For centuries, Arabs and Kurds have shared not only the same geographical space, but also the same cultural sphere. Even during periods of heighten awareness of their ethnic differences, it would have been impossible to speak of anything approaching a “Kurdish Question” within the Arab world prior the twentieth century and the advent—and global spread—of the nation-state model born in the 19th century, which, in its Middle Eastern variant, was always rooted in ethnicity. This was complicated by the need of the emergent nation-states to absorb and integrate nascent political identities born of these ethnic groups. This paper elaborates the themes that will be explored during a two-day (April 29-30, 2017) academic symposium hosted by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Doha, Qatar.
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