Kurds Outside Iraqi Kurdistan Region
Faylee Kurds at the Turn of the Century
Challenges, Aspirations, and Opportunities (*)

As it is, Iraqi society is a mosaic of diverse ethnic, religious and sectarian groups or sections. These groups and sections are in turn made up of subgroups and subsections according to dialect, habitat, sect, and legal status, each facing different sets of challenges, difficulties and problems and each having different sets of aspirations and opportunities.

Iraq is situated in a volatile area, the Middle East, and has been, for a long time, a coveted target of invaders and conquerors, as well as a battlefield for fighting armies of strong powers competing to control it. Iraq has also been in the pathway of large population movements. Greek, Roman, Persian, Arab, Mongol and others have invaded and conquered Iraq. Population movements of Arabs from as far as Yemen and Najd and other countries, Moguls from Central Asia and Ottomans from neighboring Turkey, Persians from neighboring Iran, immigrated to and/or settled in Iraq. Kurds settled in Iraq outside Kurdistan long before as well as after the drawing of present day borders, which are still disputed by, among others, Turkey and Iran .

Many of the problems facing Iraq at the present have their roots in the historical protracted political, territorial, military, national and sectarian conflicts between the ever competing Ottoman and Safavid empires, aggravated by the policy of the colonial powers and the border lines they draw after World War One (the Sykes-Picot Agreement) and the hesitation on the part of the USA to implement policies for the post World War One era in the Middle East envisioned by President Woodrow-Wilson.

The issues discussed below concerning the de facto and de jure situation, the challenges and opportunities facing Faylee Kurds living outside the Iraqi Kurdistan Region are in several aspects not unique but rather more common than they appear. Similar situations, challenges and opportunities are found in the other neighboring countries with areas inhabited pre-dominantly by Kurds. Large numbers of Kurds from Kurdistan Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey live, among other cities, in Mosul, Istanbul, Damascus and Tehran respectively. The interests of these Kurds (a sub-groups) are often convergent with the interests of their fellow Kurds inhabiting their respective areas of Kurdistan but these interests can sometimes be divergent or dissimilar, but not necessarily conflicting. In the case of Iraqi Faylee Kurds a few areas of such divergences and dissimilarities are mentioned below in brief.

Faylee Kurd are a subgroup of the Kurdish population of Iraq. Kurds in Iraq in general have a common language and share generally common aspirations and hopes, their general interests usually being convergent. Nevertheless, their geographic location (habitat), the circumstances they live in, the opportunities available to them, and the challenges, difficulties and problems facing them, are noticeably dissimilar. Therefore, their interests in specific issues can sometimes be different. The situation of Iraqi Faylee Kurds have a number of characteristics that are unlike those of their fellow Kurds living in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, among them can the following be mentioned:
1- Faylee Kurds largely inhabit areas situated outside the current borders of the Kurdistan Region and the majority of them outside the disputed areas, though a significant numbers inhabit these disputed areas.

2- Most Faylee Kurds live in the midst of another ethnic group, among the Arab majority. Most of them do not have their own (Kurdish) areas, their own “backyard”, their own mountains (“the Kurds only friends” as the proverb says) apart from the disputed areas mentioned in 1 above.

3- They face more challenges and threats because where they live they have been and still are physically and culturally more exposed and therefore more vulnerable to the consequences of the sectarian divide and the resultant strife, as well as to terrorist acts, displacement, extortion and killing.

4- They speak one of the three major dialects of the Kurdish language, namely, Kirmanji, Sorani, (both of which spoken in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region) and Lori (a variant of which is spoken by Faylee Kurds). All these dialects have numerous sub-dialects. And in the absence of a unified national language, there are actually different degrees of difficulties in communications between the speakers of these distinct dialects and sub-dialects .

5- By and large, Faylee Kurds are Shiite Muslims whereas Kurds living in the Kurdistan Region are Sunni Muslims. In the present heated and entrenched sectarian mood in the country, this difference plays its big role as a de facto reality and affects everyday life in Iraq in many ways, even if one opposes it or wants to wish it away.

6- Faylee Kurds have been stigmatized and victimized since the establishment of the present state of Iraq through various political decisions, measures and mechanisms, as well as “legal” instruments, which will be referred to below, classifying them as being of “Iranian Dependency” (Taba´iya Iraniya) treating them as lower class “suspect aliens”. Therefore, their “legal status” is, to put it mildly, “precarious” . Kurds from the Kurdistan Region are not considered of “Iranian Dependency” and thus their legal status is not in question.

