“Zainab Khan: A Kurdish Girl” Album

"Zainab Khan: A Kurdish Girl” Album

Hiwa Foundation took the initiative to produce and publish “Zainab Khan: A Kurdish Girl,” a musical album exploring the legacy of a once-forgotten figure in Kurdish literature, politics, and the women’s movement.

Zainab Khan was the elder sister and foster mother of renowned poet Dildar, who penned the Kurdish national anthem, “Ay Raqib.” Born in Koya in 1900, Zainab Khan was sent to Baghdad to attend Rashidiya School, becoming the first Kurdish woman to attend a public school. She was also the first female member of both the Darker and Hiwa Party political organizations. She was also the first female poet to compose and publish poetry about the rights of workers, women, and children.

She was a multilingual talent who mastered Kurdish, Arabic, Persian, Turkmen, and Hebrew. Her literary works, written under the pen name “A Kurdish Girl,” were published in Galawezh Magazine. Her advocacy extended beyond Kurdish national rights; she was also a champion of gender equality for Kurdish women. After decades of obscurity, her works were collected and published in 2018 in a book titled “The Complete Poems of Zainab Khan: A Kurdish Girl,” thanks to the efforts of Mr. Abdullah Zangana and his family.

Hiwa Foundation’s production of the album “Zainab Khan: A Kurdish Girl” sought to renew interest in the voice of this exceptional Kurdish woman poet. It pays tribute to the struggles of women in national, gender, and social matters and celebrates the innovation of a significant Kurdish poet who has long-remained anonymous.

Management of the album was led by artist Adnan Karim. It features nine tracks, all written by Zainab Khan, with seven compositions by Adnan Karim and two by Chia Mohammed. The songs are performed by Renas Warya, Kalpa Mohammed, Kewyar Hawrami, Lava Wahid, and Chia Mohammed.