Sunday, July 15, 2007


The New York Times on Sunday had a story about a street gang in south Nashville. What was interesting was that the gang is called Kurdish Pride and is a Kurdish street gang. As is so often the case with immigrant groups, at least some of the immigrant kids feel like they need to protect the neighborhood, and defend the culture. Given the uncertainty Kurds face in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, it is perhaps not shocking that the kids feel like they are doing good to do *something*. They are wrong, but it is not all that surprising.

Notwithstanding the uncertainty Kurds face, I knew some people in high school who you could really see feeling like they needed to band together. They were called the Assyrian Eagles and the membership was . . . Assyrian. Now, you know your ethnicity is obscure when people hear the name and say things like, "From Damascus?" Then you have to explain that, no, Assyrians are generally Christians, and are Semetic people who speak a language similar to Akkadian. Ay carumba!

So, Kurdish Pride, if you spread to the North Side, beware the Assyrian Eagles! I mean, if they are still around almost 20 years later.


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