The Kurds are the only ethnic group in the world without an official country. Their unofficial country is Kurdistan and encompasses areas in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. On Aug. 10, 1920 the Treaty of Sevres promised them a country. This treaty also created the Iraq borders. Countries ignored section of the treaty that called for creating Kurdistan. Still today many Kurds yearn for a country they can call their own (10 ).
Overal in five millennia this region has been contested territory for 13 empires. (11 ).
Brief overview Shi'a and Sunni differences
In Iraq about 14 to just over fifteen million (60 to 65 percent) are shi'a Muslims. The shi'a in Iraq faced brutal persecution during Saddams reign. In 1991 they attempted to overturn Saddams regime(12 ).
The Shi'a and Sunni are different these differences can be complex. But the Division Started after the Prophet Muhammad's death in 632AD. The Shi'a believed that only direct descendents of Muhammad should lead the faithful. At first they were know as Shiat-Ali, or "partisans of Ali,", this name comes from the prophets cousin. Sunnis on the other hand believe that any worthy man could lead the Muslims. Sunni comes from the Arab word "followers" this is short for "followers of the prophet." Also the Sunni are generally less centralized than the Shi'a. the diffence is sort of like the Protestants and Catholics (13 ).
Ayatollah Khomeini (Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini 1900-1989) was an Iranian Shiite religious leader, he was forced into exile in 1964 because of his criticisms of Reza Shah Pahlavi (shah of Iran). He moved to Iraq until he was forced to leave by Saddam in 1978. He then settle in France until his return to Iran (14 ).
Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini believed in rule by the religious elite and brought religious to power in Iran. He is seen as bringing politics and assertiveness to Shi'a (15 ).