In Hewlêr

Tom Stevenson

Almost everyone who lives in the city known to the rest of the world as Erbil calls it by its Kurdish name: Hewlêr. The Kurds in what is now Iraq – like the Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iran – have for decades been administered by a state that few of them think of as their own. The independence referendum held last month in Iraqi Kurdistan delivered the result everyone expected: 92.7 per cent of the population answered ‘yes’ to the question (posed in Kurdish, Arabic, Turkmen and Assyrian) ‘Do you want the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistani areas outside the administration of the Region to become an independent state?’ Their hope is that we will all start using Hewlêr instead of Erbil before long.

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