Documenting the Kurdish story for the world

Investigators discover the remains of 500 Barzani men and boys who were ‘disappeared’ in 1983. Abducted from prison camps in northern Iraq by government agents, they were executed and then buried in the deserts near Iraq’s border with Saudi Arabia.


KMP launches groundbreaking feature documenting 90 years of ‘Arabisation’ ethnic cleansing in Kurdistan

Produced for Kurdistan Museum, The Kurdistan Memory Programme (the KMP) national archive has established itself as the world’s foremost resource on the Kurdish story.

Since completing its filming work in early 2020 following 14 years of operation, the KMP has worked hard to deliver its final and most ambitious project to date: a never before documented 90 year interactive history of ‘Arabisation’ ethnic cleansing in Kurdistan.

Featuring close to 100 original films documenting a near century of Kurdish experience, ‘Seeds of Genocide’ launches for the first time in May 2023. Epic in scale, the feature uniquely details the deep connection between the ‘Arabisation’ ethnic cleansing of Kurdish lands and the Anfal mass genocide of 1988, in which up to 182,000 Iraqi Kurds lost their lives.

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The mass killing of rural Kurds is commemorated at this memorial in Chamchamal, east of Kirkuk. Visiting the monument, AHMED ASKARI, a Kurdish member of the Kirkuk provincial council, reveals that Baathist laws relating to ‘Arabisation’ ethnic cleansing in Iraq were never annulled, and that Kurds continue to be displaced from their lands by the Iraqi authorities.


Special feature: The Warriors of Halgurd

Legendary Kurdish leader MUSTAFA BARZANI warned the United Nations that the Ba’ath Party was planning a mass genocide in Kurdistan, but his appeals were ignored.
In early 1969 the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) carried out a daring raid on Kirkuk’s oil fields, which has since gone down in Kurdish folklore.

The previous year, the Ba’ath Party had seized power for the second time in Iraq and escalated its conflict with the Kurds. Using weaponry purchased from Western nations the Iraqi government attacked Kurdish communities across northern Iraq and relaunched its ‘Arabisation’ programme in the Kurdish populated areas of Kirkuk

The KDP’s leader Mustafa Barzani decided to strike back. His aim was to execute a military operation that would damage the oil fields run by the Iraqi Petroleum Company (IPC), an international conglomerate headquartered in London, and economically damage the Iraqi government in the most public manner possible.

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‘Our area is rich in agriculture, oil, and gas, but economically we were pushed below zero’

MAHMOUD HUSSEIN HAJI a Kurdish lawyer, hails from a once prosperous village called Chiftik, which was situated on the western banks of the Tigris river, close to Iraq’s border with Syria. This village no longer exists.

In 1981 Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein decided to build a dam north of Mosul. The idea was to open up tens of thousands of acres north of the dam to irrigation and agriculture, and generate electricity for the national grid. But the Mosul dam project had further appeal to the Iraqi dictator as the site masterplan proposed Kurdish villages be submerged underwater.

‘We Kurds were not even given drinking water, even though the water source was originally ours,’ says Mahmoud Hussein Haji, whose family was displaced from their homes. ‘The psychological impact of ethnic cleansing is immense, because our grandchildren don’t understand where we come from and what their true origins are,’ he says.

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Kurdish lawyer MAHMOUD HAJI HUSSEIN describes how his home village of Chiftik was flooded by waters from the Mosul Dam in the early 1980s at the order of SADDAM HUSSEIN.


The Kurdistan Memory Programme (KMP) national archive brings a world-class museum experience to the Web, illuminating over 500 years of Kurdish history to inspire and enlighten future generations.