September 10, 2015

Kurds Present Groundbreaking Kurdistan Tour Guide to Members of Congress

Washington, DC, USA ( – Today more than a dozen Kurdish-Americans are hand-delivering a groundbreaking new book, the Kurdistan Tour Guide, to every member of Congress in an effort to strengthen awareness of their homeland, which is at the forefront of the fight against ISIS.

The book, authored by two Americans, is the first comprehensive tour guide of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq. It covers over 200 historic sites, contains 600 pictures and portrays Kurdistan’s culture, cuisine and customs.

The Kurdistan Region in Iraq is one of the most enriching tourist destinations in the world. As the ‘Cradle of Civilization’ it is home to more archaeological and historic landmarks than any other region on earth. It boasts the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world as well as its oldest bridge and aqueduct ruin, Neanderthal caves and countless citadels, shrines, churches, synagogues, mosques and ancient temples dot its landscape.

“This is not simply a guide book. Under decades of dictatorship, our culture and language were denied and our history was written by our enemies. Today, we can tell our own story and have our friends share in celebrating our rich heritage,’ said Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Representative to the United States in a letter to members of Congress. ‘Kurdistan is home to various religious and ethnic groups, including Christians and Yezidis. This book offers an insight into Kurdistan’s tradition of hospitality and peaceful co-existence.’

The Kurds have had a rich history and have played significant roles throughout it. Today, the Kurds continue to expand a vibrant democratic and evolving society, as well as play a key role in the international fight against terrorism. The war against ISIS is critical to the U.S.

‘Working with the U.S. government and the American people, it is imperative that we preserve, protect and defend Kurdistan from threats like ISIS, which is destroying invaluable parts of the world’s heritage as we speak,’ said Ms Abdul Rahman.

The American entrepreneurs behind the book, Dr. Douglas Layton and Harry Schute, a retired American army colonel, have more than 25 years of experience in the region. Through the book, the Americans intend to help change people’s perceptions and show that the Kurdistan Region, located in between Turkey, Iraq and Iran, shouldn’t suffer because of the Middle East’s geopolitics.

Today, a group of Kurdish-Americans delivered in person the Kurdistan Tour Guide to every member of Congress in Washington, DC, and in so doing served as a bridge between the American people and their representatives in Congress and Kurdistan. The Kurdistan Region has accepted close to two million refugees and internally displaced people and its Peshmerga forces are the most effective fighters against ISIS.

On September 16, Representative Abdul Rahman will host a reception in Washington, DC, to launch the book in the United States. The CEO of the US-Kurdistan Business Council, retired general James Jones, will speak at the event as will the co-chairs of the Kurdish American Congressional Caucus, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO).

See a photo gallery of the distribution here.
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