ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurd in the United States who is running to become the next mayor of Moorhead, a city in the state of Minnesota, has called for more Kurds to get involved in politics to improve Kurdistan’s future.
Ahead of local elections in Moorhead on Nov. 6, Newzad Brifki, a Kurd from the Kurdistan Region, encouraged the Kurdish diaspora to enter politics to put Kurdistan on the map.
“Running for office is not easy. If you have the time, money, and support, then do it. We need more Kurdish diaspora to be involved in politics if we want a future Kurdistan on the map,” Brifki told Kurdistan 24.
“I would tell my fellow Kurds: if you are serious about politics, train yourself, be ready, stay focused, and have a good background.”
Brifki was 3 years old when his family was forced to flee the Kurdistan Region under the oppressive Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.
The Kurdish-American spent four years in a refugee camp in Turkey before arriving in the US in 1992.
Brifki, now a father and husband, earned a degree in business administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2008. A year later, he founded the Kurdish Community of America, a resource facility in Moorhead that serves the area’s Kurdish population.
He went on to complete a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Mary in 2014. Brifki has also written a memoir about his struggles and triumphs, chronicling his journey from Kurdistan to America, titled “My Journey to America: A Kurdish-American Story.”
The Kurdish-American is now running for office to become the next mayor of Moorhead, a city with a population of just over 43,000. He told Kurdistan 24 people in the city had responded positively to his background as a Kurd.
During my election campaign some people “were happy to know that I was of Kurdish descent,” Brifki said, adding others did not know what Kurdish or Kurdistan was.
Brifki said his primary goal if elected is to fix the city of Moorhead and improve the quality of life for its citizens.
“[Moorhead] has a lot of issues. I want to start [by] fixing our downtown, filling empty buildings, better streets and services, expanding our parks, and human population.”
Brifki will broadcast the election day on his Facebook Live from 6 to 11:30 p.m. local time.