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Global Kurdish Initiative for Peace

Advancing understanding of Kurdish people, history, and culture through dialogue and scholarship

Global Kurdish Initiative for Peace is a research initiative at the School of International Service at American University.

A vibrant history; a challenging future

A people both ancient and indigenous to lands of the Middle East, the Kurds today represent the fourth largest ethnic group in the region. But the Kurds have never had a permanent, independent state. Who are the Kurds, and how has their culture come to signify so much about the beauty—and the challenges—of a most beautiful and challenging area of the world?

The Global Kurdish Initiative for Peace will use our platform to grow recognition of the long and rich history and cultural traditions of the Kurdish people. We’ll also work toward understanding of the onerous challenges faced by the Kurdish communities in the Middle East, including oppression and genocide. And we’ll draw attention to the positive contributions of the Kurdish diaspora worldwide.

Thematic Pillars
Our Team
Student Opportunities

This initiative is focused on four pillars:

  1. Education
  2. Empathy
  3. Community
  4. Advocacy

Our team will use publications, media commentary, public events, and social media to advance these pillars and a positive understanding of the Kurdish people.

Explore each pillar

The Global Kurdish Initiative for Peace is led by the Mustafa Barzani Scholar of Global Kurdish Studies, Yerevan Saeed. We are a passionate and motivated community. Interested in joining the team? Reach out to

Meet the team

The Global Kurdish Initiative for Peace includes the Barzani Peace Fellowship, a scholarship opportunity for graduate students. The fellowship stands as a beacon of hope for students passionate about Kurdish affairs, offering a unique scholarship opportunity to cultivate a new generation of leaders committed to fostering peace, understanding, and positive change.

Learn more

The Kurds are one of the world's largest ethnic groups without their own independent state. Their historical homeland, Kurdistan, stretches across parts of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria.


Ambassador Silliman, President of the Arab Gulf Institute in Washington, SIS

Ambassador Silliman

2/21, 4 p.m.: Join us for a discussion on the US foreign policy towards Iraq and the wider region in light of escalating geopolitical tensions.


SIS Online event Fractured Hopes the Frustrations of Federalism in Resolving Conflicts in Iraq with Yerevan Saeed and Dlawer Ala'Aldeen.

Fractured Hopes

Yerevan Saeed and Dlawer Ala'Aldeen discuss federalism and resolving conflicts as it relates to Iraq and broader politics of the region.

Watch the Video

In person event Exploring Kurdish Culture with Yerevan Saeed and Treefa Aziz.

Exploring Kurdish Culture and Politics

Treefa Aziz and Yerevan Saeed discuss Kurdish culture and politics.

Watch the Video

In the Media