ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The family of the Kurdish winner of the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the public reaction that has followed the announcement of their son's honor, the highest in his field.
Caucher Birkar, a Kurdish immigrant from Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhilat) and currently a Cambridge University professor, was one of the four nominees awarded the prize on Wednesday during a ceremony at the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Soon after the winners were announced, many well-wishers began to send congratulatory messages to Caucher’s family in the village of Ne, near the city of Mariwan.
Caucher’s father, Majid, told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday that his family is very proud of his son's achievement.
“People are ecstatic about it from the bottom of their hearts,” Majid said. “We thank them all.”
Haider, Caucher’s older brother, has been receiving congratulatory calls and messages since the award was announced.
"We thank people very much. Once the news was on social media and TV, they all started to contact us,” Haider told Kurdistan 24. "We tell them that a person like Caucher does not only belong to one family, but rather to a village, a city, and a nation.”
The residents of Ne held a special event on Thursday in honor of Caucher's achievement.
“I’m hoping that this news will put a smile on the faces of those 40 million people,” he told the ICM, referring to the millions of Kurds around the world.
Former President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in separate statements commended the Kurdish winner. In what appeared to be a response to Birkar’s wish, Masoud Barzani commented: “I am one of the 40 million and very happy for your success and am proud of you.”
“I hope that Caucher becomes a role model for our youths to work hard and, like him, through studying and science, maintain the good name of your nation,” Barzani added.
Editing by John J. Catherine
(Additional reporting by Kamil Bokani)