Facts About Kurdish

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Fact 1: Kurdish is the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East with an estimated population of about 34 million. Fifty-five percent of the Kurdish people are estimated to live in Turkey comprising approximately 18 percent of the Turkish population.

Fact 2: The Kurdish people are believed to have first emerged in the Medieval Era with people from different origins and tribes.

Fact 3: Salahuddin, or Saladin, was a Kurdish ruler and the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria who also founded the Ayyubid Dynasty. He is regarded as a great warrior and ruler by the Kurdish people, and there are many poems and heroic stories based on his life which are very popular among the Kurdish people.

Fact 4: Sharaf Khan Bidlisi was another prominent Kurdish emir of Kurdistan who was well known for his poetry and philosophical writings.

Fact 5: The majority of the Kurds are Sunni Muslims following the Shafi School of Thought. However, there are some Kurds who are Shia Muslims living in Iranian provinces. There are some Kurdish Jews as well living in Israel and Kurdistan. The Kurds follow a number of other religions as well, but they are very few in number.

Fact 6: The Kurdish language holds the official language status in Iraq and is a combination of various languages and dialects spoken by the Kurdish people living in the region referred to as Kurdistan.
Fact 7: The majority of Kurdish people speak at least two or more languages.

Fact 8: The Kurdish people have always been very prominent in government of the regions comprising Kurdistan. Throughout history they have played major roles in the governments of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. There have been several Kurdish dynasties signifying the important positions and roles played by the Kurdish people.

Fact 9: There are no officially associated Kurdish musical customs, but Kurdish entertainers are often storytellers and bards who use poetry and some stringed instruments to tell stories and legends about far-off places. There are some forms of religious music performed by some Kurdish people as well.

Fact 10: The Kurdish culture is derived from many different ancient cultures belonging to people who formed the Kurdish ethnicity.

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