A Fire in My Heart: Kurdish Tales

Front Cover
Libraries Unlimited, 2008 - Architecture - 159 pages

From a culture too often forgotten, overlooked or even oppressed; here are more than 30 tales, representing all regions of Kurdistan and the four main Kurdish dialects-from the Kurdish Cinderella story and animal stories to stories based on legendary figures (e.g., Rustemé Zal-the Kurdish Hercules)-organized by theme and type. Most of these stories have been collected from contemporary Kurdish storytellers, with others translated and adapted from transcripts of oral tellings and small tale collections in the Kurdish dialect. Background information on the people, their history, their land, and their customs is provided, along with color photos, maps, a glossary, and sample recipes, crafts, and games. All levels.

The largest ethnic group without their own nation-state, there are an estimated 30-40 million Kurds living throughout the world today. The majority live in Kurdistan, a region stretching over parts of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. As a minority in these countries, the Kurds have struggled for independence throughout history and into recent times and have often been oppressed, persecuted and deported from their land. The purpose of this volume is to introduce readers to the Kurdish people, their cultural traditions and their stories. This unique collection, the first of its kind in English, features tales collected first-hand by the author during several years of travel to the Kurdish region of Turkey. A Fire In My Heart serves as a reference and program resource for educators and librarians, introducing students and the public to this ancient culture. The book is especially suited to those working with Middle Eastern children and their families in the US and abroad. From the Kurdish Cinderella story, Fatima, and humorous animal tales to stories based on legendary figures, for example the Herculean Rustemé Zal, these thirty-three tales from the varied regions of Kurdistan and the four major dialects are a wonderful resource for storytellers, folklorists and scholars. After seven years recording Kurdish tellers and traveling to remote mountain villages the author provides a valuable collection of previously unpublished tales, traditional recipes and games. The book is augmented by stories translated and adapted from small tale collections in Kurdish, as well as rare color photos from Iraqi-Kurdistan in 1955 and recent photos of village life. Background information on the Kurdish people, their history, land and customs is provided. All levels.

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User Review  - davidloertscher - LibraryThing

Looking at our shelf of unreviewed books, we came across this collection in looking for multicultural resources for the current issue of TL. We began this series of tales when this reviewer worked at ... Read full review


A Brief History of the Kurdish People

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About the author (2008)

Diane Edgecomb is an award-winning storyteller and theater artist who resides in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2001, she initiated The Kurdish Story Collection Project an international endeavor to document the stories and storytelling traditions of the Kurdish people. Beginning by recording Kurdish tellers in the United States and then abroad, Edgecomb made numerous trips to villages in the Kurdish region of Turkey filming and archiving a large complement of tellers. Selections for this book were taken from her collection of over 150 Kurdish tales and legends. In addition to her writing, Edgecomb has continued her work as storyteller and experimental theater artist, performing throughout the United States and abroad. Information on her audio recordings, recipients of two Storytelling World Honors Awards, can be found at www.livingmyth.com.

Mohammed M.A. Ahmed served the United Nations in various capacities for many years, first as a resident expert in Jordan, Syria, Bahrain and Sri Lanka and then as Senior Social Affairs officer at the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia. Upon leaving, he founded the Ahmed Foundation for Kurdish Studies, a non-partisan organization. Dr. Ahmed has organized numerous conferences on Kurdish issues and has published, as editor, in cooperation with Professor Michael Gunter several books on Kurdish topics including The Kurdish Question and the 2003 Iraqi War and The Evolution of Kurdish Nationalism.

Çeto Ozel is a Kurdish linguist and author of several books, including Kurdiya Nujen (Modern Kurdish), a primer on the Kurdish language and Kurdish, Education and Linguistic Rights - his most recent book published by Tevn Press. He is a founding member of the Kurdish Language Academy of Brussels and was on the board of the Istanbul Kurdish Institute for ten years.

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