SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Galawezh, a literary festival in the city of Sulaimani that has endured for two decades, is focusing this year’s edition on literature from the Armenian genocide under the Ottoman Empire.
The four-day festival, which ends Wednesday, has followed an annual tradition of focusing on the literature of a particular country, often with links to Kurdistan.
This year’s pick, Armenia, is a nation divided by language and culture but united in a common past of genocidal campaigns, mirroring the Kurds’ own recent history.
The Armenian Genocide of the 20th century led to the death of about 1.5 million people at the hands of the then Turkish Ottoman Empire.
The Kurdish Genocide, on the other hand, was committed at the hands of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, under his so-called Anfal campaign. At least 182,000 Kurds, notably in rural areas, were killed under the systematic military campaign to wipe out a whole nation.