Thursday, 21 April 2011

Kurds alter cultural and linguistic fabric of non-Kurdish areas around Iraq’s Mosul

By Samer Saeed

Azzaman, April 19, 2011

There are grave concerns in Mosul, the provincial capital of Nineveh, that Kurds are on their way to add the provincial districts and villages they control to their dominions.

A statement, issued by the Unified National Trend, a political faction in the city, said the Kurds, relying on their heavily armed militias, were treating the provincial areas under their control as part of Kurdish territory.

The statement, signed by the group’s leader, Nourideen al-Hayali, said the Kurds were even trying to alter the linguistic and cultural character of the provincial districts they occupied shortly after the 2003-U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Most of the small towns and villages to the north and north west of Mosul, which administratively are an integral part of Nineveh Province, are now under Kurdish militia occupation.

The administration of education, health and local government in these areas is a prerogative of Nineveh Province and the provincial council in Mosul.

But the Kurds are reported to be seizing the opportunity of the absence of Iraqi troops and security forces to spread their cultural domination of the areas under their control.

Hayali claimed in his statement that the Kurds were forcing their language as the medium of instruction in schools in districts and villages where Arabs, Turkmen or Syriac-speaking Iraqi Christians are the majority.

He said more than 200 school which used to offer courses and programs in Arabic have been seized, and their teaching staff replaced by Kurdish-speaking instructors.

He cited Baashiqa, a predominantly Syriac-speaking Christians, and its environs, where he said more than a 1000 schools have been forced to switch to Kurdish.

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