Story of American who helped Kurdish immigrants in 1976
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – In 1976, a number of Kurdish families immigrated to Nashville, the first wave of Kurdish immigration in US history. An American citizen named Bill Sinclair, who worked as a resettlement specialist, welcomed them.
“In 1976, I received a call from our national office and they asked if I would help to resettle Kurds, and I said I would be happy to help,” Sinclair told Kurdistan 24’s Washington-based correspondent Issa Chomani.
He said that when they first told him about the Kurds, he didn’t know anything about them. “I said I don’t know what a Kurd is and they said well there’s some great articles in National Geographic you can learn about the history of Kurdistan, so I did that,” he noted.
Sinclair added that he has admired the Kurds for the 47 years that he has known them.
“I’ve worked with people from thirty different countries in my life and the Kurds as much as anyone on the planet are loyal and hard-working,” he added.
Sinclair reaffirmed that the Kurds as a political entity are good allies to the US. “Unfortunately, on some occasions we abandoned them,” he said, adding that he does believe Kurdistan should have its own state.
According to the most recent report by the US Census Bureau in 2018 report, there were approximately 190,000 Kurdish immigrants living in the United States, of which 20,000 Kurds were living in Nashville.