More than 200,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees have moved into Iraqi Kurdistan. They have crossed an international border to be sure, yet it is, in the Kurdish world view, a passage from one part of their homeland to another. The Kurds disregard these frontiers, imposed on the Fertile Crescent almost a century ago by Anglo-French power.
Gorge Mardyan and his family of four have lost most of their possessions. Gorge left his job as a printer and they have fled their large home in Aleppo, Syria, for a cramped one-room apartment in the disputed South Caucasus region. Yet they feel lucky. They hope they are out of danger.
The president of France is getting ready to sign a bill making it a crime in his country to deny that a century ago, the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against Armenians. As President Nicolas Sarkozy’s own party proposed the legislation, we suspect that he will sign it. But it’s never too late to drop a bad idea.
Syria’s Kurds are carving out a self-governed zone as the decay of President Bashar al-Assad’s government creates an opportunity for a people who missed out on a state after Ottoman empire’s collapse almost a century ago.