Faylee Kurds are one of the older segments of Iraqi society. They have inhabited the mideastern and southeastern border areas as well as the central areas of Iraq, with the biggest population concentration in Baghdad. An old area of Baghdad is named after them, namely, “Aqd al-Akrad” (meaning the “Kurdish Quarter), adjacent to the Sunni inhabited area of “Bab al-Sheikh” where the Shrine of the Sunni scholar Sheikh “Abd al-Qadir al-Gailani” is situated.

Faylee Kurds were prominent in the trade and commerce sector and in the professions. They had reached a dominant position within this sector of the Iraqi economy since the fifties of the last century, taking over from and helped by Jewish merchants who had left for or been expelled to Israel from Iraq at the end of the Nineteen forties of the last century.

Faylee Kurds have been known to be generally secular and moderately nationalists, as well as Iraqi patriots. They have generally kept themselves out of sectarianism and extremism and, therefore, they have interacted and intermixed with all other social, religious (different sects), and ethnic sections of Iraqi society from all parts of the country. Faylee Kurds have been working actively within the ranks of various Iraqi political factions and groupings, with the exception of Arab nationalist groups, where they had no place, although they sometimes rode on the political tide of the time.

Statistics on the number of Iraqi Faylee Kurds is impossible to come by, and estimates vary wildly and are difficult to ascertain due to first, most of them live in pre-dominantly Arab areas; second, (claims that) documents have been lost and/or (deliberately) destroyed during and in the aftermath of the 2003 war; third, the Decision Number 199 of 2001 (the decision to change ethnicity mentioned at the end of this paper); fourth, the adoption by some Faylee Kurds, who had not been expelled, of Arab surnames and tribal names in order to “pass”, “be accepted” and rid themselves of the stigma of “Iranian Dependency”; and fifth, the former regime’s policy of ethnic cleansing and forcible expulsion of Faylee Kurds from Iraq. Estimates of the number of Iraqi Faylee Kurds vary widely from a few hundred thousand to two or three million. Probably the actual number is somewhere in-between. The number of expelled and of disappeared Faylee Kurds vary likewise widely. Since the former regime was meticulous with keeping records (written records and/or on electronic media, CDs), the loss of these records, whether accidental or deliberate, is seen by some writers, as attempts to prevent the real numbers of deported and disappeared Faylee Kurds from coming to light, to conceal the identity of the actual beneficiaries among the current Iraqi elite of the movable and immovable properties confiscated from Faylee Kurds, and/or to bury evidence of the harsh action taken during the campaign of expulsion, as well as to protect those who had participated in these acts from being brought to justice.

The number of Iraqi Faylee Kurds before the mass-deportation of hundreds of thousands and the total disappearance of thousands of internees, was more than double their current number, most of them inhabiting Baghdad, Khanaqin and Mendali. The former Iraqi totalitarian regime began expelling Faylee Kurds en mass in 1980, starting at the beginning of April, on arbitrary and unsubstantiated pretexts, not even adhering to the text and provisions of its own decision number 666 of 1980.

Expelled and interned Faylee Kurds were never interrogated to ascertain whether they were of “foreign dependency” or not, whether they were “not loyal” to “the homeland and people” or not. Neither the judiciary nor the courts were involved in carrying out Decision No. 666. The intelligence agencies, the Baath party apparatus and the army were given the task of implementing Decision 666. This politically and economically motivated ethnic cleansing campaign was the largest ever and most ruthless against Faylee Kurds. Large numbers of Faylee Kurds were earlier expelled during 1969-1971 by the same regime.

The Past
The Origin of the Problem: Law of Citizenship No. 42 of 1924
Faylee Kurds have been victimized since the establishment of the state of Iraq through various political decisions, measures and mechanisms, as well as “legal” instruments, such as the Law of Citizenship No. 42 of 1924, that made all the inhabitants of Iraq not of “Iraqi Dependency” but rather dependents of two foreign states by dividing the country’s citizens into those of “Ottoman Dependency” (Taba´iya Othmaniya) and those of “Iranian Dependency” (Taba´iya Iraniya), privileging the former (as upper class, “genuine” citizens) and discriminating against the latter (as lower class “suspect” aliens). The Iraqi authorities classified Iraqi Faylee Kurds mainly among the latter, their “legal status” being, the least said, very “precarious”. The new Law of Citizenship No. 43 of 1963 made the legal position of Faylee Kurds even more “uncertain” than before.

