Americans and Kurds celebrate 3 weeks before historic vote

MOORHEAD, Minnesota – The mayor of the northern American city of Moorhead expressed solidarity with Kurds in her constituency at a rally in support of the Kurdistan referendum.

“I don’t represent the Federal Government but I represent my community, and you are my community,” said Mayor Del Rae Williams at the Sunday event. 

“And so when you want to celebrate, I will celebrate with you. And on September 25, I will be glued to the internet to figure out what is happening and I’ll be watching with you and celebrating with you, no matter where I am at that time, knowing that you are celebrating too.”


Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams addresses the event. Photo: Rudaw video

Americans joined Kurds to celebrate their culture three weeks before the historic vote. 

“I am here in celebration of my Kurdish friends’ referendum celebration that they’re doing here today. I am so excited to be part of it,” said an American woman at the event. “I’m just so happy.”

For Kurds, it was an opportunity to come together with pride in their culture and also to teach younger generations of what it means to be a Kurd. 

“This is a very important day to the country, people and our generations. My son asked me what we were doing today. I told him we were going there so you know we are Kurdish and know what has happened to us,” said Nizhyar Faruq, an attendee. 

Some were concerned, however, that they may not be able to cast a ballot because they cannot register online. Many Kurds in the diaspora have complained that they do not have the mandatory ration card required to complete the online registration process.

“We are seven family members – my wife and I, two daughters and three sons. Seven family members, yet we cannot vote because we don’t have the form,” said Taha Barwari.

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