A seminal work in the field of Kurdish studies, Wadie Jwaideh’s pioneering research, published for the first time, presents a detailed analysis of the early phases of Kurdish nationalism and offers a framework within which to understand the movement’s later development.
Following Wadie Jwaideh’s dissertation defense, his doctoral chairman took aside Jwaideh’s wife, Alice, and asked her to submit the work for publication without Wadie’s permission, believing that Wadie’s penchant for perfection would postpone its publication indefinitely. The thesis was never published during Jwaideh’s lifetime, but its fame spread by word of mouth, and many scholars have recognized its importance not only as a study of the earlier periods of Kurdish nationalism but also as a model for understanding its subsequent history. The work now stands as a classic, referenced by some of the most renowned scholars in the field. Its publication will permit it to reach a greater audience and to contribute more fully to the understanding and appreciation of this geopolitical and cultural movement.
Jwaideh was born in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, into an Arabic-speaking Christian family that later moved to Baghdad. His intimate knowledge of the land and its people gave Jwaideh shrewd insight into Kurdish society and politics. Exploring the rich historical roots of the Kurdish national movement, he challenges the established view of the early Kurdish uprisings as isolated incidents triggered by economic hardship or political dissatisfaction. Instead he offers a new interpretation of the Kurds’ nationalist position, convincingly demonstrating the age and depth of their grievances. This complex and layered history of the Kurdish nationalist movement offers a valuable perspective from which to view the current conditions in Iraq. Jwaideh’s sensitive and prescient treatment of this region gives his study great contemporary relevance.
Wadie Jwaideh founded and taught in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at Indiana University.
7 x 10, 440 pages, 19 black and white illustrations, 2 maps