KURDISTAN–After the fall of the Ottoman Empire the borders were re-drawn, and Kurdistan, country of the Kurds that spread from northern Iraq, Eastern Turkey and Western Iran and was litterarly wiped off the map. During Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship in Iraq, the Kurds were oppressed, refused humanitarian rights, and virtually forced to flee to the mountains. They were not recognized as Iraqis, but merely aliens in their own land. Christiane Bird illustrates the struggele of Iraqi Kurds in her book, A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Revolts: Journeys in Kurdistan.
Kurdistan, (while it may not be recognized as a country) now has been given autonomous powers from the Iraqi government in the recent years following Saddam Hussein’s fall. Lavish oil fields have been discovered in Kurdistan, and with the new semi-sovereignity they are able to participate in global trade. A 1/3 of Iraq’s oil can be found in Kurdistan. The Iraqi Oil Military have resisted allowing the Kurds to have complete control over the oil fields, and have taken various ways to try to eliminate their competition, such as establishing a carbon tax that has hurt the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government). Kurdistan’s oil is currently traded through pipelines in Turkey to around the world, including Hungary, United Arab Emirates, and Austria. Baghdad is trying everything it can to undermine the oil exports from Kurdistan, including blacklisting all the European countries that imports Kurdish oil.
The Kurdistan described in Bird’s A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Revolts is dug deep in poverty, and is still seeking a global idenity–five years later from when it was published the KRG has been able to take care of its people more succesfully than ever with the incoming surge of profits from exporting oil, and the Kurds have indeed found themselves a global idenity–An important player in world politics.