By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

A Letter to H.E. Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

with 2 comments

May 4, 2015

Mr. Masoud Barzani
Kurdish Regional Government
Erbil, Iraq
For delivery in Washington, D.C.

Dear President Barzani:

With great pleasure we welcome you to the United States.  I am so happy about the evident progress of the Kurdish people in their long struggle for their rights and autonomy, and their partnership with America.

Fifty years ago – in the spring of 1965 – I interviewed and photographed your esteemed father in Kurdistan.  I was traveling through the mountains with a group of pesh mergas under the command of Colonel Akrawi, on assignment from Life Magazine, which published my article and photographs.

I have never forgotten that experience. Mullah Mustafa Barzani asked me to help the Kurdish cause with the people of America, and I have tried to do that in my modest ways as a photographer and writer. Much time and many events have passed on the world stage, but in my heart I have never forgotten the wonderful hospitality and special character of the Kurds.

In the last two years I have published a series of blogs of these photos on  I have corresponded with Kurds in the U.S. and in Kurdistan, who warmly invite me to travel to Erbil.  My wife and I must think realistically about this at age 80!

Perhaps a comprehensive pictorial book can be published celebrating the dynamic present and inspiring history of the Kurds on their long road to autonomy. As part of that story. my diaries and pictures of your father, the pesh mergas, the hospitable village life and beautiful landscape would be available.

Please accept the enclosed photograph of Mullah Mustafa Barzani as a token of my admiration for all that you and your people are doing to honor his memory.

William Carter

Barzani horse034brightness_corrected

View this video of “A Conversation with H.E. Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.”

I received this reply from Mr. Barzani dated May 17, 2015:

Letter from Masoud Barzani to William Carter

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


Written by bywilliamcarter

May 9, 2015 at 12:22 am

2 Responses

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  1. Great picture of a magnificent fellow.


    Jane Miller Chai

    May 11, 2015 at 1:32 am

  2. Fabulous and inspiring. Thank you.



    May 9, 2015 at 12:27 am

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