Nawroz fire originates. Today, Nawroz is not just a day for remembering, it is also a day for protest and resistance against the oppression which the Kurdish people continue to suffer from. Since the recent struggle for national liberation began, some Kurdish martyrs used their own bodies to carry the flames of Nawroz, In Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, resistance actions from the civilian population have given the Nawroz festival new life. But year after year, the Turkish State reacts to Kurdish cries for self-determination with violence and massacres. What about democracy in Turkey!? At present, the world's 35 million Kurds, the largest people in the world without their own state, are a persecuted nation living under foreign occupation. The Kurdish situation today is similar to their situation back in the days when King Dehak enslaved the ancient Kurds. Saddam Hussein of Iraq is much worse than Dehak. He is carrying out genocide against the Kurdish people in Iraq. The army and police in Turkey are no better than Dehak's thugs are. And officials in Iran exploit and enslave the people of the Kurdish regions of Iran just as Dehak's agents did in the past. Kurdistan must be free. The Kurdish people need a voice in International affairs. Let us raise the flag of freedom and justice! We cannot remain silent in the face of the massacres, which the Kurdish people are suffering. Now is the time for all people to show their solidarity and support the national liberation struggle in Kurdistan. This struggle is not just for Kurdistan; it is for all humanity. No one can be free until we all are free. We are calling on everyone to celebrate Nawroz according to its original spirit of resistance. Nawroz does not just belong to the Kurdish people; it is a possession for all oppressed peoples and for all of humanity. We believe the spirit and actions of Nawroz can give strength to all humanity to end injustice and oppression. We say "Nawroz Piroz Be! - Happy Nawroz!" to all our people and to all our friends and to all of humanity.

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Last Updated 08/22/03

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