Acts 26:17-18

I will deliver you from the jewish people, as well as from the gentiles, to whom I now send you, "to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of darkness to light...


  Prior to the 20th century the Kurds had lived in multicultural and multilingual societies. At the end of World War I the Kurds found themselves divided between four states: Turkey, Persia, Iraq and Syria. The literary production of the Kurds and the development of the language was from then on, dependent on the freedoms they acquired in each of the states in which share their territory.

From the 20th century on, the development of Kurdish literature was sporadic and varied as the center of Kurdish culture moved between states. This was due to the fact that the main area of “Kurdistan” which was divided among assorted nations and/or went underground completely kept things in turmoil. By the end of WW II the use of Kurdish language was almost banned in its host states, with Turkey beginning a concentrated effort to “assimilate” the Kurdish ethnicity altogether in 1932 and later done in Iran as well.

Later in the 20th century manuscripts depicting the history of Kurdish dynasties were finally published as well as dictionaries, grammar books and encyclopedias by Kurdish personalities who marked their epoch, religious or not, appear in Kurdish and Persian. It is also during this time that Kurdish Literature began to see a renaissance if you will, although not in Kurdistan but in Western Europe where many of the Kurdish intellectuals had chose paths of exile taking refuge in Sweden and other European countries. Buoyed by other immigrant workers, the Kurdish intellectuals gather together in an effort to promote their language. In the 1970’s the Swedish authorities provided funding for the various Kurdish efforts sparking a resurgence of Kurdish language publications and books.

After some two hundred titles being produced in ten years, a dozen or so Kurdish intellectuals met in France in 1983 to form the Kurdish Scientific Institute in the West. After just a few short years more than 300 Kurdish individuals from various countries joined the institute to help maintain its mission of safeguarding and renewing the Kurdish Language and Culture. The institute publishes a monthly bulletin in various languages related to the development of Kurdish works. They were also the first to encourage the development of the Zaza / Dimili language and they continue their work meeting biannually to study the problems of modern terminology.

John Chrysostom

No one should give the answer that it is impossible for a man occupied with worldly cares to pray always. You can set up an altar to God in your mind by means of prayer. And so it is fitting to pray at your trade, on a journey, standing at a counter, or sitting at your handcraft.


To the Kurd music is key to daily life. Every activity has its song played on various instruments. Originally songs were written as purely vocal in nature. Music has always played a key role in the life of the Kurds even divided as they were in ancient times by feudal barriers and now by state borders. Music was and is a unifying force. Everything imaginable: historical chronicles, poems, literary works etc. were put to music as a way of preserving it for posterity. Kurdish songs were written for various occasions like weddings, departure from the plains, or descent down the mountains in the fall, New Years' Celebrations etc.

Transmitted orally from generation to generation, the song, as a general rule, retains quite faithfully to its original words. The role of instruments is relatively secondary, the melody itself has a fundamentally vocal character. The instrumental accompaniment is intended mostly to make the listener more receptive to the vocal message.

There is a difference between the mountain culture (of nomad origin) and the sedentary culture of the plains that is obvious in the field of music. The music of the mountain people makes more use of wind instruments and stringed instruments dominate the music of the plains' people. The tenbûr, a six-stringed lute is a favorite amongst the plains' inhabitants.

However, even though they may use different instruments whether from the plains or the mountains Kurdish songs have numerous traits in common that make them distinctively Kurdish. The traditional Kurdish song has a repetitive structure that has a unified melody which generally consists of from three to seven musical phrases. Each stanza contains in itself the whole melodic line, and from one stanza to the next only the words change.

Kurdish music continues to be central to daily life even to this day. The Kurds have their own pop stars and bands. Our prayer then should be towards the encouragement of songs of worship appropriately created in the Dimili language.