Robert Brenneman provides a razor-sharp awareness of the Kurds' roots in the Middle East as well as their massive urban migration and the resulting cultural upheaval. Based on long-term research, this richly layered ethnography takes readers on a journey from the mountains of Ararat, the alleged resting place of Noah's Ark, to urban environments in a megalopolis like Istanbul, Turkey. Brenneman, who lived among the Kurds in both Iraq and Turkey, conducted fieldwork in such places as refugee camps, destroyed mountain villages, and tea gardens in Istanbul. He examines core and changing aspects of Kurdish culture, including human rights, ethnic identity, women's roles, family and community, religious practices, and the transition from oral tradition to literacy. In addition to providing insight into the worldview of the Kurdish people from antiquity to current events, the author points to key lessons that can be drawn from the ongoing dilemmas they face.
Titles of related interest from Waveland Press: Azoy, Buzkashi: Game and Power in Afghanistan, Third Edition (ISBN 9781577667209); Jordan, The Making of a Modern Kingdom: Globalization and Change in Saudi Arabia (ISBN 9781577667025); and Omidian, When Bamboo Bloom (ISBN 9781577667001).