Friday, 7 September 2007

Massoud Barzani

A slight detour to the southwestern edges of Central Asia - this is Massoud Barzani, who was born in the shortlived Kurdish Republic of Mahabad in Iran. His father Mustafa was an important figure in the Kurdish national movement.

After Mahabad fell, the family fled to the Soviet Union, and Massoud later went to Iraq to live with his grandfather and go to school. At the age of 16, he quit school and joined his father's armed rebellion against the Iraqi government, after promises to grant national rights to Kurds were not fulfilled. (BBC)

Here, Massoud is at the tender age of 17.

After more mutton and baklava, and less physical exercise than the life of a guerilla fighter would provide, as well as a couple of massive foreign interventions in Iraq (1991 and 2003-present), Massoud, as the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, went on to become a suit-clad politician and president of Iraqi Kurdistan.

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