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At The Border 1979 Choman Hardi

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1 At The Border 1979 Choman Hardi

2 Authorial Context – Choman Hardi
Born in Southern Kurdistan(near Iraq) in Family moved to Iran in 1975 before returning to K’stan. They had to flee again in 1988 when Saddam Hussein started attacking the Kurdish people with chemical weapons.

3 At the Border 1979 -Social/Historical Context
Iraq is credited as being the home of the first civilisation, that between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This means that people have lived in ordered communities there for eight thousand years. Some scholars believe that the first writing system was used in Iraq. The culture is very old and there is a sense of the ancient ingrained in the people.

4 The area has always known conflict; from Alexander the Great, Partians, Romans, Persians and even saw 90,000 British troops die there in WW1. In 1979 Saddam Hussein took over. Soon Iraq came into conflict with Iran. Saddam Hussein decided to punish the Kurds for supporting Iran by using chemical weapons against them (his own people!). These attacks continued for some time.

5 When the Iraq–Iran War ended in 1990 Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait for its oil. This caused the start of the First Gulf War. As well, Saddam Hussein was portrayed as being ‘evil’ because he attacked his own people, the Kurds.   The end of the war saw renewed attacks on the Kurdish and Shiite populations, as well as continual conflict with the UN. The conflict culminated in the Second Gulf War (2003), which was justified by claims that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction.   ‘At the Border’ is autobiographical. The border is the border between Kurdistan and Iran. Newsnight article





10 The story of the poem A child (narrator) is returning to his homeland with his family. We learn that they fled after the community was attacked. They reflect on how they are now free of the rules they had previously lived under.



13 The poem makes us think about…
Freedom and liberty Home Innocent victims of a conflict

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