The Crux of Present Problems: Decrees Number 666 of 7 May 1980
The decision to rescind the Iraqi citizenship from hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Faylee Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens, and expel them from the country, and the subsequent decisions and laws to seize all their documents and confiscate all their businesses and movable and immovable property, intern thousands of their youth in detention camps, were taken by the all-powerful Revolution Command Council (the highest executive, legislative and, often the de facto, judicial authority in the state of Iraq at the time) in its Decision No. 666 dated 7 May 1980 signed by Saddam Hussein himself, Chairman of the Revolution Command Council, President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces etc. Decision No. 666, which was applied retroactively and selectively largely against Faylee Kurds, is obviously a political decision taken at the highest level and directed primarily against a substantial segment of the Kurdish population of Iraq, stigmatizing them as being of “foreign origin” and accusing them of “not being loyalty to the fatherland and the people and the high political and social principles of the Revolution”, an accusation tantamount to treason. However, almost half of the same Iraqi Faylee Kurds, mostly poor and dispossessed, continued, albeit under very harsh conditions and great uncertainty, to live in Iraq, keeping their Iraqi citizenship, documents and property. Hence, the decision was obviously politically motivated and was applied selectively and arbitrarily. The main political aims of the decision were: preparation for the coming war with Iran in 1980 (the detention of thousands of young Faylee Kurds who had done their military service and those still in active service is indicative of this fact); to punish Faylee Kurds for their prominent and active role within the Kurdish movement and in the other political groups opposing the regime, and for participating in the financing of this movement and these groups; to even the scores with Faylee Kurds for resisting the Baath coup d’état of February 1963 and their participation in the later urban uprising against the second Baath coup d’état of July 1968; to take possession of Faylee Kurds businesses and moveable and immovable property since the first group to be entrapped and expelled were the biggest and richest Faylee Kurd businessmen and merchants from Baghdad (see footnote 9); the general policy of the former totalitarian regime to bring the Kurdish population in Iraq under its tightest possible control by ethnic cleansing and by whatever other means available, beginning with Faylee Kurds living in Baghdad, the center of the central power, and ending with the “Anfal” and the use of chemical weapons, declared as genocide by a high Iraqi court, the Iraqi High Tribunal.

As a consequence of Decision 666 hundreds of thousands of Faylee Kurds (in addition to other Iraqi citizens such as, Turkomans, Arabs and from other ethnic groups) were forcibly expelled from Iraq to neighboring Iran. It started, as mentioned above, with the expulsion of the biggest Faylee Kurdish businessmen and richest merchants from Baghdad on 7 April 1980. The other deportees were picked up soon after from their homes, shops, businesses, schools, government offices, work places, military units etc. Thousands of young Faylee Kurds were detained in internment camps and then disappeared without a trace.

It is worth mentioning here that while the former Iraqi regime called the expelled Faylee Kurds officially “of foreign origin” and “Iranian Dependents” and unofficially “Iranians”, the Iranian authorities considered them officially as stateless aliens “of Iraqi origin”, giving some of them the “Green Card” and a few the Iranian citizenship, called them unofficially “guests” with no legal status or rights, while common Iranians called them “Arabah”, meaning Arabs.

The forcible expulsion of Faylee Kurds in 1969-1971, the sending of :refugee” Kurds returning from Iran after the collapse of the Kurdish movement in 1975 to the south in small numbers scattered among Arab communities, the mass forcible expulsion of Faylee Kurds starting April 1980, the “Anfal” campaign at the end of the 1980s, the Decision Number 199 issued by the Revolution Command Council on 6 September 2001 – the so-called “change of ethnicity” - giving every Iraqi aged 18 years or more “the right” to change his/her ethnicity to Arabic, as well as other decrees, decisions and laws of this kind, are all part and parcel of the concerted campaign of ethnic cleansing directed against Iraqi Kurds and ethnic minorities by the former regime.

The Present
Although almost five years has passed since the totalitarian regime was toppled, Faylee Kurds believe the new order has so far totally failed them, their expectations unfulfilled, their rights not restored and their grievances not addressed seriously. They notice a general lack of interest, indifference and even procrastination on the part of the Iraqi authorities to restore their Iraqi citizenship and give them back their documents and confiscated businesses and property, inform them about their “disappeared” interned youth, let them play their role in the current political process and let them have a say in the ongoing reconciliation efforts, as victims . They feel they are still considered and treated as lower-class “citizens” in the new “democratic” Iraq. Very few of the expelled Iraqi Faylee Kurds have been able to return to their homes in Iraq, for the afore-mentioned reasons and because of the general lack of security, wide-spread unemployment, run-away inflation, and lack of basic services and amenities.

The situation of Faylee Kurds inside Iraq, particularly in Baghdad, Khanaqin and Mendali, has worsened drastically because of terrorism and insecurity. Hundreds and thousands of Faylee Kurds have been killed, maimed and injured by suicide bombers, car bombs, roadside bombs and kidnappings, and have suffered greatly as victims of forcible displacement, extortion and threats.

