Kurdish American

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Kurdish American
Total population
9,423 (2000 census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Tennessee, California
Kurdish; American English
Sunni Islam some Yezidi; also, small numbers of Christians
Related ethnic groups
Other Iranian peoples

Kurdish Americans or American Kurds are Americans of Kurdish descent; the majority of Kurdish Americans are recent migrants.


Kurdish immigration in the United States began in the twentieth century. The Kurdish who immigrated to the United States, came to this country after World War I, developed since that time several waves of migration from Kurdistan to the United States. Later, the Iraqi Revolution also increased the Kurdish emigration to United States (like to Iran).[2] So, in 1976 arrive to Nashville, the first group of Kurdish refugees. The following year, many Kurds from Iraq emigrated to the U.S., although the majority of the Kurdish of the second wave that came in 1979 came from Kurdistan and of Iran. These Kurds rejected the theocratic system that would follow the Iranian revolution that endeavored to overthrow the Shah and replace his government with an Islamic republic, which is why they emigrated. The third wave arrived between 1991 and 1992, and is considered as be the largest of the four waves.[3] This migration was due to the support of many Kurdish to Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, because Saddam Hussein retaliated against this people, attacking with chemical weapons and invading Kurditan more later.[2][3] Thousands of Kurds were moved to the U.S. during this time. The last wave of migration Kurdish to the United States or at least to Nashville, the main area of Kurdish communities in this country, was Between 1996 and 1997, developed a major civil war between Iraqi Kurdistan's two major political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), in which the former Saddam’s army into the region to counter his support from Iran. The Iraqi army began targeting hundreds of individuals accused of working against Saddam's regime. The International Organization for Migration make an evacuation. Kurdish refugees crossed the Turkish border, place where they were evacuated to Guam – a military outpost in the Western Pacific – and later resettled in the U.S.[3] Many Kurdisth are immigrants and political refugees from the countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.


The total Kurdish population in the United States in 2000 census was 9,423.[4] The city of Nashville, Tennessee has the United States' largest population of Kurdish people. Based on the 2000 census, the Kurdish population in Tennessee is 2,405 [4] and in the city of Nashville the Kurdish population is 1,770 based on 2000 census.[4] Nashville is also known as 'Little Kurdistan', the latest estimates suggest that more than 11,000 Kurds are living in Nashville.[5] Though most Kurdish people follow Sunni Islam, there are also minorities of Shia Muslims, Jews, Christians, Alevis, Yezidis, Yarsans, Zoroastrians, Babis and followers of different Sufi and Mystic orders, some of which have formed their own subcommunities in the United States.

Notable persons[edit]

  • Azad Bonni, Edison Professor of Neurobiology and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Washington University School of Medicine.
  • Edip Yüksel, Islamic philosopher and intellectual, considered one of the prime figures in the modern Islamic reform and Quranism movements.
  • Hamdi Ulukaya, businessman and entrepreneur, found of Chobani
  • Herro Mustafa, diplomat
  • Jano Rosebiani, film writer, director and editor

See also[edit]


  1. ^ US Census Bureau. "The Arab Population: 2000". Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  2. ^ a b http://journeyintoamerica.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/kurds-in-nashville/ Journey Into America: Kurds in Nashville. Posted on February 9, 2009 by jonathanhayden. Retrieved November 24, 2011, to 21:45 pm.
  3. ^ a b c http://www.kurdishherald.com/issue/v002/001/article04.php Kurdish Herald. February 2010 - by Hero Karimi. Retrieved November 29, 2011, to 21:58 pm
  4. ^ a b c http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=47&place_id=52006&cty_id=
  5. ^ http://www.kurdishherald.com/issue/v002/001/article04.php