Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on June 30, 1973 · Page 48
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 48

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 30, 1973
Page 48
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Page 48 article text (OCR)

-. V j Time slow to change forbidding Kurdist /*. Washington Post Service HAH OMRAN, Iraq-Like the Babylonian Assyrian and other empires that have risen and fallen on the timeless plains of Mesopotamia:, the 20th Century has been unable to invade the f o r b i d d i n g maintain lands of Kurdistan. Change has been forced to skitter in through the mountain passes, usually on the back of war. Village life of the ruggedly handsome Kurds still revolves around the rifles, which are this s o c i e t y's main status symbol; the goats and cattle, which are often given one of the best rooms in a herder's earth and stone house, and the carefully tended fields of apricot trees and vegetables. Now, in a. .small but politically significant group, Kurds educated abroad are beginning to'trickle back to Kurdistan and promote limited modernization. In an area where men have survived for centur ries through banditry and hunting, community development is being given a hesitant try. The village guest house is still the center of community activity in this land where those strangers trusted enough not to be shot on sight are welcomed royally. The status of the agha, or village chieftain, depends directly on the: lavishness of the hospitality he provides for the wayfarer. The visitor who comes to see Mulla Mustafa Barzani, the Kurdish guerrilla general and nationalist leader for half a century,- naturally receives the most elaborate spread Kurdistan can offer in Barzani's summer headquarters, .a small village surrounded by the white canvas military tents of Barzani's traveling retinue and black goat-hide tents of nomadis herdsmen. Barzani spears and gives his guest pieces of chicken from the table laid with Crime rocks ancient city of Krakow United Press International WARSAW- - With its turreted medieval castle, its narrow twisting streets and its 600-year-old univeriity, t h e City of Krakow in southern Poland long has been a favorite tourist spot for Poles and foreigners alike. Now the ancient provincial capital rapidly is gaining a new and less enviable reputation — as the center of this country's most scandal-filled district. "We're not Chicago," one resident said, "but it's bad enough just to be mentioned in the same breath when it comes to crime." The overwhelming majority of illegal activities reported in recent months in Krakow were economic swindles, involving everything from selling stolen gasoline at bargain prices to bribing government factory inspectors and building houses without a permit. Crimes of a more international nature have come to light, too, such as smuggling gold and other valuables across the Czechoslovak frontier 33 miles from Krakow's city center. Yet the Krakow weekly, Zycie Literackie, which carries a lengthy article on the scandals in its current edition, says local police are tak-* ing a heavy toll on the swindlers. In 1970, according to the newspaper 77 persons were arrested in the Krakow dis* trict for economic skulduggery. By 1972, the number soared to 255, and already in the first five months of this year 177 persons have been detained. One group sold pilfered gasoline at a tenth the normal price. Another gang of officials took "insurance" from small local contractors to guarantee a steady flow of orders. But perhaps the most publicized scandal took place late in J972 when police in the resort Village of Zakopane south of Krakow brought in wrecking crews which proceeded to knock down six brand new houses. The owners' offense had been building without a permit, a common enough practice in the popular mountainous region around Zakopane, where many families do a thriving but illegal business by taking in tourists private*T steaming platters of rice, kebab, eggplant soaked in a rich tomatoish sauce and kib- beh. It is washed dowfl with the local watery yogurt drink, or, as a dispensation for the outsider, Baghdad-bottled orange Crush. Honey brought in directly .from a nearby hive is one dessert. Barzani prefers the apricots, plume and peaches grown here. Strong, heavily sugared tea follows the meal. Barzani expresses disappointment in not having been able to host western visitors since early 1972, when relations with the Iraqi government turned bad again and Baghdad began refusing outsiders permission to make their way to the general's mountain lair. Arrangements for trips now have to be made . through a sort of Kurdish underground railroad Barzani has mellowed litle in his 70 years. Asked about his family, Barzani says he has nine sons, the youngest three years old, and 1 seven daughters. A question about the age of his coldest son brings a sudden explosion of .anger that clearly unsettles the aide translating his answers from Kurdish into English. ; "There 1 were 10 sons but only nine are my sons now. There is a dog who was my eldest son, who went over to Baghdad and who is now living in Algeria. He has become an enemy of mine and of my people." Barzani slams the subject shut. No one else is willing to provide information about the son, who evidently defected to the Iraqi side more than a year ago. Constantly at Barzani's side are his sons Idriss, 29, and Massoud, 27. Fresh faced, eager and as quick to laugh as Barzani is to scowl, they ask a visitor about Watergate and Pompidou's health. When they are not scribbling orders on notebook paper to the army and local government departments, they find time to listen to foreign radio news broadcasts. Idriss is the heir apparent to leadership in the Kurdish movement. The conventional wisdom of diplomats, journalists and other middle east watchers is that he may not be strong enough to hold the movement together after Barzani. But like so much of the conventional wisdom in this unpredictable region, this bromide could be impressively wrong. Idriss moves and talks more gently than Barzani, but with the same kind of authority. And he has had the advantage of first-hand observation of Barzani doing his thing- surviving, in the rough and tumble of Kurdish life. Shakhawan has been in the community development business for two months. Before returning to Kurdistan, he received a degree in architecture in East Germany. Now ,he and six assistants — all working under a total budget of $1,500 a year—travel around the Virginia-sized region of Kurdistan, patiently . sitting under walnut trees and telling villagers why they should build corrals and move the cattle ; and goats out of their houses. "The health programs we have in'mind won't do much good unless we can get the villagers interested in changing the basic conditions of village life," the 35-year-old architect explained after a meeting in Khoshkan, home of 200 persons, 300 goats and 150 head of cattle. The chief physician at the small, but immaculate, hospital in nearby Nau Pirdan has also returned to Kurdistan from East Germany in the past year. An even more re- qent arrival is Shafio Qazzaz, who spent the last 12 years in Washington, D.C., earning a doctorate from American University -and working on a Kurdish-English dictionary at Catholic university, Qazzaz, who is to head a new information department for Barzani's Kurish Democratic Party, says that educated Kurds are being drawn back by the traditional leadership's new willingness to give them meaningful jobs. INVESTORS BONANZA HIGH COOL COUNTRY »48":F <W»' Abundant loft min.'rgl free water, surveyed roads, heavily wooded areas APR 8% - 12 yr» - J500 dwr>. D.f. > *751o.OO 24Hr.T»l»phon*Call ligValliyUndCo. MMOli Sat,, June 30, iftft The Arizona Republic A*3i siiiiiiiin* starts today 4*l4 k :ira 114*4* SAVE ON A ROYAL PORTABLE AND TYPE BETTER ELECTRIC ALL Y REG. 99.99 NOW 84.99 Less 15.00 With Trade* Yon Pny 69*99 Apollo 10 model electric typewriter with manual return, 88 character keyboard, automatic and manual ribbon reverse, carrying case. 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