Kurds celebrate Newroz 2021 in NSW parliament

March 20, 2021

The Kurdish community in Australia held a Newroz (Kurdish New Year) celebration in NSW Parliament House, the oldest parliament in the country, on March 16. It was hosted by Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker and Labor MP for Blacktown Stephen Bali, and attended by several other MPs and former MPs from a range of parties.

As Mira Ibrahim from the Democratic Kurdish Community Centre NSW explained in her welcome, this was very significant because tyrants have not only denied Kurds their homeland, tried to extinguish their language and culture but even tried to prevent Kurds from celebrating Newroz.

This was later underlined poignantly when Kurdish singer Ardıl Ӧzgür introduced the song Newroze Newroze. "My name means 'freedom' but before I came here I was not allowed to sing in my mother tongue," he said softly.

"For the Kurdish people, the first day of spring has important political meaning as it symbolises the day on which Kawa the blacksmith defeated Dehak the tyrant," explained Brusk Aveiveri, Co-Chair of the Democratic Kurdish Community Centre. Today, he added, the example of Kawa is "inspiring a revolution against the contemporary Dehaks"  based on the ideas of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan that the creation of states on the basis of ethnicities and the single nation is inhuman.

The Halabja massacre was remembered because on March 16, 1988, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein launched the largest chemical weapons attack against a civilian-population, against the predominantly Kurdish city of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan. At least 5000 were killed and thousands more injured, explained Gule Rose the Co-chair of the Democratic Kurdish Community Centre and she called for a minute's silence in memory of the victims of this massacre

Videos by Peter Boyle for Green Left.