Top Iraqi, Kurdish officials inaugurate Barzani National Memorial
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Senior officials from Baghdad and Erbil, including foreign diplomats and international officials, took part on Thursday in the grand opening of the Barzani National Memorial in Barzan, to commemorate the legacy of the Kurdish legendary leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani.
President Abdul Latif Rashid, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani, and Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Al-Halboosi were among the Iraqi officials that attended the ceremony, where they were received by Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Masoud Barzani, KRG Premier Masrour Barzani, and Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani.
Diplomatic delegations from the UK, US, European and Arab countries, and the United Nations envoy to Iraq attended the ceremony.
After cutting the inauguration ribbon, the officials and guests toured the museum, whose interior design resembles a cave, depicting the stronghold of the Kurdish revolutionary leader Barzani.
The foundation stone of the Memorial’s three rotundas and the museum was laid in 2005. However, the construction of the site was not finalized until 2017. The inauguration was delayed due to political instability, the fight against ISIS, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a cultural institution, the museum symbolizes the legacy of General Barzani, who is widely considered the father of the Kurdish revolutionary movement. He died in 1979.
The BNM “serves as a reminder to Kurdish people of the endurance and sacrifices their ancestors made in order for them to visit a place like [the Memorial without fear],” according to the official website.
KDP President Barzani delivered the keynote speech and highlighted the long history of Barzani’s struggle for Kurdish freedom against successive local and foreign regimes.
He recalled the pillars of the Barzani doctrine, including combating discriminatory practices against women, environmental protection, patriotism, and humanitarianism.
The Iraqi premier and president also highlighted the Kurdish struggle for freedom and the late Barzani’s contributions to the cause in their remarks.
“One of the men we commemorate today here is the immortal General Mustafa Barzani, who is a national and historic leader,” Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani said, adding his efforts led to Iraq’s triumph over tyranny and oppression.
The Iraqi president extended his gratitude to those who participated in building the museum to “commemorate the legacy of His Excellency Barzani.”
The Memorial will serve as a “source for the current generation to understand the nation’s difficulties and history,” Kurdish President Nechirvan Barzani told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday.
The site is also home to seminar rooms, a mosque, a cinema, a dining hall, a library, and a gallery for visitors.
George W. Bush letter to President Masoud Barzani
Former US President George W. Bush, who could not attend the ceremony, sent a letter to President Barzani. Ms. Treefa Aziz from the Kurdistan Regional Government delivered his remarks.
“This is a remarkable tribute to your family’s contributions that have helped to reshape history,” the US president wrote to Barzani, congratulating the party leader and his family on the occasion of the inauguration ceremony.
“Muallah Mustafa Barzani’s legacy is one of hardship, sacrifice, and perseverance,” he said, adding the cultural site would serve as an “enduring reminder” of the legendary leader’s achievements for upcoming generations.
Bush, during whose administration, the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled, hailed Barzani’s leadership in the post-Ba’ath regime of Iraq.
“Your leadership was essential for Iraq to begin a new chapter after the fall of Saddam Hussein,” the 43rd US president added, describing the Kurdish leader as an “indispensable partner” of the US.