- President Masoud Barzani originates from a religious and nationalistic family of southern Kurdistan. The Barzan family has remained actively involved in the process of the Kurdistan liberation movement for over a century.
- President Barzani’s family adheres to the Sufi spiritual order of Naqshbandi and it has played a major role in the national movements in Kurdistan
- The leading members of the Barzan family, starting from Sheikh Abdulsalam Barzani the first and later Sheikh Muhammad Barzani and Sheikh Abdulsalam Barzani the second and up until Sheikh Ahmad Barzani, have been dominant figures in the Kurdistan liberation movements across Kurdistan
- Mustafa Barzani played a major role in further organizing the military and party ranking systems for the Barzan Revolution in pursuit of the national rights of the people of Kurdistan
- Masoud Mustafa Barzani was born on the sixteenth of August 1946 in Mahabad, the then capital of the Republic of Kurdistan. That day coincides with the founding of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Baghdad when Mustafa Barzani was elected the first President of the KDP.
- Following the fall of the Kurdistan Republic, Masoud Barzani, along with his family returned to Southern Kurdistan. General Mustafa Barzani, accompanied by over 500 men moved towards the Soviet Union where he would remain until the fall of the royal family in Iraq in 1958 when he was granted the permission to return to Kurdistan. Sheikh Ahmad Barzani, Mustafa Barzani’s older brother was also released from prison following the 1958 Iraqi revolution, which resulted in the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy
- President Masoud Barzani was compelled to abandon his school at the start of the September Revolution and joined the Peshmerga forces on May 20, 1962.
- In 1967 President Masoud Barzani was one of the founders of the Parastin Agency, the intelligence service of the Kurdistan Democratic Party
- In 1970 President Barzani was one of the key negotiators from the Kurdish side with the Iraqi government, which led to the March 11 Agreement
- The President was elected to the KDP Central Committee in 1970 and later became a reserve member of the Politburo
- Following the collapse of the September Revolution in 1975, President Barzani and his brother, Idris Barzani along with a number of KDP leaders established the Provisional Leadership whose main task was the continuation of the liberation movement in Southern Kurdistan
- Between 1976 and 1979 President Barzani spent a considerable amount of time with his father, the late Mustafa Barzani who was being treated in the United States
- At the start of 1979 President Barzani visited Vienna en route to meeting with the office of Imam Khomeini in Paris and for the purpose of coordinating efforts against the regime of the Shah. The Iraqi intelligence carried out a failed assassination attempt against President Barzani
- After the Iranian Revolution of 1979 President Barzani returned to Tehran and it was there in March when he was apprised of the death his father, Mustafa Barzani. Mustafa Barzani’s body was brought from the United States to Eastern Kurdistan and was buried in Shino (Oshnavieh)
- During the ninth party congress of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in 1979 President Barzani was elected as the President of the KDP.
- In 1983 the regime of Saddam Hussein ordered the mass murder of members of the Barzan tribe. As a result of that genocidal decree, 8000 Barzanis, 37 of whom were immediate members of President Barzani’s family were buried in mass graves across Iraq
- During the 1980s President Barzani commanded the Peshmerga Forces in the continuous struggle for the national rights of the people of Kurdistan
- In 1986 President Barzani authored “Mustafa Barzani and the Kurdish Liberation Movement” in Arabic. The book has since been translated into Kurdish, Turkish, Persian and English.
