Our friend, Professor Dr. Mirella Galletti, died on September 4, 2012

Friday, 5 October, 2012 , 18:20

Professor Mirella Galletti, eminent specialist in Kurdish studies and active member of the Kurdish Institute of Paris since its foundation in 1983, was born in 1949, near Bologna, in Italy. She received her PhD. in Political Science in1974, at Bologna University with a thesis on “The political structure and cultural values of Kurdish society”.

Ever since the 1970s, she has travelled to the Middle East, especially in Kurdistan, to carry out her research work. When the Iraq-Iran War broke out in 1980, she was in Teheran. The following year, Mirella Galletti secured a press card and was one of the first Europeans to interview Abdullah Ocalan, in June 1988 in the Lebanon, and in 1988 she met the Iraqi Kurdish refugees who had fled from the Anfal campaign.

Since the 1990s Mirella Galletti has been teaching Kurdish history and civilisation at Bologna and Trieste Universities, while continuing to make long visits to Iraqi Kurdistan and taking part in University symposia in various countries. During the 2000’s, she has been successively teaching the Law of Islamic communities at Venice’s Ca' Foscari University and the History of Transnational Peoples of Western Asia at Milan-Bicocca. University. Appointed Professor at Naples Orientale University, she has been teaching Arab and Moslem History there.

Mirella Galletti has produced an abundant bibliography covering not only the Kurds, their history, society and traditions, but also the Christian minorities of the Middle East, particularly those of Iraq and of Kurdistan. She has also published books and papers on Iraq and Syria. When asked what she had wanted to achieve in her work and her career, she replied “to know and make known the living conditions and difficulties of the Kurdish and Islamic world” and to observe “with empathy and without prejudice different cultures”.

Her funeral took place on Saturday 8 September 2012 at 4.30 p.m. in the Basilica dei SS. Apostoli, Piazza Santi Apostoli, near her home. The church was filled with relations, friends, colleagues and public figures from the scientific world as well as official representatives from Iraq and Kurdistan. Dr. Saywan Barzani, Iraqi Ambassador to Italy, with whom she had forged close links of work and friendship, came with all the embassy personnel. Also present were the Iraqi Ambassadors to the Vatican, the United Nations and to the Arab League and their colleagues, as well as Monseigneur Haddad, Greek Melikite Catholic Archbishop, who has known Mirella well and who was the only person asked to make the funeral oration.

Monseigneur Haddad recalled, in an eloquent manner, the importance of Mirella Galletti’s work, which as reiterated several times, has made better known the Christian communities established in the Middle East since times immemorial and which aspire to continue living in peace and harmony with their Moslem neighbours. He not only stressed on Mirella’s erudition but also her kindness and generosity.

The Kurdish Institute of Paris was represented by Dr. Joyce Blau, moved at the loss of a friend of thirty years, who brought the saddened condolences of its President and staff.

Among the crowds who surrounded Mirella’s family, more particularly her dear nephew Andrea and niece Serena, with their children, should be mentioned Anna Tordenti, her childhood friend, Dr. Paola Orsatti, Professor of Persian Language and Literature at the “La Sapienza” University of Rome, Professor Angelo-Michele Piemontese, of Roma University, Dr. Claudio Caprotti, Professor of ancient languages and Mirella’s colleague, Professor Gian-Maria Piccinelli, President of the Jean Monnet Faculty of the Seconda Universita degli studi of Naples, where Mirella taught, the Arabic specialist Professor Isabella Camera d’Afflitto of “La Sapienza” University and several dozens of other colleagues and friends, many of whom had come from a great distance, and all upset at the sudden loss of this exceptional woman.

Mirella Galletti was a great friend of the Kurds, whom she loved deeply. She leaves behind a fascinating and very rich work of inestimable value to the Kurdish Studies. All her colleagues and members of the Kurdish Institute of Paris will miss her warm, friendly and always cheerful presence.

The following are some of her works. The full bibliography will be collected shortly.

1974 : Struttura politica e valori culturali nella società curda, Doctoral thesis under the direction of Professor Antonio Marazzi. Università degli studi, Bologne.

1975 : «L’ultima rivolta curda in Iraq», in : Oriente Moderno LV, 9-10, Rome.

1978 : «Sviluppi del problema curdo negli anni 1975-1978», in : Oriente Moderno, anno LVII, 9-10, Rome.

1978 : «Curd e Kurdistan in opere italiane del XIII-XIX secolo», in: Oriente Moderno, anno LVIII, 11, Rome.

1987 : Kurd û Kurdistan la nusrâwakanî Italî da, la saday sêzdam - nozdam (Kurds and Kurdistan in the 13th-19th century Italian texts), trad. Jasim Tawfiq, Éd. Binkay Hangaw, Stockholm.

1990 : I Curdi nella Storia, Vecchio Faggio Editore, Chieti.

