October 20, 2022

Who are the Kurdish people? And what are the implications of their presence in Iran, the larger Middle East?

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by Hadeel Oueis, Senior Research Fellow

The “largest stateless group in the world” – with an estimated population of over 40 million across four nations – is in the spotlight after the death of Mahsa “Jina” Amini, a Kurdish citizen

After years of gaining widespread attention for their crucial role in fighting and defeating the Islamic State in Syria, Kurdish women have made it to the headlines again, after 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini died while in custody of Iran’s “morality police.”

Amini was arrested for allegedly breaching the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.

The death of the Kurdish, Iranian woman sparked widespread protests that have spread throughout the country and garnered support around the world. Protests started after Amini’s funeral in northwest Iran – a Kurdish area of the country.

Her death also cast a spotlight on Iran’s persecuted Kurdish minority…