There are certain things that have the ability transcend language and culture, and a brief video capturing the moment after a 90-year-old Christian woman cast a ‘yes’ vote in the historic Kurdish independence referendum does just that. The woman’s joy is palpable as she proudly shows off her ink-stained finger in the 25-second clip.
Watch the video below:
A 90 years old Christian voted Yes in the Kurdistan Region's independence referendum. Video credit: Majd Holbi
Posted by Kurdistan24 English on Monday, September 25, 2017
On Monday, Iraqi Kurds headed to the polls to cast their vote in a non-binding referendum that could ultimately determine whether Iraq’s largest ethnic minority seeks independence from Baghdad. Some 3 million people were expected to turn out, despite calls from the United States and others warning Kurdish independence could cause further turmoil in the Middle East.
According to CNN, the U.S., United Kingdom, and United Nations have all expressed concern that the referendum would destabilize the fight against ISIS. Iran and Turkey, meanwhile, each with Kurdish minorities of their own, fear a successful vote in Iraq could spark movements in countries as well. Speaking in a televised address from Baghdad on Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said “the referendum is unconstitutional” and “a danger to the region.”
While there are concerns, that’s not stopping the excitement and hope expressed by the Kurds. Via CBN News:
“This is a good opportunity for all Kurdish people to go on the box and say ‘yes’ for referendum, one Kurdish man named Bashdn told CBN News.
“It’s our right to get like the other countries, to have own state,” another named Madjid said.
“If we will not do the referendum now, when will we do it?” a third man named Mohammed asked. “I feel great because this is the dream from our grand grandfather…this is the dream for all Kurdish – [that] we have our own country.”
Nonetheless, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed what he described as “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state.” The mood among Kurds at the polls on Monday was equally optimistic.
“To see the crowds and the parties standing shoulder to shoulder, this is a great day in my life,” former Peshmerga fighter and Kurdish MP Aso Karim Mohamad told CNN. “This is a big celebration. It is what every Kurd wants.”
(H/T: Kurdistan24 English)