Kurdistan Bloggers Union Publication : Kawa le Kurde - Kurdistan Bloggers Union

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005 

Publication : Kawa le Kurde

Well, I am aware that most of readers on KBU don't read French, but all the same I have the pleasure (and the vanity ?) to announce the publication of my novel, Kawa le Kurde.

"March 21, Norouz, first day of the year and first day of spring. Zohak the Arab, lord of the desert, king of Jerusalem and fifth emperor of Iran, looked at the plain of Ninive by the window of its castle"

The legend of Kawa the blacksmith and King Zohak tells the mythical fundation of the Kurdish people. It is connected with one of the oldest feasts in the world, Noruz, celebrated by all the Kurds and Iranian people.

Jemshid, the fourth king of Iran after the creation of the world, lost his power because of his pride, and his vassals revolted. An Arab prince, Zohak, seized the throne and made saw in two parts his unfortunate rival. But the new king had a particularity : Evil cursed him with two snakes on his shoulders, and these snakes, each morning, need to eat human brains : they were the consequence of a pact between Zohak and the devil. So every morning, two young men were sacrified to nourrish King's snakes. The legend tells that three Iranian nobles, disguised like physicians, tricked and sacrified only one victim out of two, by melting his brain with a sheep's one. The survivor had to flee in the mountains, to hide there, and these thousands of fugitives became the Kurds, the moutaineer people. At the end of Zohak's reign, a blacksmith called Kawa, who had had seventeen sons of which sixteen had been sacrificed by Zohak, revolted when his last son was seized by the king's men.

This story had been taled many times, in an oral or written way, by Kurds, Persians, Afghans. I give there my own version, connected with the contemporary history of Kurdistan, the Land of frozen words, the land where the forbidden, tracked, denied Kurdish language run cold and freezes in men's mouths. For the story of the revolted Kawa and the tyrannical king repeated itself during centuries, in the history of Kurds, a people who remained out of the world of cities and power. So I melt it with reals stories (or inspired by real facts), the Contemporary stories from the Land of frozen words : stories lived by Kurds, scenes at which I was myself present, for 10 years of peregrinations in Kurdistan, or which Kurds told me directly, or some historical events as Mazlum Dogan's suicide in the prison of Diyarbakir, or bombardments on Halabja.

I want the book as an epic (many characters are nods to great Iranian legends, like Khosrow and Shirin, Bijen, Rostam, Zal…) but also a reflection on power, how a tyranny takes hold of a country and lasts, why a man chooses at the end to revolt, when and though it is almost too late, and what was the essence of oppression against Kurds : a will of uniformity, of conformity to a single model of rule, and how they ever appear as a source of troubles, a trouble-maker people.

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