Let me just explain the relations between Kurds and Arabs in Iraq. In two words, very tense.
I will try to talk about this very-sensitive issue. As everyone tries to avoid it. But avoiding a sensitive issue, is like trying to run from the realities.
There are some old hatreous between the two groups. Whatever you call it, there are some racisms from both sides.
For example, most Arabs in Iraq think that Kurdistan is part of their Arab homeland. And they refer to it as their "Beloved North". But when they come to Kurdistan, they face the harsh reality. People speak another language, the geography of the area is different, the people are different, the civil and social issues are different, an entirely different state from the rest of Iraq. Especially now, where war has torn up Iraq and Kurdistan is almost intact (apart from the high-level security measures). They find out "This is not their Arabic homeland, this is Kurdistan."
Kurds have faced discrimination since the start of the Iraqi state in 1921. Now, the Americans are telling us to forget about history. But they forget, that you don't forget about history, but you learn about history. Otherwise, what is the point of all these academic researches into history ?!!! (Yeah you learn from it, you don't forget it)
These discriminations have been at both levels, discriminations by the Arab population, and discrimination by the government, and sometimes discrimination by the Kurdish officials who were employed by the Iraqi government.
Now these discriminations go on and on, according to the Institute of Peace & War Reporting, Kurdish students in Arabic universities are facing discrimination on a wide level.
Universities now in Iraq & Kurdistan, take %5 of their applications from non-local applicants.
The report says :
But Kurdish students say they are increasingly discriminated against byThere are some very common cases in that report. But these are not new to Kurds. I have some personal experiences of being discriminated.
Arab university administrators and teachers, and harassed by fellow
Arabs have a tradition, making racist jokes on Kurds. This is very common. Fine, you joke for fun. But you don't have to insult.
I was once with some Arabs (some old some young). We started telling jokes. They started joking about Kurds, and they went on for about half an hour. I didn't say anything first.
But then I said "Excuse me, I know 1000 jokes and I can simply replace the word SOMEONE with the word ARAB and make you all cry. You don't need to be racist when you want to make someone smile".
One of them responded, "But you are a Kurd, Kurds are dumbs, that is the truth", and everyone else laughed (as a sign of agreement) . I didn't say anything because I don't need to go into a pointless racist discussion.
I don't try to generalise all Arabs as having anti-Kurdish sentiments, but I can say that there is a majority of Arabs that are born with these sentiments, especially when parents teach their kids racist jokes.
I just wonder who is the dumb here, some Kurds who are tyring to build a democratic soceity in the Middle East, the guys who fight everyday in Najaf & Fallujah, or the Bush Adminstrations that are forcing Kurdistan to be part of Iraq.