Shahab Sheikh Nuri

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Shahab Shiekh Nuri
Founder and First Secretary General Komala
In office
June 10, 1970 – November 21, 1976
Succeeded by Nawshirwan Mustafa
Personal details
Born 1932
Flag of Kurdistan.svg Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan
Died November 21, 1976
Political party Komalay Ranjdaran, then Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
Occupation Politician
Profession Revolutionary
Religion Sunni Muslim

Shahab Nuri Salih Barzinji was a Kurdish politician born in the city of Suleimani in 1932. Shahab Nuri was the son of renowned Kurdish poet, Sheikh Nuri Sheikh Salih Sheikh Ghani Barzinji and grandson of Mahmud Barzanji. Shahab Shiekh Nuri had three brothers; Janab, Nihad and Daro [Daro was also a founding member of the Komalay Ranjdaran Party] and two sisters, Galawezh and Pershing.

Early political life[edit]

Shahab Nuri was the founding member of the Komalay Ranjdaran political organization; Shahab Nuri Sali formed the Komalay Ranjarani Kurdistan on June 10, 1970. Khala Shahab, as he was referred to by those who worked with him, was considered one of the most influential modern Kurdish politician, whose progressive ideology help shape the politics and political ideology of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Khala Shahab grew up yearning to help the oppressed and was not bound by borders. On a number of occasions, Khala Shahab traveled to Lebanon, Yemen and Syria making contact with global liberation leftist organizations. Khala Shahab inspired his cousin Shaswar Jalal [Shahid Aram] Faraidoun Abdul Qadir and a number of other Kurdish nationalist to make international contacts and put forward the Kurdish cause. Prior to forming the Komalay Ranjdaran Khala Shahab joined the mainstream Kurdish movement and partook in the September Revolution and joined the Kurdistan Democratic Party.


In late 1975 the Komalay Ranjdaran was faced with a series of arrests against their cadres. The first to get arrested was Anwar Zorab in the city of Baghdad by the Iraqi Secret Security Organization Amin al Khas. After the arrest of Anwar Zorab, Shahab Nuri and a number of his associates, Omar Sayid Ali, Ali Pichkol, Mamosta Jafar Abdulwahid and Awat Abdulghafur headed towards the Iranian border. Shahab Nuri and his four associated were arrested by the Iranian authorities and held at a SAVAK detention center on September 20, 1975. The Komalay Ranjdaran leadership was handed over to the Iraqi Government on January 1, 1976.

Prior to being handed over to the Iraqi Authorities, Khala Shahab instructed all leadership members of Komala to not to admit to anything to the Iraqi Secret Police and instructed them to state they only read leftest books. Khala Shahab, Anwar Zorab and Mamosta Jafar took gave their lives to save their comrades. Though they took blame for all Komala activities, all the Komala members held by the Iraqi Authorities were tortured for 53 days at the Faisaliyah Holding Facility.


One July 11, 1976 Khala Shahab, Anwar Zorab and Mamosta Jafar Abdulwahid were sentenced to death by Jarallah Ubaid Alaf, the head of the Iraqi Revolutionary Court under the Iraqi Judicial Code 175, Order 403.

After the reading of the sentencing, Mamosta Jafar refuted the sentencing and stated to Jarallah Ubaid Alaf, "You are the terrorists, the fascists, murderers, deniers of freedom!" Khala Shahab kept calm throughout the whole ordeal. According to Awat Abdulghafur and Ali Pichkol who were sentenced to six years in Abu Ghraib prison Khala Shahab gave the following speech to his comrades:

"Brothers, we chose this path in life, we all knew very well this is a long and torturous road and involves a long journey. This is the true path of our nation, we must endure its pains, detentions, wounds; we must be prepared to face being refugees, endure hunger and ready to become martyrs; I must state none of these hindrances derailed us and we are not afraid of our destiny. You, my brothers are the righteous ones, don't abandon our cause. We are 33 Kurds here today, three of us have been condemned to die by hanging, eight of us have been set free and 23 of us to serve six years in prison. But know very well, our imprisonment, execution and threats against us, we wil not be dettered, nor will they sway us from our national movement. On the contrary, our blood and your imprisonment will be the fuel that shall engulf the flames of our nation's struggle, which will be used by Komala to burn our enemies. Komala will not fade away, but rather our martyrdom will only empower it. Let the truth be known, you must not shed any tears of our deaths. I, for one do not regret the path I have chosen, on the contrary, I embrace my choices and the righteous path I have chosen. I urge you to replace your tears for us with continuous struggle and take lessons from our experience to assist our brothers in Komala so as to strengthen our ranks and files so as to expedite our nation's ultimate freedom from the grip of Arabization, force Baathification and forced migration of Kurds to Arab regions. You must now be more active, to live a short life, but live it proud, so Live Short, but live proud! Only by living proud we can free our nation. We told people and our friends to stand fast, not to crumble or give in, be brave, be strong and know no fear, sacrifice your life for the people, why should this only apply to others, let is also apply to us. That's why I am proud of my sentence, our blood and your sentence will lead to the growth of Komala, which one day enable Komala to rescue our nation from these dark and gloomy days."[citation needed]

Khala Shahab, Mamosta Jafar and Anwar Zorab were executed by the Iraqi Government on November 21, 1976.

Khala Shahab is survived by his friend, colleague and comrade, Iraqi President, H.E. Jalal Talabani, His son Soran, who served as Special Assistant to President Talabani and daughter Sozan, currently a member of the Kurdistan National Assembly, grandchildren: Shahab Soran Shahab, Shan Soran Shahab, Rasyan Samal, Rawaz Samal and sister Pirshing Shiekh Nuri.


  • Commemoration of the Martyrdom of Shahab Shiekh Nuri and his Comrades [1]
  • Article By Ardel Murad on the Creation of the PUK [2]
  • Iraqi Kurdistan: Political Development and emerging Democracy [3]
  • Short Biography of Shahab Shiekh Nuri on [4]