Kalima, the translation project of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, published the Arabic translation of the book "Women in the Kurdish Folklore" written by Rohat Alakom.
Kurdish folklore is a valuable source for researchers studying the Kurds and their history, both objectively and impartially. The Kurdish author, who has completed significant works on folklore and Kurdish history, depicts the role of women in the Kurdish community through the examination of several factors. He explores the theme of women in a number of literary genres such as tales, legends, songs and popular proverbs that are still in circulation amongst Kurds today, even where specific authors are not known. .
Alakom adds: "The subjects of folklore and women are intertwined and enrich each other. Readers will see that women have formed a distinct position for themselves, with a total control of knowledge and understanding. This is demonstrated through the many stories that have told about strong women who have fought for their rights to be recognised by society."
The author compares various types of women who are prevalent in society, and explores how they are represented through songs and proverbs. The translator Khalat Ahmed acknowledges how difficut these songs and proverbs can be, given that "in their origin [they] are rhymed and balanced, but this translation has shaken it to its foundation ". It can be suggested that this is why the works are presented as having been simplified, and with the inclusion of an explanation of proverbs in her footnotes, she has made them more accessible to Arab readers. .
Readers will discover a huge array of stories and myths that have been told by the Kurds throughout their history. These stories all relate to women, and examine their role and the independence that they acheieved within the community. We see heroes taking the path of "the country of pride" for their sake, and we see the more resourceful and loyal woman struggling to provide for her children and maintain her home. The Works also present a more selfish woman who is seen to be lazy, rejected and evil. This woman is apparently abhorred by society, and this is reflected through the tales.
Rohat Alakom was born in 1955 in Kagizman, Turkey. He finished his psychology studies at the University of Ankara in 1978 and has been living in Sweden since 1983. Alakom writes in Kurdish, Turkish and Swedish. He has published many works about the Kurdish history, including;"The image of Kurds in modern Turkish literature" in 1989, "The image of Kurds in the work of Yasar Kemal" in 1992 and "The Kurdish aristocracy" in 2004.
The book’s translator, Khalat Ahmed, is a Syrian poetess who was born in 1972 in Derek, Syria. She has been living in Switzerland since 1999.
Ahmed writes in Arabic, Kurdish and German and has published many books, including; “Collection of dawn scarves" in 2004, "Memoirs of eucalyptus flower" in 2005 and "Selections from Kurdish Poetry" which was published in Syria in 2009.