History of the Kurds in Nashville, Tennessee

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The city of Nashville, Tennessee includes the largest Kurdish population in the United States. A neighborhood in south Nashville has been nicknamed "Little Kurdistan" due to its large number of Kurds.[1]


The first wave of Kurdish immigrants arrived as refugees during the 1970s as a result of the Kurdish-Iraqi wars. A second wave of Kurdish immigrants arrived in the 1990s fleeing Saddam Hussein's genocidal Anfal Campaign in northern Iraq. The most recent wave of Kurdish immigrants arrived as a result of the 2011 Syrian Civil War and the 2014 Iraqi Civil War, including a number who worked as translators for the U.S. military.[2]


As of 2017 there were approximately 15,000 Kurds in Nashville out of the estimated 40,000 that reside in the entire United States. This is the largest population of Kurds in the United States.[2] Most have roots in northern Iraq or northwestern Iran.[3]

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