There are no political forces, whether Kurdish or Arabic, that has engaged itself wholeheartedly or take real steps to alleviate the plight of Iraqi Faylee Kurds or defend their rights in the echelons of power in Iraq, although Faylee Kurds have petitioned and pleaded to the government and the political forces in power on the necessity of dealing with the issues concerning Faylee Kurds in a concerted effort rather than in piecemeal steps in order to help improve their situation in general as a group rather than only help individuals with the “right” political contacts and connections or those who are party members, sympathizers or supporters.

According to Faylee Kurds themselves, the continuation of the problems facing Iraqi Faylee Kurds is due, among other things, to the following factors:
1- Faylee Kurds have neither been extremist nationalists nor religious fundamentalists or sectarian fanatics. They are known to be law-abiding citizens. They have lived in harmony and intermixed with the other social segments and ethnic, religious and sectarian sections of the Iraqi population. Faylee Kurds have not carried arms under the new order and have not been involved in acts of terrorism. On the contrary, they have been victims of such acts.
2- As the political scene in Iraq has been since the overthrow of the old regime, and since Faylee Kurds are a relatively small, scattered and unarmed group that is not under the ”guardianship” or “sponsorship” of any of the neighboring governments, and because Faylee Kurds do not act as a proxy for any of these governments, neither politically nor militarily, none of these governments acts on their behalf either.
3- There is practically no Iraqi political party or grouping now in power in Iraq, whether Kurdish or secular or religious, that has shown a real will to act to restore Faylee Kurds rights, although most, if not all, of them pay them lip-service now and then. The main reason being that these parties and groupings have priorities and agendas, where Faylee Kurd issues are obviously much less significant for them at the present time than other for them more vital issues.
4- There are some doubts among certain Faylee Kurd circles that Faylee Kurds might be one of the minor “chess pieces” in the ongoing power game and political cum armed struggle in Iraq and the redrawing of the geo-political and the regional-administrative map of the country.
5- Influential circles and individuals now in power in Iraq do not want the facts about what happened to Faylee Kurds under the old regime to come to light because these facts may embarrass and/or implicate them in the harsh measures that accompanied the expulsion of Faylee Kurds and the internment and subsequent “disappearance” of their youth, as well as to conceal the identities of the actual beneficiaries of the businesses and property confiscated from Faylee Kurds.
6- Faylee Kurds are now scattered over four continents, Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. They are organizationally fragmented into numerous organizations. They have so far not been able to maintain a viable degree of co-ordination in their endeavors.

The Future
Aspirations, Opportunities and Challenges
In addition to the above mentioned weaknesses, and as a direct and indirect consequence of the mass expulsion campaign, Faylee Kurds in Iraq suffer other weaknesses.

1- They are spatially and geographically spread over many areas inside Iraq and in countries in Europe, North America, and Australia, in addition to the Middle East.

2- Their cultural coherence and social fabrics are substantially weakened as a result. By the passage of time, their identity and self awareness, language and cultural heritage risk disappearing, especially among the new generations. They are under the constant pressure of the other cultures amidst which they live and study and by which they are influenced, in addition to the pressure to “assimilate” and the need to “be accepted” by these cultures and thereby can “pass”.

3- They are politically and organizationally fragmented and to some extent disoriented, having no common “reference group” or leadership coordinating or stream-line the piece-meal efforts of each faction, or speak on their behalf with one effective voice.

4- After the initial general sense of optimism and expectations among Faylee Kurds after the fall of the former regime, there is now a wide-spread sense of pessimism and frustration and helplessness, as well as a growing feeling of dissatisfaction and a sense of betrayal. The common attitude among them is that the new order in Iraq has so far failed the them and that the political groupings ruling the country now have shown a remarkable degree of indifference towards them and much duplicity in lifting the injustices brought upon them by the former regime.

5- As a consequence, there is a growing demand among them in general and their elite in particular to take matters into their own hands and if necessary turn to the outside world for help and assistance, hoping that the UN, EU, and other governments, the US Congress and the European Parliament, may be willing to intercede on their behalf with the Iraqi authorities so that their rights are restored, their problems brought to an end, the wrongs done against them are put right, and the injustices brought upon them by the former regime are undone.

