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Mustafa Barzani

Birth:1904

Death:1979

The Iraqi Kurdish leader who fought for fifty years to win Kurdish independence. Barzani, a prominent Kurdish national leader, became the leader of the Barzani tribe, who had revolted against the government in 1931. In 1945 he led 6,000 Kurds to Iran where the Soviet Union established a Kurdish republic and made him a major general. When the Soviets withdrew in 1947, he fled to Moscow. He returned to Iran in 1958. Shah of Iran supported him in his efforts to establish a Kurdish state but Iraqi tanks overran his troops in 1975 when the Shah ceased supporting him. Mustafa Barzani who died in exile as president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) at Georgetown Hospital, in Washington DC, was mourned by millions of Kurds and others. Mustafa Barzani has left behind his memory that remains alive in the hearts of all Kurds who support the aims he struggled for all his life. He remains the inspiration and ideal for today's Kurdish youth who are fired by the spirit, tenacity and resilience of the legend that appeared to have never wavered in his commitment to his struggle for peace, freedom and democracy.

Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin / Serkan Kurdi

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