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KS in Poland

The Section of Kurdish Studies in the Department of Iranian Studies in the Institute of Oriental Studies of Jagiellonian University was established in 2008 due to the growing interest in Kurdish culture and language that has been observed over the last years in Poland and especially in Krakow. However Polish scholars' interest for the Kurds goes back to XIX century to recall the names of first Polish researchers: August Kosciesza-Żaba (Jaba) and Aleksander Chodźko.

 

Since 2003 when Krakow hosted the fine art exhibition entitled Outlook of contemporary Kurdish works and particularly after the first Krakow International Conference on Kurdish Studies that took place in 2004 along with the Polish-Kurdish Student Forum, this old city has become the center of little known in Europe but fascinating Kurdish culture. As a result of many interesting ventures emerged a group of people deeply interested in Kurdistan history culture and reality. The group consisting mostly of students and young scholars was keen on getting new information about Kurdistan carrying out research and presenting its results to the Polish public. This group of young enthusiasts gathered around prof. Andrzej Pisowicz who was the first person in Poland to lecture on the Kurdish language - Kurmanji and Sorani dialects. They closely cooperated with the Kurdish Center for Information and Documentation (established in 2003 as the successor of the Polish-Kurdish Friendship Association established in 1992).

 

Between 2005 and 2008 many cultural events were organized including Shevbuherks – evenings with Kurdish culture 2005/2006, Days of Islam 2006, meeting with Kurdish poetry, photo exhibitions 2007, 2008, 2009, and panel discussions devoted to the current situation of the Kurds and Kurdistan such as The Kurds between PKK, Ankara and European Union (2008) organized with the participation of the Kurdish Initiative in Europe and TEVKURD from the Turkish part of Kurdistan, the ZNAK Foundation and the Kraków Public Library. Finally in 2008 the Philology Faculty Council of the Jagiellonian University endorsed the Oriental Philology Institute (now Institute of Oriental Studies) application to establish the Section of Kurdish Studies. The main aim of the SKS is to develop knowledge of the Kurdish culture and language as well as the current political and social situation of the Kurds. The Section activity is based on research, lectures and organizing events that can bring the Kurdish culture closer to the Polish public. The scholars associated with the SKS help Polish journalists, businessmen and students from other institutes and universities willing to go to Kurdistan by informing and organizing logistics. They also cooperate with the Znak Foundation, as well as with other institutions as advisers and translators.

  • August Kościesza-Żaba

    August Kościesza-Żaba (Jaba) (1801-1894) was Polish orientalist, Russian diplomat in Jaffa, Saloniki and Erzurum, one of the first reserchers studying Kurdish language and literary tradition.

  • Aleksander Chodźko

    Aleksander Chodźko (1804-1891) was a Polish romantic poet, Russian diplomat in Qajar Iran, professor of Slavic literatures in Collège de France and an outstanding orientalist.

  • Leszek Dzięgiel

    Leszek Dzięgiel (1931-2005) was a Polish etnograph. In 70thies he conducted field reserch in Afganistan and than in Iraqi Kurdistan. His book entitled The Kurdish Knot was published in 1992 being the first work in Polish devoted to the Kurdish issue.

  • Andrzej Pisowicz

    Andrzej Pisowicz is an outstanding Polish linguist, specialist in Armenian, Persian and Kurdish languages, author of the first Polish textbook for learning Kurdish (2012).

  • Books on Kurdish topic published in Poland

    Until now nineteen books have been published in Poland considering Kurdish topic.