- On January 31, 1987 Idris Mustafa Barzani, Masoud’s brother and lifetime comrade passed away in Eastern Kurdistan
- President Barzani led the Khwakurk Battle against the Iraqi regime in 1988 which is considered to be one of the most epic fights with the Saddam regime as it served as a clear indicator to Baghdad that even the Final Solution against the Kurds would not impede them from pursuing their national rights
- On May 3, 1988 the Kurdistan Front was established which consisted of eight main Kurdish political parties from Southern Kurdistan. Both President Masoud Barzani and the late Idris Barzani had worked tirelessly throughout the 1980s in establishing the Kurdistan Front in pursuit of unifying the various political parties of Kurdistan
- In 1991 President Barzani played a crucial role in the Kurdish Uprising against the Saddam Hussein regime
- On April 7, 1991 President Barzani led the Kore Battle against the attacking forces of the Iraqi regime. The Kore Battle resulted in Iraq’s failure to further advance in Southern Kurdistan
- On Newroz of 1991 in the town of Koye, President Barzani called for elections in Kurdistan, which would pave the way to the formation of the Kurdistan Parliament, and the Kurdistan Regional Government
- In June 1991 President Barzani was awarded the Human Rights award by the International Human Rights Law Group
- In 1992 President Barzani was selected as a member of the leadership of the Iraqi National Congress
- Following the Kurdish Civil War of the mid 1990s President Barzani and the late President Jalal Talabani, under the auspices of the then United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright signed an agreement in Washington in September of 1998 to end the conflict and work towards the continuous efforts against the Saddam Hussein regime
- President Barzani played a significant role in the process of removing the Saddam Hussein regime from power through his leadership of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, one of the main opponents of the regime and his close coordination with other Kurdish, Shia and Sunni opposition groups and personalities
- President Barzani’s pursuit of Kurdish national rights in a peaceful and democratic Iraq has kept him as a key leader in Iraqi politics. That continuing struggle has taken him to world leaders across the globe from various Presidents of the United States, Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and Italy, Presidents of France, Chancellors of Germany, and leaders of other European powers, as well as other global and regional leaders to ensure that the righteous message of the people of Kurdistan is conveyed to the world
- In July 2003 President Barzani was selected as a member of Iraqi Governing Council, during that time, he strengthened his relations with various Arab leaders with whom he had established contacts long before 2003 from the leaders of the Persian Gulf, most notably the Saud family to the President of Egypt and Jordan’s King Abdullah
- On June 12, 2005 President Barzani was elected as the President of the Kurdistan Region by a majority of votes from the Kurdistan Parliament
- During his first term as President of the Kurdistan Region, President Masoud Barzani strengthened the bilateral relations of the Kurdistan Region with various world countries and international organizations.
- He held meetings with Popes Benedict XVI and Francis on several occasions and was commended for the religious tolerance of the Kurdistan Region and President Barzani’s treatment of the Chaldo-Assyrian communities in the Region
- President Barzani and the late President Jalal Talabani signed the “Strategic Agreement” between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan on December 1, 2004. That agreement, aimed at continuing the peaceful struggle for Kurds’ rights in a federal and democratic Iraq, was a significant factor of the prosperity in the Kurdistan Region during the decade that followed
- President Barzani attended several events in Erbil aimed at strengthening the Kurdish-Arab relations in Iraq. He also visited a number of Arab countries including Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Libya and Lebanon. He received President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian National Authority in Erbil in 2009
- President Barzani also established relations with several European countries, which now have diplomatic missions in Erbil
- President Barzani played a big role in enhancing the relations with Russia that included several visits to Moscow and St. Petersburg
- On July 25, 2009 President Barzani was elected for a second term as the President of the Kurdistan Region where he received 70% of the votes from the people of the Kurdistan Region
- In 2011 President Barzani received the Atlantic Award in Rome for promoting peace and religious tolerance
- On July 22, 2013 President Barzani supervised a meeting with 39 members of various representatives from political parties across all four parts of Kurdistan with the aim of preparing for a pan Kurdish congress
- In 2013 the Kurdistan Parliament voted for an extension to the term of the Kurdistan Region Presidency
- In 2014 as the chief of the armed forces of the Kurdistan Region President Barzani led the battles against the brutal terrorists of the Islamic State
- During the period of the war against the terrorists of the Islamic State, the Peshmerga forces became a symbol of resistance against the cruelty of the terrorists. President Barzani was visited by a number of world leaders who collectively commended the crucial role of the Peshmerga forces in the existential clash with the terrorists of the Islamic State
- On June 7, 2017 President Barzani held a meeting with various political entities from across the Kurdistan Region. During the meeting, President Barzani announced that the Iraqi Kurdistan Independence Referendum shall be held on September 25, 2017
- President Barzani participated in a number of gatherings across the Kurdistan Region in support of the referendum between June and September of 2017
- On October 29, 2017 the Kurdistan Parliament voted for an extension to the Kurdistan Parliament and the Kurdistan Region Presidency, however, President Barzani did not accept the invitation and stepped down as the President of the Kurdistan Region, remaining as the President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the other only sacred title to him, that of being a Peshmerga
- President Barzani has been married since 1965, he has eight children, five sons and three daughters
- President Barzani is fluent in Kurdish and Arabic and can also speak English and Persian
- President Barzani enjoys reading history and military books. He’s also an avid reader of Kurdish poetry by Malay Ciziei, Ahmede Xane and Wafaei
- He’s a football fan and enjoys swimming and walking
- President Barzani has a keen interest in environmental issues, in line with the teachings of Sheikh Abdulsalam Barzani and Sheikh Ahmad Barzani . ⚠️ Em babete bezimanî (🇬🇧 English) nûsirawe, klîk le aykonî bike bo krdineweyi babeteke bew zimaneyi ke pêyi nûsirawe!
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