Yasin Mahmoud Aziz is from the town of Halabja in south Kurdistan. He came to England in late 1984, having been called to join Saddam’s army in the fight against Iran. With no other way to avoid the war, he left the country, living in Bulgaria, working in Libya and Italy, and at last settling in England. As his English was poor, he attended college, where he studied for GCSEs, and went into higher education at the West London College / Brunel University to complete an honours degree in Business and Art. This was in 1996. He started work with the college’s computer system, acting in maintenance and user support. A year later he was working as a civil servant with the Inland Revenue, and continued in that role for about ten years.
He has always tried to improve his English, especially as the mother of his two boys, his ex-wife, is English. He keeps fit, and has run over twenty-five marathons, a discipline that helps him to get over his homesickness and thoughts of troubles back home.
As soon as he’d begun to master English he started to write his book about Dum Dum Castle, with reference to historical facts about this tragic event. The original story was by Areb Shamo, an Armenian or Russian writer, who about fifty years ago translated it into Kurdish. It tells of a tribe who rebuilt the castle in trying to preserve their pastoral way of life and defend themselves, which they did for many years until their tragic end in 1605 CE. Kurds in the Middle East have always striven to carry on their way of life, despite threats to their very existence by invading superpowers.
The present author has called on historical facts through a Kurdish historian and friend from Halabja, dating back to his time in Iran during the Kurdish mass exodus in 1991, and Saddam’s brutal attempt to wipe out the Kurds in north Iraq. To him he’s especially grateful. It has been a long process, to write as a sort of historical novel events surrounding the Safavid and Ottoman empires, and conflict with the Persians. The aim has always been to bring to the English-speaking community a dramatisation of the history and struggle of the Kurds.
Yasin Aziz published two books in Kurdish in 2012, Health & Fitness in Running Marathons, and a book about well-known Kurdish personalities and poets from Islam’s Middle Ages. Another book, about Saladin Ayubi as a Kurdish historical leader, and the Crusaders, is to be published soon, as will a book about the history of English poetry in Kurdish. Also planned are two more books in English on Kurdish poetry in Middle Ages Islam, and one with the working title A Few Days in the Life of the Revolution in Halabja, the town that was bombed with weapons of mass destruction in 1988 by Saddam. There are also poems published in England, some in translation, and reviews and articles published online, on various English and Kurdish topics.
This member has not published any books.