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Mobilised diasporas: Kurdish and Berber movements in comparative perspective

Ofra Bengio, Bruce Maddy-Weitzman

Abstract


This study is a comparative analysis of the role of diaspora communities in the political and cultural activities of the Kurds and the Berbers (Amazigh) - the two most prominent cases of ethno-national “imagining” among the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s two main “non-dominant” ethnic groups. Berbers and Kurds, however heterogeneous and varied their multiple historical experiences, all operate within the realm of territorial nation-states dominated by different ethnic groups which have been historically hostile towards alternative conceptions of the political and social order. Kurdish and Berber diaspora communities have engaged in important intellectual, cultural and political activities on behalf of their respective causes. Inevitably, this has also sharpened the hybrid nature of their identities, in ways which distinguish them from those still residing in the “homeland.” Overall, the Kurdish diaspora is far more mobilised on behalf of the homeland, politically and ethnically, than the Amazigh, a reflection of the advanced state of the Kurdish ethno-national cause.

 

Dûrwelatiyên birêkxistî: Bizavên Kurd û Berberan ji perspektîveka danberhevî 

Mijara vê lêkolînê hûrbîniyeka danberhevî ye li ser rola civakên dûrwelatî/diyasporayê yên Kurd û Berberan (Amazîng) di çalakiyên wan ên siyasî û çandî da. Ev her du civak du nimûneyên sereke yên xeyalkirina etno-neteweyî ne di nav civakên etnîk yên ne-serdest li herêmên Rojhilata Naverast û Afrîkaya Başur (RNAB). Her çend bi serboriyên xwe yên dirokî ew ne hemcure û ji hev cuda bin jî, Berber û Kurd xebatên xwe di qada netewe-dewletan de dikin ku tê da komên etnîk yên din serdest in. Ev komên serdest ji mêj ve ye dijberê konseptên siyasî û pergalên civakî yên alternatîv in. Civakên dûrwelatî yên Kurd û Berberan li ser nave gelên xwe, xwe têkilî çalakiyên girîng ên ronakbîrî, çandî û siyasî kirine. Bivê-nevê vê yekê bandoreka mezin heye li ser nasnameya wan a durehî/hybrid ku wan cihê dike ji kesên ku li ‘welatî’ mane. Bi giştî, Kurdên dûrwelatî li ser navê hemî welatiyên xwe ji layê siyasî û etnîkî pitir birêkxistî ne ji Berberan ku ev yek jî nişan dide bê doza etno-neteweyî ya Kurdan çendî kemilî ye.

 

دیاسپۆڕای مۆبیلیزەبوو (وەخۆکەوتوو) :بزووتنەوەی کورد و بێربێر لە رۆنگەیەکی بەرئاوردکارانەوە 

ئەم تۆژینەوەیە، لێکدانەوەیەکی بەرئاوردکارانەیە لە سەر رۆڵی کۆمەڵگای دیاسپۆڕا، لە پەیوەندی لە گەل ئەم چالاکییە سیاسی و کولتوورییانەی کورد و بێربێر (ئامازیغ) – دوو کەیسی هەرە بەرچاو لە "خەیاڵکاری" ئیتنیکی-نەتەوەیی لە نێو دوو گرووپی ئیتنیکی ژێردەستەڵات- لە رۆژهەڵاتی نێوەراست و باکووری ئەفریقا. بێربێر و کورد کە لە بۆاری ئەزموونی مێژووییەوە جیاواز و فرەچەشن، هەردووکیان لە چوارچێوەی خاکی ئەم دەوڵەت-نەتەوانە دا ژیان بە سەر دەبەن کە هەم شوینی ژیانی گرووپی ئیتنیکی جیاوازان و هەم لە بۆاری میژووییەوە لە ئاست چەمکگەلی جیگر لە بەرامبەر رەوشی سیاسی و کۆمەڵایەتی هەنووکەیی دا دوژمنکارییان کردووە. دیاسپۆڕای کورد و بێربێر، لە پەیوەندی لە گەل پرسی نەتەوەیی خۆیانەوە، بەردەوام چالاکی رەوشەنبیری، کولتووری و سیاسیان لە خۆیانەوە نۆاندووە. بە شیوازێکی، هاشاهەڵنەگر، ئەم چالاکییانە بوونەتە هۆکاری بەرجەستەبوونەوەی سروشتی هیبریدی یان دووڕەگانەی شوناسی وان، هەتا ئەم ئاستەی کە ئەوان لە خەڵکی نیشتەجیی ولاتی خۆیان جیاواز دەکاتەوە. بە شێوەیەکی گشتی، دیاسپۆرای کورد لە بەرئاوردکاری لە گەل دیاسپۆرای ئامازیغ، لە لایەن وڵاتی خۆیەوە گەلیک موبلیزەتر، هەم لە بۆاری ئیتنیکی و هەم لە بۆاری سیاسییەوە، نیشاندەری گەشەکردن و پێشکەوتنی پرسی ئیتنیکی-نەتەوەیی کوردە.


Keywords


Kurds; Berbers; diaspora; identities; nationalism

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