Thursday, January 27, 2005

Yahoo! News - Vote Casts Spotlight on Iraqis in Tenn.

Yahoo! News - Vote Casts Spotlight on Iraqis in Tenn.: "NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For years, the thousands of Kurds living in Nashville have blended into the city's immigrant community in relative anonymity.

But now they are in the spotlight with Iraq's national elections that begin Friday and run through Sunday. Nashville is one of five American cities where Iraqi expatriates can vote, and nearly 4,000 of them are registered here - more than Los Angeles and Washington. Detroit and Chicago have more.

There are an estimated 8,000 Kurds living in Nashville, which they call 'Little Kurdistan.' It is the largest community in the United States of Kurds, an ethnic minority that has long been persecuted by Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

In 1975, the United States allowed about 2,000 Kurdish refugees to emigrate after an uprising failed to establish their own country. Many of those refugees chose Nashville because of its similar climate."


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