Skip to main content

Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

See other formats

LETTER xxx            A RAVAGED HAMLET                        323



HERE, in one of the wildest of mountain hamlets, I hoped
to indulge in the luxury of my tent, and it was actually
unrolled, when all the village men came to me and with
gestures of appeal besought me not to pitch it, as it would
not be safe for one hour and would " bring trouble upon
them." The hamlet is suffering terribly from the Kurds,
Y^ho are not only robbing it of its sheep and most else,
but are attempting to deprive the peasants of their lands
in spite of the fact that they possess title-deeds. This
Berwar-Lata valley has been reduced from a condition of
pastoral wealth to one of extreme poverty. Kotranis,
and Bilar a little lower down, from which the best hones
are exported, are ruined by Kurdish exactions. The
Christians sow and the Kurds reap: they breed cattle
and sheep and the Kurds drive them off when they are

well grown.    One man at ------- a few miles  off, had

1000 sheep. He has been robbed of all but sixty. This
is but a specimen of the wrongs to which these unhappy
people are exposed. The Kurds now scarcely give them
any respite in which " to let the sheep's wool grow" as
their phrase is.

Kotranis is my last Syrian halting-place, and its
miseries are well fitted to leave a lasting impression. It
is included in the vilayet of Yan, in which, according to
the latest estimates, there are 80,000 Syrian Christians*