The Organization for Development and Enhancement in Egypt organized a dialogue forum, through the Zoom application, entitled "Kurdish-Arab relations in the light of current developments and challenges," on July 25th; A number of Kurds and Arab intellectuals and academics participated in the Forum.
The dialogue forum addressed several themes: Why Arab-Kurdish relations now? The Arab-Kurdish role in countering attempts to dominate the region? The role of civil society in activating the Arab-Kurdish dialogue? Why focus on the cultural entry point as a basis for dialogue? and the future of Arab-Kurdish dialogue).
Author and journalist Roshin Qassem, who supervised the dialogue forum together with Dr. Mukhtar Gbashi, explained in a dialogue that the forum was a step towards the activation of the Arab-Kurdish dialogue, which was part of the effort to establish relations that would guarantee peace and coexistence between the two peoples, stressing that the regimes that had dominated region created the hatred and hostility among the people of the region.
The text of the dialogue was as follows:
* A dialogue forum on Kurdish-Arab relations was organized on the Zoom application, with the participation of elite intellectuals, politicians and analysts.
The forum, organized by the Development and Enhancement Organization, as part of its digital activity, namely, the Zoom Talk Forum, and the Digital Forum held, was the first forum organized by the organization in terms of multi-axes and number of participants.
Elite specialists, politicians and jurists from various countries, from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia and Turkey had participated to discuss the issues in the region, to talk about "the importance of Arab-Kurdish relations in the context of current developments and challenges," which was the title of the forum, all of which gave the forum great importance to discussing a controversial and pressing issue of interest to the Kurdish and Arab peoples.
The forum was a step towards the activation of the Arab-Kurdish dialogue, which is part of the endeavour to establish relations that guarantee peace and co-existence between the two peoples.
* During the events of the Forum, there were some analyses to the effect that the State regime attempted to create a rift between the Arab and Kurdish peoples. In your opinion, how far has this rift reached?
The authoritarian regimes that ruled the region practiced a systematic policy in this side, is to create foe, dictatorial and authoritarian regimes have created hatred and hostility, because they guarantee their continuity and survival. To that end, it amplifies the enemy that threatens the State, the security of the people and the wealth of the people, and makes use of an enormous media machine, which, in its turn, inculcates these ideas and concerns of its people. Distracting itself from real crises and problems, and creating a pretext for further repression and violation of freedom of expression and human rights, there is also a justification for its failure to discharge its responsibilities towards the people until the battle with the enemy is resolved.
All of this is rooted in peoples in countries ruled by authoritarian regimes, fear of the other is shown on the basis that it poses a threat to their survival. This is done on the basis of strategic planning, which the security agencies, intelligence agencies and the media have worked on for decades. This makes it a great and difficult challenge to correct ideas, show facts and establish a new relationship and a new way of getting to know them.
* How do you evaluate Kurdish-Arab relations now, and what is the common pillar between the two peoples?
There is still a lot to be done, to say that there are Arab-Kurdish relations, and despite the history of the relationship that united the two peoples together through certain historical joints, I think, and my view may be more pessimistic than optimistic about my assessment of current relations, that relations are not at best. We cannot even talk about the existence of relations in the first place, but there are factional attempts to fill the gap, to fill the distances between the two peoples, to form a different image, and the establishment of different concepts based on the idea of the coexistence of the peoples of the region, and this is what we are trying to work on through seminars and forums, and success in this endeavor depends on the will of the political and cultural elites of Arabs and Kurds and their responsibility to correct the image, and to form a real space for acquaintance between the two peoples, otherwise we will proceed in a tunnel we will not see the light at the end of it.
* What were the most prominent proposals made during the Forum?
There have been several proposals during the Forum, but they have not really been consolidated into recommendations, due to the door to dialogue remains open and a series of dialogues and meetings have been held, and a conference has been prepared and recommendations made.
The proposals have certainly been important and are aimed at strengthening Arab-Kurdish relations through the holding of interactive meetings and seminars, which discuss this issue, as well as a common foundation for civil society, and many other proposals that have enriched the forum and increased its importance.
* During the events of the Forum, it was proposed to convene a Kurdish-Arab People's Dialogue Forum, to place the Kurdish struggle within the Arab national security system and to activate the Arab-Kurdish Dialogue through civil society organizations.
Certainly, what has been proposed will be discussed and its implementation on the ground, and I assure you that the forum and the endeavors and activities of the organization and those who held the forum and those who participated in it will not stop, and there is a real will to move forward in this project that would establish real Arab-Kurdish relations.