Saturday, 14 December 2013

Hapsa Khani Naqib: Kurdish Hero

HapsaKhani Naqib and her brother
This is a reading text I wrote for two of my Kurdish female students, Siti and Silan. They asked if we could learn about her in our ESOL class. For very obvious reasons, she is one of their heroes.

The story is written simply so it can be easily understood. Silan led the group, reading and discussing Hapsa Khani Naqib's life.

Hapsa Khani Naqib (1891-1953) was a strong and determined reformer. She campaigned for independence for the Kurdish people. She also campaigned for women’s rights.

Hapsa Khani Naqib was born in the city of Sulaimaniyha in 1891. Sulaimaniyha is in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. 

Hapsa Khani Naqib was married to Sheikh Qadir Hafid. The British forces occupied Iraq at this time. Many of the people of Iraq wanted independence. Sheikh Qadir Hafid played an important role in the revolution against the British forces.

Hapsa Khani Naqib, like her husband, wanting freedom for the Kurdish people. She also wanted freedom for women. She believed that women as well as men should be educated. At that time, most women were not educated in Kurdestan.

Hapsa Khani Naqib started a night school for women in Sulaimaniyha. She also campaigned for the downtrodden and oppressed women living in her neighbourhood.

Hapsa Khani Naqib founded the first Kurdish women's organization in Iraq. This was called the ‘Kurdish Women's Association’. 

 Hapsa Khani’s house became a centre for Kurdish women’s rights. 
 Hapsa Khani said, "There is no difference between men and I am going to continue..."

 In 1930, Hapsa Khan sent a letter to the League of Nations. She asked them to support the rights of the Kurdish people.

The Republic of Kurdistan was founded in 1946 by Qazi Mohammed. Hapsa Khani supported the Republic.

 Hapsa Khani Naqib died in 1953. She was 62. After she died her home became a school. This is just what she wanted!

Today Hapsa Khani Naqib is greatly admired by the Kurdish people. She lived for them. She struggled for them. She did not give up! She played a very important role in their struggle for freedom.

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