By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

Much More on the Kurds Part 1

with 3 comments

yet_more_1.1northern Iraq 1965

photographs and text © William Carter


Because there’s been such a huge response to my Kurdish blogs (including a speaking request in California), I dug deeper and found more images from my trip to their mountain homeland in June 1965.
The figure at left is legendary leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani, father of the current President of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani.

(By the way, I received several requests that I call it simply “Kurdistan,” not “Iraqi Kurdistan.” Well, that request is thick with politics. Suffice it to say I am an American, and my country is a member of NATO, which includes Turkey, whose southeast corner has an overwhelmingly large Kurdish population. Yet in my heart I am thrilled that the U.S. military and the Kurdish peshmerga fighters are working shoulder to shoulder these days–in a part of the world where trust is always in short supply)

More than 50 years ago, the day I was saying goodbye to Mullah Mustafa, we shook hands, and he said, “Please help us in America.” Through the translator I replied, “America is a big ocean, and I only have a small cup.”

Everyone laughed.

A few days later, when I rode away on a donkey, east toward the Iranian border, my peshmerga hosts lined themselves along the brow of a hill, waving for a while, then just standing there and watching me go, for nearly an hour, until I dropped out of sight.

Not, though, out of mind.






Copyright statement: William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.


Written by bywilliamcarter

November 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Thank you, Bill, for these reminders about the Kurdish people.



    November 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm

  2. Bill,
    How very moving!
    A small cup of ocean may be very potent if used wisely….
    Betsy & Hans


    Betsy Nilson

    November 13, 2014 at 1:24 am

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