The School of International Service is proud to offer a course in Kurdish Studies, “Kurds and Their Neighbors,” taught by Barzani Scholar Mohamed Alaa Abdel-Moneim. Available to both undergraduate and graduate students from a range of disciplines, this course approaches identity and politics in the Middle East from a range of viewpoints, including the historical, anthropological, and religious, and works to leverage this knowledge into a more comprehensive understanding of a complex region.
Cognizant of recent upheavals, “The Kurds and Their Neighbors” also seeks to engage with current events, providing students with practical skills for writing op-eds, policy memos, and policy briefs. In addition, the course has brought in a variety of Kurdish speakers to enrich learning. Qubad Talabani, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s US representative, spoke to students on Kurdish-Arab relations and politics within the KRG, and Pary Karadaghi, executive director of Kurdish Human Rights Watch, spoke about the plight of Kurds under the Saddam regime in Iraq. Students also had an opportunity to hear Sirwan Kajjo, a Kurdish journalist and human rights activist, speak about the role of Kurds in the Syrian uprising.
This comprehensive course offers valuable insight and tools for any student with an interest in the Kurdish people or identity politics within the Middle East.