Skip to comments.Kurdistan bids farewell to Great Uncle Jalal Talabani
Posted on 10/06/2017 4:20:02 AM PDT by Texas Fossil
People in Sulaimani pay tribute to the former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Photo: Rudaw/Sartip Othman
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region The people of Kurdistan and Iraq are preparing to say farewell to Jalal Talabani, the first elected non-Arab president of Iraq who oversaw the immediate aftermath of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Talabani died in Germany on Tuesday. His body left Berlin Friday morning, flying directly to the Kurdish city of Sulaimani, arriving just before midday.
His wife Hero Ibrahim Ahmad and two sons Qubad and Bafel accompanied Talabanis body.
Talabanis coffin, draped with the Kurdistan flag, was greeted with a 21-gun salute at the airport. The national anthems of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region were then played.
The late leader was welcomed by local and foreign delegates, including Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, as well as Iraqi President Fuad Masum and Irans Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
Kurdish and foreign leaders have laid wreaths of flowers in tribute to the service of President Talabani. Wreaths were laid by Iraqi President Fuad Masum, President Barzani, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif, Iraqs Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji on behalf of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, as well as United Nations envoy to Iraq Jan Kubis and the US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman, among others.
His body will be taken to the Great Mosque in the city and then to Dabashan hill, where he will be buried.
Talabani is known among the Kurds as Mam Jalal or Uncle Jalal. In later years, some of his party supporters began calling him Great Uncle.
All Kurdish parties in the Kurdistan Region and elsewhere have sent delegates to Sulaimani to say goodbye to the Kurdish leader, including the Democratic Union of Kurdistan (PYD) from Syria and the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey.
People began gathering throughout Sulaimani early this morning, waiting to receive Talabani back home. He will be buried on Dabashan hill where he used to live.
For many Kurds, the death of their beloved uncle is like losing a member of their own family.
A woman holding a portrait of Talabani with tears in her eyes said that every Friday she visits the graves of her husband and two cousins, Peshmerga who were killed in battle. Today, however, she will attend Talabanis funeral instead.
I hope we will not lose the path of our martyrs, she said.
A Kurdish man from Iranian Kurdistan told Rudaw in Sulaimani that Talabanis death feels like I lost my parents again.
Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, and head of the Shiite National Alliance Ammar al-Hakim are among the delegates who attend the funeral.
While he is known for his pragmatic and compromising politics that set a balance between Iraqs various components, including Arabs and Kurds, Shiite and Sunni Arabs, Talabanis own party is most famous at home for being the first Kurdish party in Iraq to take the right to self-determination as an official slogan, adopted when he founded the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in 1975.
My dear brother President Mam Jalal, I will never forget your brotherhood, said Barzani at the time.
Many refer to Talabani as "uncle" Jalal or "great uncle".
Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani said the mission to achieve the nations long-held quest for independence would have been easier if Talabani was in better health.
That is because Jalal Talabani's bridged some divides among the Kurdish factions. He was strongly respected in the Syrian Kurd enclaves.
There are video links at the source.
Please add me to the Kurdish ping list.
RIP Talabani. He and Barzani, though their factions often feuded internally, kept Kurdish interests at the forefront in the shaping of the post-Saddam Iraq.
Kurdish ping, pls.
Yes, they did.
There are great differences in the factions.
Talabani was open to secular structure. Barzani not so much.
Syrian Kurds much prefer the Talabani element of Iraq.
I’ve read that 98% of Iraq Kurds are Muslim (Sunni and Shia). I doubt that number.
Syrian Kurds have much smaller percentage of Muslim.
Some time ago I found maps showing religious breakdown in Iraq and Syrian towns/villages. They varry a lot but it is more mixed than most people think.
Some of that is hidden because of persecution.
From the time of the Siege of Kobani, Syriac Christians have fought alongside Kurds against ISIS. It was a matter of survival. It is true with some Arabs too. That came later, but ISIS brutality has reshaped those relations. Some of those open relations existed before ISIS in Syria. It was a long way from Damascus and Rojava. Out of necessity, the people had to cooperate to survive. Interdependence was very common.
A much loved and widely respected leader within Iraq and among the Kurds. I wish that the world had more men like him.
A sad loss for us, but it was a blessing that his leadership was available for the tough transformative years after Saddam.
So glad that he got to live a long full life, to taste success, and to see the Kurdish Independence Referendum.
This death hit me harder than I would have expected. I knew he was old, and so many people have died or been horribly injured in the struggles in Iraq, that I expected to just register his passing with respect.
I was surprised to find tears rolling down my cheeks, as I attempted to go about my business. Jalal Talabani was just lovable. He was a man of deep commitment and good character, in a time and place that was rampant with others at their worst - rife with self-serving corruption at the expense of the nation and everyone else. He was a re-assurance that all was not lost for Iraq during dark times - that there were still wise and good mento deal with in building a better future.
May God bless him, comfort his family, and care for Iraq and Kurdistan.
Farewell to a great and good man.
I’m very glad that you understand the attachment that all Kurds have to him.
Total Respect to an old warrior.
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