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Understanding Kurdistan: A Model for Stability in the Middle East?

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

LISTEN to Nawzad Othman discuss Kurdistan on OPB's Think Out Loud

Kurdistan. Over the last few years discussions of the revolutions in the Middle and Near East have focused mainly on the “Arab Spring,” while little has been written about the role this non-Arab minority is playing in shaping the future of the region. With a population of 35 million, the Kurdish people are the largest ethnic group without a country. Who are they? How do they fit in to the evolving picture of the region?


Struggling for independence over a century—isolated , discriminated against and often brutalized—Kurdistan sits at the crossroads of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, and is nestled in a spectacularly fertile and energy-rich region. Iraqi Kurdistan is autonomous. It is economically booming, secure, secular and optimistic about the future. It seems to be working – could it be a model of stability in the turbulent region?

Nawzad Othman, CEO of The Othman Group, founder and former CEO of Otak and on the Board of Trustees of the World Affairs Council, will talk about the Kurds and the Region. Nawzad is an American of Kurdish descent, born in Kurdistan, who immigrated to the US in 1957. From a family deeply rooted in Kurdish history and culture, he will discuss the issues from a personal perspective.