1991 : «I Curdi nella il guerra del Golfo», in : Oriente Moderno nuova serie, anno X, 1-6, Rome.

1991 : « Bollettario 1» (dir) ; Qadrimestrale di scrittura e critica, Associazione culturale Le Avanguardie, Modène.

1990 : « Sviluppo del problema curdo negli anni ’80 », in : Oriente Moderno, nº1-6, pp. 75-125, Rome ; 7-12.

1993 : «Kurdistan, un mosaico di sei popoli», in : ARES, Rivista di Politiche Internazionali e Conflitti Etnici, 1. Editore Centro di Ricerche Etnico Politiche Internazionali, Maltignano.

1993 : « Cenni sulla letteratura curda», trad. de Bâzne, in : Almanaco Letterario, Edizioni della Lisca, Milan.

1994 : «Kurdistan : I giochi regionali proseguono : I Curdi in Iran, intervista a Mustafa Hijri», in : Politica Internazionale nº 3, Rome.

1994 : «La politica italiana verso assiri e curdi», in: Storia Contemporana nº 3, Bologna.

1994 : «Kurdistan : A Mosaic of Peoples», in : Acta Kurdica, the International Journal of Kurdish & Iranian, Erivan.

1994 : « Ahmad Khânî ‘Mem û Zîn’ : L’amore per la patria », in : Forma di Parole,Rivista Internazionale di letteratura, 3e série, 2e année, 4, Crocetti Editore, Bologne.

1994 : « Kurdistan, polveriera dimenticata : un popolo in cerca di una patria sicura. Minoranze in pericolo : gli assio-caldei. ‘Noi, vasi di coccio tra arabi e curdi ?’» , in : Mondo e Missione, Milan.

1995 : « Italian Policy Toward Assyrians and Kurds », in : Journal of the Assyrian Academic Society, vol. IX, 2, Santa Barbara.

1995 : «The Woman’s Role in the Kurdish Society according to European Literature», in : Iran-Nameh, 1 (11), Tehran.

1996 : « Cristiani d’Iraq. Un esodo senza terra promessa », in : Mondo e Missione, Milano.

1996 : « La terra di tutti gli olocausti. ‘Quand Hitler seppe quello che Saddam fece ai curdi pianse ?’ », in : Corriere della Serra, Milan. 2 September 1996.

1996 : «Intervista con Abdullah Hassanzadeh, Segretario Generale del PDK Iran », in : Politica Internazionale, anno XXIV, nuova serie, 3-4, Roma.

1996 : Favole curde, Campomarzo Editrice, San Lazzaro di Savena.

1999 : I Curdi : un popolo transnazionale, EdUP, Rome.

1999 : «Shakir Hasbak : un intellettuale iracheno ponte tra Arab e Curdi», in : Oriente Moderno, XXI, 2-3, Rome.

2002 : Le relazioni tra Italia e Kurdistan, coll. Quaderni di Oriente Moderno, Instituto per l’Oriente, Napoli.

2002 : Incontri con la società del Kurdistan, Name, Genoa.

2003 : Cristiani del Kurdistan, Editore Jouvence, Roma.

2005 : « Kirkuk : The Pivot of Balance in Iraq. Past and Present », in : Journal of Academic Assyrian Studies, vol. 19, 2, Santa Barbara.

2007 : « La Bataille de Chalderan dans un tableau du XVIe siècle », in : Studia Iranica t. 36, Paris.

2007 : « I Curdi da vinti a vincitori ? » in : Il Ponte nº 11, Roma.

2007 : « Ufficiale, medici e funzionari in Medici, tra Impero ottoman et Persia », in : Oriente Moderno, Roma.

2008 : Kurdistan. Cucina e tradizioni del popolo curdo, Ananke, Torino.

2008 : « Some Catholic Sources on Jazira (1920-1950) », in: Kervan -Rivista Internazionale di Studi afroasiatici, Torino.

2009 : « Cuisine and Customs of the Kurds and their Neighbors », in: Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, vol. 23, nº1, Santa Barbara.

2010 : Le Kurdistan et ses chrétiens, Éditions du Cerf, Paris.

2010 : Kürt yemek kültürü, Avesta Yayinlari, Istanbul.

2010 : « L’âne dans la société et la culture kurde - passé et present » in : Revue d’Ethnozootechnie, 87, Paris.

2011 : « Correspondance between Eugenio Pacelli, Secretary of State and Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, Apostolic Delegate to Turkey (1935-1939) » in : Surdi sull’Oriente Cristiano, Academia Angelica-Costantiniana di Lettere, Aerti e Scienze, Rome.

2011 : Iraq, il Cuore del Mondo, Iraqi Embassy, Roma

2011 : Iraq, the Heart of the World, Iraqi Embassy, Roma.