By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

Seeds of Today’s Headlines

with 3 comments

plus some heartwarming responses

by William Carter

Mullah Mustafa Barzani, 1965

Mullah Mustafa Barzani, 1965

Running in this space for several months, my Kurdish blogs attracted wide attention, not least from the Kurds themselves. Seeing unknown, 50-year-old photographs of their own legendary founding hero, Mullah Mustafa Barzani (left), was a heart-warming revelation.

One non-Kurd who responded was Chris Kutschera, who runs a photo archive in Paris dedicated to his and others’ photographs from Kurdistan, and to his several books and many articles on the Kurds. Chris has added a number of my 1965 photographs to his ongoing collection, which can be visited at

These days I get up early to scour the headlines for the latest news of the Kurdish peshmergas’ valiant struggle against the ISIS marauders in Syria and Iraq, helped by U.S. airdrops of supplies. Those of you who see the New Yorker magazine can read Dexter Filkins’ recent report in depth and detail on these special people.

Over the years visiting journalists, including myself, have admired these proud and independent folks to the point of struggling to maintain professional objectivity on the ins and outs of their long-running struggle for “autonomy” within existing Iraq, Turkey, and Syria — or, one day perhaps, independence as a separate nation.

One Kurd who responded to my photographs of the ancient Mesopotamian stones was Kozad Ahmed.  A Kurdish archeologist born in Baghdad in 1967 (two years after my visit), he contextualized those stones in his detailed 2012 Ph.D. thesis at the University of Leiden in Holland, titled “The Beginnings of Ancient Kurdistan” (c. 2500-1500): A Historical and Cultural Synthesis.” Evidently those stones were smuggled out of the village of Betwata the 1970s, auctioned in Geneva and are now in museums in Jerusalem and Baghdad.

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Written by bywilliamcarter

October 27, 2014 at 6:35 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Here’s a special greeting ..nhkur on how much effort to arrange wonderful album or archive important — But I need to inform you and your location …. in this album go back to the life of our fathers, or sons of our people oppressed under the hands of the authorities and the previous one I’ve been immolated the former regime (of Saddam Hussein) since the time of my youth,,, I am one of the political prisoners in 1989__1990 I love every piece of the likes of liberty and Equality and justice,,, I scream to the world and say:Peace for all and freedom for all stopped fighting and devastation and destruction all over the world this is my word and I repeat every day with my students who spend five hours with them in school Peace for all and freedom for all stopped fighting and devastation and destruction all over the world this is my word and I repeat every day with my students who spend five hours with them in school I pray thee, more old people to serve the disadvantaged and the oppressed But what do you think about the photos, which I sent to you by these simple images of any camera Mobile (n 73) I beg you to keep this camera hole in your age in years and introduced in Kurdistan And introduced in the National Archives


    mahrof jajna

    November 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm

  2. Bill, after many years of enjoying your work it strikes me that among the many qualities in your photographs there is one quality that links them all and that is a deep understanding and appreciation of humility. Therefor, they will continue to inform us for many years to come.


    Ruaridh Webster

    November 1, 2014 at 1:26 am

  3. Thank you for sharing these soulful photos of these brave people. Their courage and determination give me hope.

    Liked by 1 person


    October 30, 2014 at 2:15 am

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