6- Faylee Kurds consider their demands to be basic human rights, legitimate and quite reasonable; they see them as elementary in any democratic system of government. Their main demands are:
A- Declare null and void Decision No. 666 of 1980 and all the decisions, decrees, and laws issued based upon it, as well as all their legal and practical consequences.
B- Declare as baseless and void the stigma of being of “Iranian Dependency” and of “Foreign Origin”, and the allegation of being “ not loyal to the fatherland and the people”, arbitrarily leveled against them by the former totalitarian regime.
C- Constitutionally and legally safeguard their full rights as Iraqi citizens, and politically guarantee that they will not be once again subjected to similar policies and treatment, nor to discrimination, neither in law nor in practice.
D- Give them the opportunity to be integrated in the ongoing political process and efforts of national reconciliation in Iraq in order to enable them to play their constructive role in both.
E- Restore their repealed Iraqi citizenship without red tape and endless requirements and unreasonable bureaucratic procedures and pass a enlightened law of citizenship that does not discriminate between Iraqis on any pretexts, and that respects the right of all citizens.
F- Give them back their Iraqi documents seized from them by the Iraqi authorities themselves, and pass a law that prohibits the seizure of these documents by the authorities except after a decision from a court of law in serious criminal cases.
G- Return to them their businesses and movable and immovable property confiscated from them by the State of Iraq and register to the Ministry of Finance and other ministries and departments, and pass a law that respects the rights of all Iraqis to their businesses and property, a law that prohibits confiscation except for public good, provided that a fair compensation is paid to the owner(s).
H- Provide them with information on the fate and whereabouts of the remains of the thousands of their “disappeared” interned youth and other Faylee Kurd political prisoners.
I- Facilitate the repatriation of expelled Iraqi Faylee Kurds who want to return to their original places of residence and compensate those who choose to live in other places, whether inside or outside Iraq. J- Attend to the needs of expelled Iraqi Faylee Kurds and other Iraqis, and their children still in Iran especially those living in (tent) camps in Iran, by giving them economic support, healthcare, education and other basic amenities, until they can be repatriated to their homeland Iraq.
These measures and steps need be initiated and demanded by Iraqi Faylee Kurds themselves and their sympathizers. Nevertheless, these measures and steps must be proposed to Parliament by the Iraqi government, passed by parliament and approved by the presidential council in order to be binding and have any lasting effects.

Political Issues Need Political Measures and Instruments
The above account and analysis show that it was the state of Iraq, at the highest political level, that has issued the various laws of citizenship and the numerous decrees and decisions that led to the above- mentioned consequences of ethnic cleansing and large-scale killing of Faylee Kurds. These laws, decrees and decisions were politically and economically motivated and directed mainly against the Faylee Kurds, though they are, for obvious reasons, written in general terms and do not openly mention “Faylee Kurds” by name. Therefore, it is the duty of the same state of Iraq, at the highest political level, to put right the wrongs it had brought upon its own Iraqi citizens the Faylee Kurd citizens by means of political measures, decisions, measures and instruments.

The problems and difficulties facing Faylee Kurds have their root in the historical protracted political, territorial, military, national and sectarian conflicts between the strong neighbors to the north and the east. The origins of these problems and difficulties are in the excessive nationalist ideology and openly discriminatory doctrine of the elite, reflected in the laws adopted by the newly created state of Iraq, Citizenship Law Number 42 of 1924 (written by officials from the former Ottoman bureaucrats with the help of the British colonial power); this law arbitrarily divided the citizens of the new state of Iraq into dependents of two foreign powers, of “Ottoman Dependency” (upper class citizens) and of “Iranian Dependency” (lower class citizens). The Citizenship Law Number 43 of 1963 was more discriminatory against the latter than its predecessor. The crux of current problems is Decision No. 666 issued on 7 May 1980 and its consequences. Nullifying that decision and all its consequences and passing a democratic non-discriminatory citizenship law require political will and decisions by the highest executive authority in Iraq, namely, the Presidency and the Government, as well as by the legislative authority, the Iraqi Parliament, in the form of an amendment to the Constitution and/or a the adoption of laws outlawing and banning the repeat of the past, of what the state of Iraq had done against Faylee Kurds and other Iraqi citizens en mass.

The problems facing Faylee Kurds in Iraq are political and economic, problems that need political and economic solutions and measures. Instead of such solutions and measures, the state of Iraq and its authorities have so far adopted administrative and judicial measures that have led to red tape and endless and costly bureaucratic “procedures”, as well as partial and piece-meal decisions that often lead to more problems and complications , except in very rare cases where there are the right “connections” to the right political party and/or militia group, and/or where the right amount of bribery is paid. The state of Iraq has transformed these political and economic problems it had itself created between itself a whole segment of its own citizens into administrative and bureaucratic procedures of individual “property disputes” and routine applications for official documents, which have practically complicated these problems rather than solved them. The judicial processes and court procedures of these “disputes” and the applications for documents are endless, risky and generally inconclusive usually leading nowhere, due to rampant corruption, bribery on a large scale and tampering with official documents, weak legal system, threats and violence, and loopholes in the laws, according to Faylee Kurd sources following cases of people trying to get back their businesses, property and documents.

