14.03.1903 - 01.03.1979
By Alex Atroushi
April 16, 1994
The most prominent Kurdish national leader, Mustafa Barzani, was President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) when he died on 1 March 1979 at Georgetown Hospital, Washington DC. Millions of Kurds and others mourned him. His memory will remain alive in the hearts of all Kurds who support the aims he struggled for all his life. He will remain a towering figure in the history of the Kurdish people. He remains the inspiration and ideal for
today's Kurdish youth who are fired by the spirit, tenacity and resilience of the legend that never wavered in his commitment to the Kurdish struggle for Peace, Freedom and Democracy.
Born in the village of Barzan on 14 th March 1903.
Detained with his mother in Mosul Prison in 1906, After uprising
against the Ottoman rule.
Took part in Sheikh Mahmoud's uprising in 1919 commanding a 300 man force.
Visited Sheikh Said Piran ( in northern Kurdistan ) as a representative of his elder brother, Sheikh Ahmad ( Sheikh Said led the Kurdish uprising in 1925 ).
Commanded Barzan forces resisting the Iraqi Government campaign, supported by British forces against the Kurds in 1932. Then he and a number of Pesh-margas went to Turkey. Sheikh Ahmad was arrested and handed over to the Iraqi authorities. During the same year, he returned to Mosul and was arrested.
He was banished to various towns between 1932 and 1943.
Managed to escape, with the help of Hiwa Party and other Kurds, and
returned to Barzan.
Led the Barzan uprising against Iraqi regime, which were directly helped
by the British Royal Air Forces in 1945. In the same year, he and his
forces went to Mahabad and participated in the consolidation of the Mahabad Republic. He was appointed Commander of the Republic's Army and given the rank of General by the former Soviet Union.
In 1946 he and other Kurds founded the KDP and was elected its President.
He was President of the Party from that time until his death 1979.
Fought the forces of defunct Shah, Shah has the help of Britain and the USA, and after the collapse of Mahabad Republiche, Barzani and 500 of the Pesh-mergas fought the armies of Iran, Iraq and Turkey and Reached the former Soviet Union, where they Became refugees until 1958.
He and his Pesh-merga returned to Iraq on 6th October 1958, i.e. After
the 14th July revolution. He welcomed by Kurdish and Iraqi popular masses, as well as officially, as a national hero.
Led the September Revolution from 11th September 1961 until the collapse in March 1975.
During the 8th February 1963 Black Coup by the Bath Party, Barzani welcomed all Iraqi, Kurdish , Arab and other minorities patriots to the liberated Areas.
The Kurdish national movement, under Barzani's Leadership, signed the 11th March 1970 agreement with Iraqi government, stipulating autonomy for Kurdish within Iraq, which the government Subsequently reneged.
After the collapse of September Revolution March 1975, Barzani lived in Iran for a time under many restrictions. Because of failing health and his distrust of the Shah, he went to USA to receive treatment for his lung cancer and remained there until his death.
He had decided to return to Kurdistan via Iran 1979.
Died in the late hours of Thursday, the 1st of March 1979 at George Town Hospital, Washington DC, and subsequently buried in Shuno( Ashnoviya in Kurdistan-Iran). A massive crowd of people took part in his funeral.
1994, over million people took part in mass memorial throughout free Kurdistan to commemorate his 15th anniversary and with his body moved from Ashnoviya to Barzan, where he was born.