Şivan Perwer

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Şivan Perwer
Shivan Perwer.png
Perwer giving concert in Sweden, 2005
Background information
Born (1955-12-23) December 23, 1955 (age 62)
Siverek, Turkey
Occupation(s) Poet, writer, singer, performer
Instruments Lute
Years active 1974-present
Website www.sivan-perwer.com

Şivan Perwer (Born İsmail Aygün) (pron: Shivân Parwar) (born on December 23, 1955 in Siverek (Kurdish: Sêwreg), Turkey) is a Kurdish poet, writer, musical teacher, singer, and performer on the tembûr (lute). Şivan fled Turkey in 1976 due to political tones of his music and has lived in exile until his return to Diyarbakir on November 16, 2013.[1][2]

He holds several honorary doctorates in music. He is linked to Kurdish recognition of the Armenian genocide.


For many years, (25) Perwer's songs were banned in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey because they are sung in Kurdish and often cite the oppression against the Kurdish people in the Middle East.[3] Cassettes of his music were passed along from hand to hand, despite the risk of imprisonment or death. Şivan became famous during the period of Kurdish protests against Iraqi rule at Ankara University in 1972. His homemade recordings were smuggled over the border, while thousands of people came to see him perform live. Fearing for his life and the welfare of his family and after calls from Turkish authorities demanding his arrest, he fled Turkey and settled in Germany in 1976. There, Şivan recorded his first official album of traditional Kurdish songs. In 1991, Şivan performed at the "Simple Truth" Live aid concert, alongside Peter Gabriel, Sting, Paul Simon, Tom Jones, Gipsy Kings as well as other international artists. The proceeds from the concert went to the aid of Şivan Perwer refugees in the Iraqi Kurdistan fleeing the Gulf War and was considered as one of the most important humanitarian efforts for the region. In 2004, Şivan took an initiative for the improvement of culture in society by establishing the Sivan Perwer International Cultural Foundation in Frankfurt, Germany. On Tuesday March 21, 2006, Perwer Şivan was featured on PRI's The World in their Global Hits segment.[4] Thus far, Şivan Perwer has over twenty-five albums, music videos and documentaries. He has written several books and several other publications as well. Şivan has a career expanding over thirty years and has received many honorary Doctorates and International World music prizes. He has composed music and sung many songs using the poetry of the late Kurdish poet, Cigerxwîn. Cigerxwîn was well known for his poetry about the Kurdish struggle and also about Kurdish culture and history. At one time, Cigerxwîn referred to Şivan as "the Voice of his poetry". Kurdish songs (or dengbej) are considered by some to be one of the key elements in preserving the Kurdish culture and history.[1] Shivan perwer was a very close to Hessin Abdulrahman Swari, who is a main factor in Shivan Perwers fame. As Hessin Abdelrahman Swari was a man of great integrity and held closed ties between kurds from all parts of Kurdistan, and all tribes. Much attribution to him.


  • Govenda Azadîxwazan (1974)
  • Hevalê Bargiran im (1974)
  • Herne Pêş (1975)
  • Ey Ferat (1976)
  • Kî ne Em (1977)
  • Le Dilbere (1978)
  • Hay Dil (1979)
  • Gelê Min Rabe (1982)
  • Agirî (1983)
  • Bilbilo / Ferzê (1984)
  • Dotmam (1985)
  • Naze(1986)
  • Helebçe (1987)
  • Xewna Min / Qasimlo (1988)
  • Zembîlfiroş (1989)
  • Ya Sitar (1995)
  • Hêviya Te (1999)
  • Roj û Heyv (2000)
  • Sare (2004)
  • Cane Cane (2009)

Lyrics to Şivan Perwer music and songs can be found at the Kurdish Lyric Archive at Bêjebêje.