However, if and when the area of Baghdad, the seat of federal power, becomes its own region in the federal Iraq that is made up of several regions, Faylee Kurds will then constitute a significant segment of the population of that region. This may mean that they will then carry a heavier political weight and that will give them more influence at the regional level and probably some more leverage on the federal level, if they can present themselves as a coherent viable group. Consequently that may become their source of hope and opportunity in order to be able to influence and improve their position and their fortunes in the not very far future in the new democratic and federal Iraq. Meanwhile, they need act themselves after coordinating their efforts and endeavors, and at the same time engage and seek support from the political forces in power and those engaged in the political process. This in turn presupposes that Faylee Kurds continue to be on good terms with all sections and segments of Iraqi society (from all ethnic groups, religions and sects) since they cannot politically and otherwise afford alienating any of the major Iraqi political forces representing these segments, especially in areas they inhabit in which they are relatively small and weak and have neither a “backyard” nor a “backer” and very limited room for maneuvers.

The success of Faylee Kurds to achieve their human, cultural, economic and political rights and play a viable role in the political and national reconciliation process will ultimately depend on how well they can mobilize and organize themselves. It likewise depends on how intelligently they utilize their human and financial resources as well as the media. Getting positive responses to their demands will depend on how clear they can formulate their demands and priorities and, more importantly, how articulate they are in formulating their case and how subtle and tactful they are in presenting their demands to the Iraqi and Kurdish authorities, to the leading Iraqi political forces, and to public opinion, as well as to the real power in Iraq, the Multi-national Force, the USA, and eventually to the international community when and if necessary.

Dr. M. Jafar
E-AIL: m.jafar@telia.com

Ph. D. in Economics and Regional Planning, 1976, University of Helsinki, Finland.
Postdoctoral Research Fee Student,1977-1980, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
Member, Swedish Writers’ Union, Stockholm, Sweden.

Decision 666 of 1980
In the name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful
The Revolution Command Council
Decision Number / 666
Decision Date / 07.05.1980

In accordance with the provisions of Paragraph (A) of Article Forty Two of the Interim Constitution, the Revolution Command Council decided in its session held on 07/05/1980 the following:
1. To repeal (nullify) the Iraqi citizenship of every Iraqi of foreign origin if it is shown that he is not loyal to the homeland and the people and the high nationalist and social objectives of the Revolution.
2. The Minister of the Interior must order the expulsion of anyone whose Iraqi Citizenship had been repealed (nullified) according to Paragraph (1), unless he is convinced, on the basis of sufficient reasons, that his stay in Iraq is a matter required by judicial or legal necessity or for the safeguarding of officially documented rights of other persons.
3. The Minister of the Interior undertakes to execute this resolution.

Saddam Hussein
Chairman of the Revolution Command Council
Translation by the writer from the Arabic text as published in the official Gazette, al-Waqa’i al-Iraqia, Baghdad, number 2776, 26/05/1980 and scanned and published on the internet site www.faylee.org, Documents.

Decision 199 of 2001
Decision Number 199 of 2001
Issued by the Revolution Command Council on 6 September 2001

Since there are inherited cases in the registries of the Ottoman rule of Iraq, and in order to give each Iraqi to choose his ethnicity, and in harmony with the principles of the Arab Baath Socialist Party that an Arab is he who has lived in the Arab homeland and spoken the Arabic language and chose Arabism as his ethnicity, and in accordance with Clause (1) of the Forty Second Article of the Constitution, the Revolution Command Council has decided the following;
First: Each Iraqi who has filled eighteen years of age has the right to apply for the change of his ethnicity to the Arab ethnicity.
Second: The application to change ethnicity is send to the Office of Citizenship and Civil Affairs where the person is registered.
Third: The director of Citizenship and Civil Affairs in the province decides on the application within (60) days from the date of the application.
Forth: The decision to change ethnicity is recorded in the Civil Register, and is considered a basis for changing all other official registers and documents.
Fifth: The Minister of the Interior issues instructions to facilitate the implementation of the articles of this decision.
Sixth: This decision is implemented from the date it is published in the official gazette.

Saddam Hussein
Chairman of the Revolution Command Council

Translation by the writer from the Arabic text as published on the internet site www.faylee.org, Documents.


(*) A paper presented to the International Academic Conference on the
held at the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland, on March 17-18, 2008 (Monday-Tuesday)

1. According to the late Iraqi author and translator Jirjis Fathulla in “Ilam” (a publication issued in Gothenburg, Sweden) citing another publication, “Roj”, No. 8, Faylee Kurds under the leadership of Zolfiqar Ahmad Sultan Moosali conquered Baghdad and ruled Iraq from north of Samara to Basra between 1523 and 1529. However, their rule came to an end because of intrigues relating to the conflict between the two neighboring empires, the Ottoman and the Safawid. He adds that the first reference to Faylee Kurds in English books is made by James Frazer in his book The History of Nadir Shah, published in 1744.
W. A. Wickram, The Cradle of Civilization, Life in Eastern Kurdistan, translated into Arabic by Jirjis Fathulla, Baghdad, Iraq, 1971.
Moreover, according to the Kurdish author Izzedin Mustafa Rasool, the Sharafnameh, the first Kurdish work on the history of Kurds and the geography of Kurdistan, written by Sharafkhan Bidlisi in 1584, mentions that (Faylee) Kurds were then settling Baghdad permanently. (Private communication during the first Academic Conference on the Kurds and Kurdistan in Poznan, Poland).

