Nu kommer talet som hölls på Kurdistans nationaldag 5 mars av vårt företags företrädare i byn Barzan. En liten förklaring först; Hon som höll talet har bott utanför Kurdistan i 28 år. Talet hölls på engelska med översättning till kurdiska. Du som inte är nyfiken på kurder och Kurdistan ska inte fortsätta läsa längre än så här.
Good morning. I welcome you to this special day that we have organized.
Let me start with saying that I find it particular to be allowed to stand in a free part of Kurdistan.
I want you for a few minutes back in time. I will not treat all the history of Kurdistan - those consider I at you as confessed - but the idea rather about what attracts me. At the same time attracts me that we are now recognized as kurds in this part of Kurdistan.
And that we all in freedom can visit the tomb of our legendary national leader Mustafa Barzani. The father of all kurds. Visiting his tomb is a great honour.
Barzani was born in 1903 in Barzan (south Kurdistan). He was first imprisoned in Mosul, with his mother, when he was three years old.
Together with his older brother, he led the Kurdish fight for independence. In 1935 he became banished to Sulaymaniyah and escaped from there 7 years later.
He started again a new revolt against Baghdad, but unfortunately it was unsuccessful.
Barzani together with 1,000 of his followers were active participated in the newly founded Kurdish Republic of Mahabad, which was declared in december 1945, in Eastern Kurdistan. Mustafa Barzani was appointed as Minister of Defense and commander of the Kurdish army in the Republic of Mahabad. Qazi Muhammed was the president.
Unfortunately lasted this success only one year. Mahabad was overrun by Iranian troops. The President of the Republic of Mahabad was hanged in public. Barzani refused to deliver himself and returned back with his fighters to Iraq.
But once again he was forced to flee when the Iraqi, Turkish and Iranian forces joined their efforts against him. He went to the Soviet Union in Moscow where he studied political science and renewed contacts with Kurdish exiles.
Following the republican coup in 1958 in Iraq, Barzani was invited to return to Iraq by Prime minister Abdul Karin Qassim. He went further than Qassim had intended and suggested full autonomy for the Kurdish regions in the north.
This resulted in 1961 in a new conflict between the government and the kurds.
In march 1970 Baghdad and the Kurdish leaders reached a peace agreement. As a goodwill the Iraqi government recognized Kurdish people and considered Kurdish language a second official language in Iraq. Vice President Saddam Hussein offered the kurds an autonomy but without including Kirkuk, Mosul and some other Kurdish cities, and mandated full control of Iraqi army over Kurdistan.
Fight of Barzani against the Iraqi government followed in 1974, because the autonomy negotiations did not succeed in reaching an agreement.
In early 1975, Mustafa Barzani was forced to flee his homeland a final time.
It´s worthy of mentioning that while leaving Southern Kurdistan territories, Mustafa Barzani asked his driver to stop on the last point of the borders between Eastern and Southern Kurdistan. He got out of his car and went on the hill top, pointing towards Southern Kurdistan he said "Even now I do not give up Kirkuk".
Barzani was the primary political and military leader of the Kurdish revolution until his death in March 1979 in Washington DC. He is and remain for us the symbol of freedom. Kurdistan and Barzani belongs to each other. In our ideas is the one not possible without the other. Thanks to him we have reached this freedom today. We are proud of him.
One of the most important fundamental human rights is the right of recognition of your source.
We have made progress in some areas. Today 5 March is the day of revolution in Southern Kurdistan. The revolution which was started in March 1991 under the guidance of Masoud Barzani and succeeded fortunately. Let us hope that also the other parts of Kurdistan can reach the luck of freedom. If we all believe deeply in our heart in this dream, then it will certainly become a reality. That is the secret.
I want to use the occasion to say something concerning our organization at Ster Group.
In the past year we have tried to work with our companies and partners as a team in many areas. Problems were appointed inventoried and solutions worked. In the interviews I tasted the commitment, the great willingness and responsibility to work on it, learn from each other, work and communicate together and have respect for each other, that is our motto. I believe that in partnership, we can create a future enriched by respect for our unique cultures, a future that holds new hope of opportunity and peace for all.
It is already more than half year ago we started with two new departments within Ster, the HR and finance department. Soon IT will start also. Do you remember what was said? "That would not work here", "unclear", "unfair", "loosing your time". We were warned many times, because we had no work experience here.
I know that work mentality here differs from what I have got used to. But fortunately I am naturally an optimist. And in this case also a realist. Because the modification within Ster has shown that it is possible for a major problem to identify, nominate and to find a practical solution.
The social demand to change Ster is justified and has now some success. Such cooperation I would like to continue.
The involvement that we recently experienced, we now translate into action, in actual implementation.
Here we must be optimistic and realistic. Because I realize that the cooperation between our companies must be central and not as a local individuals. Of course, each has its own expertise communication and cooperation.
We do more . So we are working on forms of reintegration assistance in finance, education, where needed inside Ster. This we will continue.
Finally I want to notice still something. My complete life until August last year I have always spoken other languages than my mother language Kurdish outside my house. By the fact that I was a refugee and had lived in more foreign countries it was also not possible differently. For me it was obvious. Today in Southern Kurdistan it is possible to be yourself and act as yourself, without fear. More reason therefore to appreciate the wealth. It is strange that I must address you now in English.