Ey Reqîb -Kurdish National Anthem

Ey Reqîb

Kurdish National Anthem

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Yonis Reuf (1917-1948)

If we look at the world today, we can see that a large percentage of countries around the world have a national anthem. So what is the significance of it and what is the purpose of having an anthem anyway?

I truly believe that a national anthem is one important aspect of  a country’s identity and status as it speaks greatly about the being of that nation. Anthems often share similarities as they speak about themes of war, violence and the struggle of people in general. This is the case for the Kurdish national anthem “Ey Reqîb”, which translates to “Hey enemy”. The Kurdish national anthem tells a story of struggle and how the nation has thrived throughout history against the oppressors. It reminds outside colonists that we as a nation are still here and nothing can wipe us out off this earth. It speaks about our ancestors, tracing it back to Medya and Keyhusrew ancestry. Having said this, our national anthem speaks to all those who may question the Kurdish history or identity.  It is for those who refuse to believe that we exist as a people yet alone a united Kurdistan. Out national anthem instills patriotism and nationalism in us. I believe this to be a good thing especially with the current situation in Kurdistan. Protecting it’s people is the main focus of the government officials, Peshmerga, PKK, and all other groups fighting against ISIS.  In addition, I would like to add that at times like this, Patriotism is good as it bring citizens together. Understanding a country’s struggle is really through it’s national anthem.

So who wrote this poem that millions of Kurds worldwide sing and hold close to their heart?

The Kurdish National Anthem was written by a Kurdish poet named Yonis Reuf who was known as Dildar. Dildar was born in 1917 in the city of Koye which is located in Southern Kurdistan. Yonis Reuf was an intelligent young man who studied Law in Baghdad, Iraq. He wrote this national anthem in the year of 1938 when he was a political prisoner.  This poem was  originally written in the Kurdish dialect of Soranî, and was later translated into the Kurmancî dialect for those Kurds living in border Kurdistan. Shortly after he wrote “Ey Reqîb”,  Political parties from all of Kurdistan picked it up after their revolutions against the oppressors and it was later sung across all borders of Kurdistan. The Great Yonis Reuf died in 1948 at the young age of 31. May he rest in peace always and I am forever grateful for his strong words about our Kurdish identity and land. Beji Kurd u Kurdistan!

Lastly, I did not go into full details about each section of the anthem because I really want the reader to interpret and perceive it in their own way.  Therefore, the best way to do that is by reading it and trying to understand it individually. It will allow the reader to see the beauty and significance of the anthem and its relation to the Kurdish struggle.  I have included the Kurdish National Anthem in English and Kurdish dialects.

In Sorani dialect

Ey raqîb her mawe qewmî Kurd ziman,

Nay sikên danery topî zeman

Kes nelê Kurd mirduwe

Kurd zîn duwe,

Zîn duwe qet nanewê alakeman

Ême roley rengî sûr û soris în,

Seyrîke xuênawiya raburdûman

Kes nelê Kurd mirduwe

Kurd zîn duwe,

Zîn duwe qet nanewê alakeman

Ême roley Midya û Keyhusrew în,

Dînîman û ayînman her Kurdistan

Dînîman û ayînman Kurd u Kurdistan

Kes nelê Kurd mirduwe

Kurd zîn duwe,

Zîn duwe qet nanewê alakeman

Lawî Kurd hestaye ser pê wek dilêr,

Ta be xuên nexsîn deka tacî jiyan

Kes nelê Kurd mirduwe

Kurd zîn duwe,

Zîn duwe qet nanewê alakeman

Lawî Kurdî hazir û amadeye,

Giyan fîdan e, giyan fîda her giyan fîda

Giyan fîdan e, giyan fîda her giyan fîda!!!…

In Kurmanji dialect

Ey reqîb her mawe qewmî Kurd zeman

Naî şikênî danerî topî zeman (X2)

Kes nelê Kurd mirdowe (X2)

Kurd zîndowe

Zîndowe qet nanewê ala keman (X2)

Qewmî Kurd hestaye ser pê wek dilêr

Ta be xwên nexşî bike tancî jîyan (X2)

Kes nelê Kurd mirdowe (X2)

Kurd zîndowe

Zîndowe qet nanewê ala keman (X2)

Êma roley rengî sor û şoreşîn

Sêrîke xwênawî ye rabirdoman (X2)

Kes nelê Kurd mirdowe (X2)

Kurd zîndowe

Zîndowe qet nanewê ala keman (X2)

Ême roley mîdîya û keyxosrewîn

Dîn man û ayîn man her Nîştîman(X2)

Kes nelê Kurd mirdowe (X2)

Kurd zîndowe

Zîndowe qet nanewê ala keman (X2)

Lawî Kurd her hazir û amade ye

Canfîdayê canfîda her canfîda (X2)

Kes nelê Kurd mirdowe(X2)

Kurd zîndowe

Zîndowe qet nanewê ala keman(X2)

Nivîskarê Ey Reqîb ê :

Hozan Dildar ( 1918-1948 )

English Translation

Hey enemy, the Kurdish nation is alive with its language

Can not be defeated by the weapons of any time

Let no one say Kurds are dead

Kurds are living

Kurds are living, their flag will never fall

We, the youth are the red colour of the revolution

Watch our blood that we shed on this way

Let no one say Kurds are dead

Kurds are living

Kurds are living, our flag will never fall

We are the children of Medya and Keyhusrew

Both our faith and religion are our homeland

Both our faith and religion are Kurd and Kurdistan

Let no one say Kurds are dead

Kurds are living

Kurds are living, our flag will never fall

The Kurdish youth have risen like lions

To adorn the crown of life with blood

Let no one say Kurds are dead

Kurds are living

Kurds are living, our flag will never fall

The Kurdish youth are ever present and

Forever will be ready to sacrifice their lives

Sacrifice each life they have, each life they have!!!…

          DILDAR

          Translated by: Brusk Chiwir Reshvan

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