The end of the Soviet Union in 1990 caused the creation of 34 new independent countries such as Ukraine, Armenia, Latvia and Georgia. These nations passed by a phase of political turmoil, revolutions and wars before bringing back order. Another 13 countries became also independent through different causes like Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia and the last one in date was South Sudan in 2011, which is now witnessing its state of instability.
Kurdistan is on the way of becoming the 197th country in the world to sign the Geneva Conventions agreement before their independency referendum scheduled in late 2014. Kurdistan is not a new entity in this region of the world; it’s already an autonomous province of Iraq that has its proper currency, flag, language and administration (in 2005).
Kurds: A People Whose Time Has Come
Kurdistan is named after the ethnicity of the people living in this vast area of the Middle East; the Kurds inhabited an area on the edges of 4 countries: Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.
Throughout history, Kurds were persecuted without really dislocating them from their lands, they fled to regional countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Armenia and Azerbaijan. They started a resistance with the creation of the PKK militia that faced Ankara’s army along the Turkish borders, which led in 1999 to the abduction and imprisonment of its leader Abdallah Ocalan by the Turkish authorities.
Following the Iraqi invasion in 2003, the PKK militia revived the tension along the borders, which led to many casualties from both sides without reaching a peaceful agreement. In 2012, Turkey opened direct negotiations with Ocalan in prison, admitting his role as the PKK leader and came to an agreement for a no-hostility on the two sides of the borders. A Mandela scenario for the president of the new Kurdistan?
The biggest tragedy for the Kurds was the Halabja chemical attack in 1988 after a Kurdish revolt against Saddam Hussein’s regime was brought down violently. It turned to out to be a coup backed by western powers to intimidate the late dictator in his war against Iran.
After 2003, Kurds found the best opportunity to realize their dream in establishing their own independent country; unlike a state like Israel, they peacefully and slowly turned their historic land to a stable, secured and prosperous area. But the idea of annexing all regions seems to be unattainable; instead they are planning to repatriate Kurds from Iran, Syria and other countries to the new Kurdish state.
The Kurds in Lebanon
According to the last poll done in 1998, the numbers of Kurds in Lebanon are estimated between 100,000 and 150,000 living in areas around Beirut like Quarantaine, Nab’aa, Bourj Hammoud, and others part of the Lebanese capital. Their exodus to Lebanon started after WWI when they left massively from Turkey until they flee Iraq during the Gulf War in 1990. In Lebanon, very few were able to take a citizenship and become Lebanese, they are considered as Sunni Muslims not a minority, without having any political or social influence.
The major strengths of the new Kurdistan will be in a strong economy based on oil exports, social services, and tourism; besides becoming a major trade hub between Asia and the Middle East. Kurdistan and in particular its capital Erbil became in no time the new “eldorado”, attracting local and world investors to a more authentic version of Dubai.