2. Some Turkish circles now and then lay claims to the Mosul Vilayat – the present day provinces of Mosul, Dahok, Arbil, Suleimaniya and Kirkuk. The Algiers Agreement of 1975 fixing the borders between Iraq and Iran is still a bone of contention and a source of disagreement between Iraq and Iran. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing first Gulf War at the beginning of the nineteen nineties was about borders too. Dr. Majeed Jafar, Under-underdevelopment, an Economic, Social and Political Study of Kurdistan, Turkey, 1st Edition Beirut, Lebanon, 1990, 2nd Edition, Suleimaniya, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, 2007.

3. Nejim Salman, Fayliyoun (Faylees), Stockholm, 2001, in Arabic.

4. M. A. Zeki, A Summary of the History of Kurds and Kurdistan, 2 volume, 2nd Edition, Baghdad, Iraq, 1961, in Arabic.

5. Hiwa Zendi, “Proposal for Writing in the Faylee Kurdish Dialect”, 1st Edition, Stockholm, Sweden 2007, 2nd Edition, Arbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, 2007.

6. Many Faylee Kurds expected that being both ethnically Kurds and religiously Shiite Muslims and will be to their advantage and will enhance their fortunes in the new Iraq, since the two main political groupings ruling Iraq after the overthrow of the old regime are the Shiites and the Kurds. However, they maintain, available indicators do not point in this direction. Some Faylee Kurds maintain that, it is actually to the contrary. They say that significant sections of Shiite Arab politicians suspect that Faylee Kurds will at the end lean more towards their fellow Kurds, whereas some Kurdish politicians openly or privately maintain or suspect that Faylee Kurds lean more towards their fellow Shiites.

7. This is not unique to Kurds living in Iraq outside the Kurdistan Region. Kurds living in Syria and Lebanon as well as expelled Iraqi Kurds living in Iran have/have had similar problems of being “aliens” or “of foreign origin”.

8. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Joe Rice, who recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, expressing his personal opinion, said that Baghdad is a deeply mixed city, and he noted: "The largest Kurdish city in Iraq? Baghdad. The largest Sunni city? Baghdad. The largest Shiite city? Yep, Baghdad." (By Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post Staff Writer, The Washington Post, Sunday, April 30, 2006).

9. Subsequently an exodus from Iran of these Iraqi expellees took place mostly to a number of the West European countries, mainly Sweden, as well as Denmark, Germany, Holland, England and France, and some to Australia, Canada and the USA.

10. This law required every Iraqi citizen to have a document of citizenship “Jinsiya” as well as a certificate of citizenship “Shahadat al-Jinsiya”. This duality is a novelty unheard of in other countries, according to many.

11. On April 4, 1980, more than a month before Decision 666 was taken, wealthy Iraqi Faylee Kurdish merchants and businessmen were called to a meeting at the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce ostensibly to be informed about improved new import licenses. All present were rounded up there and then, taken to the security headquarters (al-Amn al-Amma), interrogated, abused and insulted, their documents and money taken from them, driven to the airport and put on plane(s) to Tehran.

12. Some Kurdish writers and politicians emphasize that “Anfal” did not begin in 1988 but it rather began with the mass deportation of Faylee Kurds in 1980, and some go back even further in time and maintain that “Anfal” actually began with the first large-scale deportation of Faylee Kurds in 1970 (Prof. Delwar Ala Aldin, http://www.gilgamish.org).

13. The Iraqi High Tribunal, http://www.iraq-iht.org/en/orgenal.html.

14. Unconfirmed reports indicate that they were used in military practices and experiments as living targets in the chemical and biological programs of the former regime, others were drained of their blood and vital organs which were given to injured high officers during the Iraq-Iran and Kuwait wars, and the rest died of disease and starvation or killed during the economic sanction on Iraq.

15. After 28 years in Iran some of the expelled Faylee Kurds still live in tents in “refugee” camps with very limited facilities, in temperature very much below freezing, children have no right to attend schools, with restrictions on their freedom of movement, and living under very harsh economic and living conditions.

