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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/30/17

Review: Book about Sakine Cansiz, "The Accidental Martyr," along with the Publisher's Foreword

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(Reviewer: Hamma Mirwaisi)

"I became a part of my grandmother's stories."--the female guerrilla Viyan, after being engaged in combat against ISIS

This book is intended for people who read passing mentions of the Kurds in the news and wonder "Who are those people? What makes them tick? What do they want?" That's the reason we took on Hamma Mirwaisi's book, and the reason you should read it.

We should tell you up front that this book is not for you if you are:

"a Turkish nationalist who is completely and unquestioningly in favor of anything that current and previous governments may have said or done;

"a member of a law enforcement or military security organization who might get in trouble for reading something to do with the PKK, or

"a believer (as many are) that any mention of an organization that someone considers a terrorist entity is in effect a glorification that simply encourages its activities."

If that's you, stop now before you upset yourself (or get yourself in trouble). Give it to a library or university. Perhaps your side of the story will be told in the next book.

The book is written for those who might want to learn more about who the Kurds are and what motivates them. The sources for the book are largely Kurdish; even non-aligned publications like Wikipedia are subject to the biases of contributors, and since hardly anyone but Kurds care much about the Kurds, those sources are correspondingly weighted heavily towards a Kurdish point of view. Naturally Mr. Kurwaisi shares such a perspective. As editors, we think that readers are able to get past that bias, especially if it is openly declared; to understand the Kurds, you have to see them as they see themselves, even when they are wrong.

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Hamma Mirwaisi was exposed to the oppression of Kurds while still a youth, as his education was frequently interrupted by Iraqi government harassment. Forbidden from entering university in 1968, he had little choice but to join the peshmerga (more...)

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