Tuesday, October 25, 2016


It turns out that the title of the Lundt and Marx book on Nkrumah that will have my chapter on the 24 February 1966 coup has been changed to Kwame Nkrumah: A Controversial African Visionary.  

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Another day at the Bazaar

Today I went to the bazaar again. Other than walk around, eat some kabobs, and drink tea I didn't actually do anything there. But, it is an interesting place to wander around. I found some books this time. They were all in Kurdish. However, I did recognize Mao's Little Red Book even in Kurdish.

Paper on the overthrow of Nkrumah

I have a new paper up on the Internet. Nkrumah, the Cold War, the Third World", and the US Role in the 24 February 1966 Coup is supposed to appear in Bea Lundt and Christoph Marx, (eds.), Nkrumah Today (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016). But, I haven't heard anything from the publisher in a while. At any rate I have put up a draft of the chapter on my academia.edu site for anybody that wants to read it. You can read and download the paper here.

A trip to the store

Yesterday I went shopping and purchased 30,000 IQD worth of food and beverages which is a huge amount for me. I got so used to being poor that spending over $20 on food for myself in a single trip is something strange for me. I purchased some doogh, mint, honey, pomegranate lokum, halva, dolmas, mortadella, garlic sauce, hot sauce, Cheetos, Coca Cola, bread, and of course Indomie ramen noodles.

Friday, October 21, 2016


It is strange that you can never see why God sent you to a place until after you leave it. It is only just now that I am starting to understand why he sent me to Ghana. I can only vaguely guess at this point why he sent me to Kurdistan. But, I have some idea now why he sent me to Arivaca and Kyrgyzstan so the Lord's mysterious ways become less mysterious as time goes on.

Monday, October 17, 2016

New Profile up at AUIS website

Here is my new profile up at the AUIS website.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Defining the Middle East

The Middle East is of course a construction just as more defined geographic units like Europe, Asia, and even Africa are constructions. Thus its borders are contested. In my History of the Middle East class I have treated Armenia and Azerbaijan as part of the Middle East. There are after all twice as many Azeris in Iran as in former Soviet Azerbaijan and nobody argues Iran is not part of the Middle East.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Today I went to the bazaar and got a winter coat and a new smaller bag to carry my wallet and keys. I also got half a kilo of apricot flavored lokum. There is a lot of stuff to buy at the bazaar. But, most of it is stuff I really have no interest in acquiring. My favorite parts of the day were eating kebabs for lunch and later drinking Kurdish tea.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Soviet Kurds and Assimilation

In 1926 the Soviet census counted 242,000 Kurds. A little over two generations later in 1989 the Soviet census only counted 153,000 Kurds even though the total Soviet population had almost tripled. So in 63 years the Kurdish population declined by almost 100,000 when it should have increased to at least 700,000. This massive decrease in population was due mostly to assimilation into other ethnic groups such as Azeris or Meskhetian Turks by many Kurds. Officially assmilation did not exist in the USSR since nat'sionalnost' was a permanent, immutable, and transgenerational category similar to race in South Africa. Nonetheless, the Soviet census figures provide solid evidence of massive assimilation out of the Kurdish nationality in the USSR between the middle of the 1920s and the late 1980s.


The secondary source I used initially for this post, N.F. Bugai, T.M Broev, and P.M. Broev, Sovetskie Kurdy: Vremia Peremen (Moscow: "Kap'", 1993), p. 45 was incorrect. The 1926 Soviet census does not count 242,000 Kurds, but only 69,184. There was still a lot of assimilation, however, the numbers are not so stark. I'll leave up the original mistaken post to show the dangers of using secondary sources even for blog posts rather than primary ones.


The weekend in Kurdistan is backwards from what I am used to in Ghana. Here we get Friday and Saturday off. But, everything is closed on Friday morning similar to Sunday mornings in Ghana. So if you want to do anything that involves using money it has to be done on Saturday the day before you return to work on Sunday. This may take some getting used to.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Life in Kurdistan

The weather in Kurdistan has now cooled down considerably from when I first moved here. Most of my time is spent prepping and teaching CIV 101. I have three sections on Mondays and Wednesdays lasting a total of four and a half hours each of those days. We are up to the chapters dealing with 500 BCE to 500 CE. My other class is the History of the Middle East and we are up to the end of World War One and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. I teach that on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. I am hoping next semester I can teach something closer to my area of specialization.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

It is a Beautiful Day in Kurdistan

It is a beautiful day today in Kurdistan. The temperature has really cooled off from when I first got here a month ago. Today I am scheduled to go eat lunch in the big fancy hotel in the center of the city that looks like a space ship that flew here from Dubai. I am told to get into the hotel you have to cross a bridge across a moat.