16. Faylee Kurds commonly strongly feel that the Kurdish and the secular and religious Arabic political parties and groups ruling Iraq at present have also failed them wholly, despite the sacrifices they made and the suffering they endured for financing, joining and supporting these parties and groups when they were in opposition to the former regime, notwithstanding the lip-service these parties and groups pay to Faylee Kurds and the promises they have made and make to address their problem.

17. A preliminary finding by a Faylee Kurd research group, among them the writer, Stockholm, 2007, unpublished yet.

18. Many of the neighboring countries act as “guardians” or “sponsors” of certain sections of Iraqi population. Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia for Sunni Arabs, Iran for the Shiite Arabs and Turkomans and Turkey for the Turkomans. Other countries act as “guardians” or “sponsors” for certain political parties and armed groups, such as Syria. Kurds in the Region enjoy sympathy and support from the international community at large, in particular the USA, because of what they have suffered but also because of earlier US policies and duplicity.

19. For the Kurdish main parties the vital issues that are at the top of their agenda are understandably Kirkuk and the other disputed areas and the implementation of Article No. 140 of the constitution, the Region’s oil contracts and the Region’s share in the central budget. As for the Arab Shiite parties their main top priorities are to secure their newly won freedom, tighten their grip on over power, secure their share in the over-all oil-revenues and prevent the return to the “old order”.

20. The disagreements and conflicts among Iraqi political parties and groupings on the issue of power-sharing, the structure of the state, decentralization and federalism, control over natural resources - oil, the sharing of state revenues and the budget, are all part of the ongoing struggle and conflict to secure political power and economic privileges, although this struggle and conflict appears sometimes as sectarian and/or ethnic.

21. This fragmentation is used against them by the ruling political forces as a reason, or pretext, for not addressing their issues, maintaining that this fragmentation and lack of co-ordination among Iraqi Faylee Kurds hinder them from taking any measure in this respect.

22. They cite examples from some democracies, two from the USA, the real power in Iraq, namely, of both the strong presidential contender, Mr. Obama, who is of a Kenyan father, and California’s Governor Mr. Schwarzenegger, a naturalized American of Austrian parents (Wikipedia, http://www.wikipedia.org). They also mention numerous ministers and members of parliament, in Europe, Sweden for example, who are naturalized citizens but born in Iraq, Iran and Turkey. Such things are unthinkable in Iraq, and therefore, they wonder what kind of democracy is that which is applied in Iraq today?

23. When applying for Iraqi documents at home and especially at Iraqi embassies, Faylee Kurds are required to show their Iraqi ID-documents, documents which the Iraqi authorities themselves had earlier seized from them; a vicious circle and a no-win Catch 22 situation. Among others, Dr. Kadhum Habib, Is Not there an End to Faylee Kurds Suffering Despite the Fall of the Regime, www.shafaaq.net, 24-1
-2008, Dr. Mehdi Kakei, Faylee Kurds, Originality, Authenticity, Hopes and Worries, a series of 16 articles so far, www.faylee.org, 2007, Archives, Documents and Articles, www.faylee.org.

24. Citizens of any country in the world have one document proving their citizenship of the country. In Iraq an Iraqi citizen needs, in addition to such document of citizenship (Jinsiya), a second document called “certificate of citizenship” (Shahadat al-Jinsiya), in which the holder’s so-called “dependency” (Ottoman or Iranian) is recorded either openly in clear text, as was the practice in totalitarian Iraq, or by a code, as the practice is in today’s “democratic” Iraq. Those who are registered as of “Iranian Dependency” are prohibited from joining the military (except sometimes as conscripts), and the police, or hold (high) posts within the state apparatus in Iraq. Therefore, Faylee Kurds usually choose trade and business and the professions, such as physicians, dentists, engineers, lawyers, etc. However, recent officially unconfirmed media rapports (such as the Iraqi al-Sharqiya TV station) indicate that the condition of dependency (Tabaiya) will not be applied to Iraqi citizens who had been forcibly deported from Iraq and who apply to, among others, the police corps or the armed forces.

25. The problem of businesses and property confiscated from Faylee Kurds was originally between the lawful owners, the expelled Faylee Kurds, and the state that confiscated these businesses and property and registered them to Ministry of Finance and other ministries. The new order, through, a legal device, some say trick, turned the problem into disputes and conflicts between the original lawful owners, the expelled Faylee Kurds, and the current owners. This has led to armed conflicts and killings as well as endless court procedures and bureaucratic red tape, in a situation of corruption, nepotism and greed. Among others, Judge Zuhair Kadhum Abbod, The Legal Responsibility in the Case of Faylee Kurds, Arbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, 2007 and Dr. Prof. Adnan Abbas, A Look in the Judge Zuhair Kadhum Abbod’s (The Legal Responsibility in the Case of Faylee Kurds), www.faylee.org, 31-12-2007.