Kurds & Kurdistan

Want to learn more about Kurds? Need another great book? Author Alesa Lightbourne shares
her recommendations for must-reads about Kurds at Shepherd’s Best Books List.


Check out this music video showing some great scenes of village life in rural Kurdistan.

Thanks to Thawra for sharing it.


Kurds celebrating Nawroz in Kirmashan, the old Kurdish capital of the Sassanian Dynasty. Thanks to Bakhtiar Zuhdi for sending the photo.


More Resources

The current situation in Kurdish Iraq is volatile, and the entire region is in a state of flux. Few books are available; those that exist quickly become dated. Here are a few suggested resources:

  • Ekurd.net — a good Internet resource for breaking news affecting the Kurdish people.
  • Rudaw.net/english — another excellent site for up-to-the-minute reports.


  • Daughters of Smoke and Fire by Ava Homa (Iranian Kurd)
  • Take What You Can Carry by Gian Sardar (American of Kurdish descent)

Nonfiction Books:

  • A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Revolts: Journeys in Kurdistan by Christiane Bird, the very best overview of the region and history
  • No Friends But the Mountains by Behrooz Boochani (Iranian Kurd held prisoner on Australian detention island, horrific)
  • My Father’s Rifle: A Childhood in Kurdistan by Hiner Saleem (Iraqi Kurd)
  • Love in Torn Land by Jean Sasson (Female Peshmergas in Iraq)
  • Daughters of Kobani by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (American journalist imbedded with female Peshmerga fighting ISIS in Syria)
  • The Last Girl by Nadia Murad (Iraqi Yazidi captured by ISIS)
  • Elvis is Titanic by Ian Klaus (American teacher in Irbil)


  • Chaplin in the Mountains (my favorite, hilarious)
  • Resistance is Life
  • Turtles Can Fly
  • A Time for Drunken Horses
  • Bekas
  • Half Moon
  • Yol
  • Kilometre Zero
  • Blackboards
  • Memories on Stone

American Herro is a film available on Amazon Prime and other outlets about Herro Mustafa. She came to the US as a child from Irbil in Kurdistan. Her family was fleeing Saddam Hussein. She became an important diplomat in the US State Department.

Other articles on the Kurds can be found below:

Twilight of the Kurds in Foreign Policy, January 16, 2018:  Kurdish officials once dreamed of forging their own state out of the ashes of the war against the Islamic State. Now they are fighting for their very survival.

Reuters also published a simple guide to the various political parties in Kurdish Iraq, their history and their aims (September 2018). 

Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 9.32.19 AM
Kurds in the News: Founder of Chobani, a Turkish Kurd, tells his story in the New York Times August 26, 2018.


Click here to view photos from the author’s travels in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Buy now.

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