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Sun Oct 13, 2019, 02:21 PM

'We Knew This Would Happen' Say Kurds in Nashville, Tenn., Kurdish Capital of America

'We knew this would happen': Kurds in Nashville say Trump betrayed them. Residents of the Tennessee city – the Kurdish capital of America – feel ‘sold out’ but unsurprised by troop withdrawal. The Guardian, Oct. 13, 2019.

If you spend enough time in Kurdish places, from sidewalk tea stands in the shadow of the Erbil citadel to the bullet-pocked alleys of Diyarbakir and the dusty fields along Syria’s frontlines, there is a proverb you will hear. It goes like this: “The Kurds have no friends but the mountains.” It means that in the end, when Kurds are under attack and facing death, the mountains they retreat to will be the only things to protect them, whatever alliances they may have had before.

You’ll hear it in Nashville too, in Little Kurdistan, a strip of grocers and eateries tucked between an Aldi and a Waffle House along the Nolensville Pike.

This week, Donald Trump announced he was pulling US troops from Syria’s border with Turkey, seemingly giving the green light for Turkey to attack Kurdish forces allied with America. For many Kurds in Nashville – many of whom came here and prospered after fleeing for their lives – the sudden reversal was nothing short of a betrayal. “He betrayed the whole Kurdish nation,” said Salah Osman, the imam at the Salahadeen Center mosque. “We knew this is what would happen. We knew after they used [the Kurdish forces], after they did their job, they would leave them to face their future without any friends.”

To most Americans, Nashville is the country music and bachelorette party capital, a place for boozy and raucous fun at neon-lit honky-tonks on Broadway. But it is also the Kurdish capital of America, home to an estimated 15,000 Kurds, the largest such population in the US.

When members of the Nashville Kurdish community like Osman look at images of Syrian Kurds fleeing Turkish attacks, crowded into the back of trucks or fleeing on foot with whatever they can carry, they think of their own experiences.
There are those who were in the first wave, arriving in the 1970s after a failed rebellion in Iraq. There are those who fled Saddam Hussein’s genocidal al-Anfal campaign in the late 1980s, and those who fled after George HW Bush encouraged Iraqis to rise up during the Gulf war but then did not provide assistance.

There are those who were born in refugee camps to parents who escaped with only the clothes on their backs. There are those who fled in the mid-90s, after Saddam’s forces, briefly pushed out of northern Iraq, stormed back in. There are those who risked their lives as interpreters for the US military, after the 2003 invasion. More recent arrivals have fled from Syria and from oppression and violence in Turkey...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/13/kurds-in-nashville-say-trump-betrayed-them



- Kurdish cultural festival in Nashville, Tenn.

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Reply 'We Knew This Would Happen' Say Kurds in Nashville, Tenn., Kurdish Capital of America (Original post)
appalachiablue Oct 13 OP
Turbineguy Oct 13 #1
Aristus Oct 13 #2
SouthernIrish Oct 13 #3
appalachiablue Oct 13 #4
Aristus Oct 13 #5

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Oct 13, 2019, 02:32 PM

1. Maybe Trump is not so much

betraying the Kurds as working for Putin.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Oct 13, 2019, 04:04 PM

2. Nashville is home to the largest mosque in the United States.

Now I know why.

I'm just surprised it's in a red state.

I love Nashville. I don't even like country music, but I love Nashville. I enjoyed the city both times I've visited.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 13, 2019, 05:01 PM

3. As a Tennessean, Nashville makes me proud

It is a wonderful place to go. I live in one of the reddest areas of the state and the closest liberal area to me is 90 minutes away in Asheville, NC. I visit both places as often as possible for a little dose of happyness by being around kindred spirits.

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Response to SouthernIrish (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 13, 2019, 05:56 PM

4. Asheville, NC, Memphis and Nashville, Tenn. are glaring on the

'TO SEE' list, esp. after this article and your input, Southern Irish.

I've always heard such good things about those three places and hopefully I'll find out why in not too long.

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Response to SouthernIrish (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 13, 2019, 08:55 PM

5. I love Tennessee in general, other than it being a red state.

It's a beautiful place. My Army unit walked the battlefield at Chattanooga back in 1992. Our officers each had studied an important aspect of the battle and gave us a lecture on it when their turn came. It was interesting.

Also, my 8th Grade math teacher was from Tennessee, and I loved her accent so much, I could barely concentrate on math...

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