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Avesta Publishing House started its 2023 discussion programs in Diyarbakir.

In the first discussion, academician and writer Ergin Opengin spoke and the moderator of the program was Pinar Yildiz.

Ergin Opengin spoke about “The world of intellectual-literate of two Kurdmates: Mela Sa’id Shamdinani and Irish Alan Ward”.

Opengin said that Mela Sa’id is a school for him and also ‘Bazeber’ is a stone that we can run on its in that garden of the school.

I have also used that as a symbol/metaphor. Because Mela Se’id’s world is a place where the stones for changing the worldview of the Kurds have been laid.

The era of aghas, sheikhs, and princes, Mela Sa’id represented a modern era. Mela Sa’id has a new conception. We can fellow him.

After the panel, the author signed his books.

Who is Mela Se’id Shamdinani?

Mela Sa’id Shamdinani was born in the 1870s, studied at a madrasah in Erbil, and work as a tecaher in Tekiya Nehri during the time of Sheikh Muhammad Sidiq.

In 1914, when the Ottoman state declared jihad, Mullah Sa’id issued a fatwa against jihad after then was arrested for it. But when he was being taken to Mosul was saved by his own people.

Mela Se’id reached Urmia, where he did both political and social work and became the Kurdish teacher of the ambassador and the famous Kurdologist Basil Nikitin.

At the request of Nikitin, he writes a large number of stories about the culture, society and history of the Shamdinan region and its surroundings.

Mullah Saeed was killed by his own people in 1918 in middle age. After the revolution of 1917 in Russia, Nikitin moved to Paris and took with him the manuscripts of Mela Said and published some of them.

Later, Kurdologists such as Thomas Bois and David N. MacKenzie also worked on them, but most of the manuscripts remain unpublished and unknown in the archives.

Ergin Opengin obtained those manuscripts from personal and institutional archives in Europe. He prepared them for publication in this book in a detailed way along with a detailed description and evaluation. 

In these writings, Mela Se’id Shamdinani evaluates the political and social issues of his time with the eyes of a worldly and enlightened scholar. With his story-telling and his amazing eloquence, he paints a colorful picture of Kurdistan a century ago, which includes everything from animal parables to stories. The personalities of the area, from the Kurdish revolts against the Ottoman state to the wars between the tribes, from religious debates to the history of the regional sects, various topics are included.

After Mela Mahmud Bayezidi, Mela Se’id Şemdınani is the second column of Kurdish poetry that will be better known through this work.

But these writings of Mela Sa’id are also  ” stepping  stones”, from the era of princes and sheikhs to the era of central states, from the pre-war period to the post-war period, from the Kurdish oral world to the written world, and from Kurdish literature of verses and poems to prose and paragraphs.

News photos: Murat Bayram

This news translated by Yonca Sarsılmaz