“This newspaper has a great meaning for the whole Kurdish nation”

Interview with Sinam Khan Badirkhan about the newspaper 'Kurdistan'

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – April 22, 2021 is Kurdish Journalism Day, marking the 123rd anniversary of the publication of the first Kurdish language newspaper, "Kurdistan."

"Kurdistan" was published in Cairo in 1898 by Mikdad Midhat Badirkhan, the paternal uncle of Sinam Khan Badirkhan, one of the last remaining members of the Badirkhan family. Sinam, 83, now lives in Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

“I am very happy here, there is something that I missed [in the past],” she told Kurdistan 24 this week in an interview in her home in the capital, where she has been living since 2006.

“Now I can speak my language, I don’t have to speak Arabic, Turkish, or Persian, and I see my flag, this is something very great for me.”

She added that the newspaper "Kurdistan" was created in exile in Egypt for Kurds who were scattered over four countries: Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. The family wanted the Kurdish people to have a newspaper to learn and know their own heritage, she said.

Therefore, she said Thursday’s anniversary of the newspaper’s first publication and Kurdish Journalism Day are very important: “Other people celebrate their newspapers and their revolution, so why don’t we? It’s important for the Kurds to know that we are educated, and we can read, and had our first newspaper.”