As Strong As Mountains Summary

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The book I decided to read was As Strong as Mountains: a Kurdish Cultural Journey, written by Robert L. Brenneman. I wanted to read this book because I did not know any aspects of the Kurdish culture. I enjoy learning about other cultures, and Kurdish is one culture that I had very little knowledge of. In fact, I am not very educated about the cultures within the Middle East in general. This book helped me understand new aspects of the Kurdish culture and their lifestyle.
Author Brenneman discusses the culture of the Kurdish people. Brenneman claims that there are three dimensions of the Kurdish culture which include assimilation, nationalism, and the relation to Islam. The Kurdish people are believed to be an ancient ethnic mixture originating
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Three aspects discussed are language, kinship, and religious beliefs. Due to outside influences on the Kurdish people, these cultural aspects are very important in order to keep their culture alive. The Kurdish language is important to many Kurds because it is distinct, and demonstrates to others the distinctiveness of the culture. Since other cultures in the surrounding countries want the Kurds to assimilate, some of these governments will not teach the Kurdish language in schools. Families then decide whether or not they wish to teach their children the language. Some families believe doing so is of utmost importance while others believe they should assimilate. For example, a Kurd living in Istanbul states, "People are afraid to speak Kurdish at home. They are afraid and embarrassed that people will think they are uncivilized and ignorant" (Brenneman, 2007, p. 41). Unfortunately, many people from other cultures have this view about Kurdish people. Some families are afraid to be rejected, so they decide to assimilate. Others recognize the importance of their language and how it helps their culture survive; hence, they teach their children the

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