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Sinam Mohamad – Syrian Democratic Council Representative to the United States
Diliman Abdulkader – Co-Founder and Spokesperson for American Friends of Kurdistan
About this webinar: There are approximately 45 million Kurds who are spread out among four countries including Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. The Kurdish people have often been promised an independent Kurdistan., but that has never occurred. They are predominantly Sunni Muslim but are comprised of Jews, Yazidis, Christians, Shiite Muslims and Zoroastrians. Due to their strong ties with one another, they have frequently been singled out by the nations that govern them. They have faced many massacres and even attempts at genocide, including the use of chemical weapons against them. The Kurdish people who compose the Syrian Democratic Forces fought valiantly alongside the United States for our defeat of ISIS, particularly in Syria. In fact, they lost 11,000 men and women in the defeat of ISIS., while we lost exactly 15. We, at EMET, considered our withdrawal of most of our American troops from Syria and the abandonment of the Kurds in 2019 as a black day in American history, although we still give the Kurds some limited support
Just this week, the Syrian representative to the United Nations told the new Biden administration that Syria would engage with the United States if we end our “interference in Syrian internal affairs”, including terminating any support that we still give to the Kurds. What is the status of the Kurdish population today? How many have been displaced from Syria and are living in refugee camps? How has Iran’s attempted occupation of Syria affected the Kurdish population , and of course how has Turkey under Erdogan affected the Kurdish population, both in Syria and in Turkey.
Sinam Mohamad is the Representative of the Syrian Democratic Council to the United States. She has worked, often closely together with EMET, in getting support for the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, which had been populated mainly by Kurds. She has written for the New York Times, The Defense Post, among other places, and wrote an analysis for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Diliman Abdulkader is the Co-Founder and Spokesperson of a newly established Washington based advocacy organization, American Friends of Kurdistan (AFK). AFK works to strengthen American-Kurdish relations through education and advocacy. Diliman comes from a foreign policy, national security background where he was previously director of the Kurdistan Project at EMET. He invests his time on Capitol Hill, educating lawmakers and staffers on the plight of the Kurds. Diliman frequently publishes article pertaining to the developments in the Middle East. Diliman received his MA at the American University in Washington, D.C. in international peace and conflict resolution.