Nazand Begikhani

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Nazand Begikhani is a contemporary British writer, poet and academic researcher of Kurdish origin, and an active advocate of human rights.

Begikhani, born in Kurdistan by the steps of the Zagros Mountains, has been living in Europe (Denmark, France and United Kingdom) since 1987. She received her M.A and Ph.D in comparative literature from the Sorbonne in France, and published her first collection of poems in Paris, 1995. She has published five poetry collections in Kurdish and Bells of Speech is her first collection in English. Two of her poetry collections have been translated into French, Couleur de Sable (2011) and Le Lendemain d'Hier (2013). She has also translated works of Baudelaire and T. S. Eliot into Kurdish. Her works in English and French have been published by the Poetry Magazine, Ambit magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, Exiled Writers' Ink, Action Poétique, etc. Her poetry collections have been translated into many other languages, including Arabic, Persian and German.

Nazand Begikhani is also an active advocate of human rights and is a founding member of the network campaign, Kurdish Women Action against Honour Killing (KWAHK), later changed to Kurdish Women's Rights Watch (KWRW). She has provided expert advice on honour-based violence (HBV) to a number of government bodies, including Sweden, UK and Kurdistan. Between 2007-2009, she sat on the board of the High Commission to Monitor Violence Against Women in Kurdistan Region and participated, as an expert witness and independent observer, in its seasonal meetings. In 2010, she established the pioneering Gender and Violence Studies Centre at the University of Sulaimaniya, a two-year project funded by the British Council. She is currently advising Kurdistan PM to address higher education and gender in Kurdistan Region. Her work has had considerable influence on action and strategy to address HBV in Kurdistan. She has published academic work in Kurdish, English and French.

Nazand Begikhani has worked with the Kurdish Institute of Paris, the Kurdish Cultural Centre in London and BBC Monitoring. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and Editor-in-Chief of the Kurdish edition of Le Monde Diplomatique.

Nazand Begikhani has won several international prizes for her work and activities, including the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize for her work combating honor crimes (2000) and French Simone Landrey's Feminine Poetry Prize (2012) for her poetry work.

Poetry Works[edit]

  • Yesterday of Tomorrow, Collection of Poetry, Association of Kurdish Artists in France, Paris, 1995.
  • Celebrations, Collection of Poetry, Aras, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2004.
  • Colour of Sand, Collection of Poetry with Dilawar Qaradaghi, Aras, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2005.
  • Bells of Speech, Ambit Books Publishers, London, 64 pp., 2006. (English) ISBN 0-900055-11-1
  • Bells of Speech, Collected Poems, Ranj Publishers, Sulaimaniya, 2007.(Kurdish)
  • Love: An inspired Absence,Poetry Collection, Ranj Publishesrs,Sulaimaniya, 2008
  • Ranin Al-kalam, Translation of collected poems Bells of Speech into Arabic by Qays Qaradaghi and Muhammad Afif al-Hussaini, Dar Al-jamal, Lebanon, 2011
  • Couleur de Sables, translation of Colour of Sand into French by Shakour Bayz and Bertrand Foly, L'Harmattan, Paris, 2011

"Le Lendemain d'Hier". Translated by Nicole Barriere and Claude Ber with the cooperation the author, Les Amandiers, 2013.

Selected books and anthologies featuring Nazand Begikhani's work:

"Honour’-based violence and Kurdish communities: Moving towards action and change in Iraqi Kurdistan and the UK", (with Gill Hague and Aiha Gill) Journal of Gender Studies, October 2012.

"‘Honour’-based violence in Kurdish communities" (with Gill and Hague, Women's Studies International Forum,Volume 35, Issue 2, March–April 2012.

  • Circulation of Meaning: A selection of media internviews with Nazand Begikhani, Ranj Publishers, Sulaimaniya, 2008.
  • "Honour-based violence among the Kurds: The case of Iraqi Kurdistan” Honour : Crimes, Paragigms and Violence against Women”, edited by

Dr Lynn Welshman and Sarah Hussain, Zed Books, September 2005.

  • “Here Me There” in Crossing the border: voices of refugee and exiled women, edited by Jennifer Langer, Five Leaves publications, 2002.
  • “Kurdish women: A space for the self”, in The Silver Throat of the Moon: Writing in Exile”, edited by Jennifer Langer, Five Leaves, 2005.
  • Modern Kurdish Poetry", an anthology of Kurdish poetry by Kamal Mirawdali and Stephen Watts, Upsala, 2006.
  • “Voice“ in Inspired Verse by Wyndham Thomas (Corsham Print, Easter 2007).
  • “The war was over”, in The Poetry of Recovery by Sante Lucia Books, USA, 2007.
  • “At a happiness symposium in Wales” in Fragments from the Dark by Jeni Williams & Lateafa Guemar, Hafan Books, 2008.
  • “An ordinary day” in The Forward Book of Poetry by Forward Ltd in association with Faber and Faber, 2007.
  • “Anfal genocide: Collective Memory and Kurdish Political Will, in Silence and Mass Murder by Heme Kake Rash, Sardam Publishing House, April 2008.
  • “After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events”, by Tom Lombardo, Saint Lucia Books, Atlanta, Georgia, 2008.

External links[edit]