Badrakhan to SEE: Marginalizing Kurds’ through Media Done Intentionally

By Nour El-hoda Fouad, Salma Yassin

Ali Badrakhan, the Kurdish great director, declared that the Kurds’ marginalization in the media and cinema is not a coincidence but an intended action. “SEE” had an interview with Badrakhan alongside his honoring on behalf of his grandfather Mekdad Medhat Badrakhan, who established the first Kurdish newspaper under the title “The Kurdish”. Here are the excerpts of the interview during a ceremony held by the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Cairo to celebrate the 121st anniversary of the newspaper’s establishment.

Can you tell us more about your Kurdish origin?

My family were living in Turkey on “Emirate of Badrakhan” island which was a nascent state against the Ottoman rule. Unfortunately, Ottomans took over this state which was a dream for all Kurds and my family escaped to Egypt where they had close relations with the Kurdish Muhammad Ali Pasha, who was financially supporting Emirate of Badrakhan. After arriving Egypt 2 centuries ago, My grandfather established “The Turkish” journalism.


Is Badrakhan your family nickname or your father’s?

“Badrakhan” is our family’s nickname but it’s also a main part of our culture, so we inherited this name to be combined with every one’s name. For example, my name is Ali Badrakhan, my father’s name is Ahmed El Ali Badrakhan and my eldest son’s name is also Badrakhan.


What is the relationship between the Kurds and Egyptians?

Actually, the Kurds have deep origins, long family chains and many famous Egyptian celebrities have Kurdish origins like the late renowned actress Soad Hosny, actors Salah el-Saadany, Naguib Al-Rihani, Mahmoud El-Meligy and others. In the same context, huge number of Salah al-Din al-Ayoubi’s Soldiers had Kurdish origins, that’s why we find some villages in Egypt called “the Kurdish”. Egyptians, all over the years, were strongly involved with Kurds people who have their unique personality, language, outfit, culture and traditions

What is the importance of this celebration?

This celebration reminds us our role models who were aware of the Kurds’ cause and took effective steps to support it. These events aim at raising public awareness and confirming that our lands were occupied, marginalized and there have been numerous attempts to completely remove them.


Has “The Kurdish” newspaper succeeded in raising this awareness campaign?

The Kurdish journalism was established to reach every Kurdish world-wide and to raise all people awareness regarding this cause. Indeed our problems were about to be solved in Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1916; which promised to form a Kurdish state; the same as what happened with Armenians, but the United States, England and France usurped our land after the discovery of oil inside.

Why is there an unclear vision regarding Kurdistan region’s problems?

Because media outlets have been ignoring Kurdistan’s cause for political purpose. Even film-makers refuse to adopt movies that narrate what happened to the Kurds. Just few movies exist in Iran, Iraq and Syria, but we can’t reach them as well, So nowadays, it’s hard to meet someone who know much about the Kurds and most of people think that Kurds are Turks.

What is the difference between Kurdistan and Palestine?

I totally support the Palestinian question but I can say that Palestinians are much lucky as their problems are well known by the whole universe, in contrast to what happened to Kurdistan which was eradicated with chemical weapons and people were buried alive, persecuted, and banned from their basic living conditions

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