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Masrour Barzani

Born 1969
Nationality Kurdish
Political party Kurdistan Democratic Party
Religion Muslim

Masrour Barzani is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party leadership, son of the current Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, and director of intelligence and security in South Kurdistan.[1] The KDP is one of two main Kurdish parties in Kurdistan, and is a member of the current coalition government.

He joined the Kurdish resistance fighters, known as Peshmerga or “those who face death", in 1985 at the age of 16. As such, he was an active participant in the infamous Battle of Khwakurk against Saddam’s army in 1988. He also participated in the 1991 uprising against Saddam Hussein after the first Gulf War and filmed both events.

Despite this irregular childhood given the tumultuous nature of the Kurdish resistance, Barzani was able to complete his high school education in Iran. After seeing peace restored to the region in 1992, he went to London for a year long course in English. Having successfully completed this, he continued on to receive a bachelor’s degree with honors in International Studies from the American University in Washington, DC.[2]

During his time in Washington, Barzani was actively involved in improving understanding of the Kurdish plight in America and became known for his studious nature, rarely appearing around campus without a highlighter and study material.[citation needed] He also established a Barzani Scholar-in-Residence program at American University, in order to continue these efforts into the future.[3]

In 1998, he returned to Kurdistan and was elected by the KDP's 12th Congress to the Central Committee. Later that same year he became part of the Kurdistan Democratic Party Leadership before receiving his current appointment as the General Director of the Protection and Intelligence Agency.[4]

Barzani is married and has two children, one son and one daughter. He is fluent in Kurdish, Persian and English in addition to understanding Arabic.

Under his stewardship, women have been officially been added to the Kurdish security services and many can now be seen publicly serving as guards outside government buildings. He has received praise from a Washington, D.C. non-profit for his advocacy of women's rights.[5]

He was a vocal critic of many of the proposals found in the Iraq Study Group, authoring a Washington Post op-ed on the subject.[1] He has also appeared in several television interviews on security-related matters.[6]

Masrour Barzani has also been credited with working to ensure that veterans of the Kurdish struggle receive their pensions.[7]

In a January 2010 interview with the Jamestwon Foundation, Masrour Barzani said that the Iraqi Constitution has laid out a clear solution for the status of the city of Kirkuk and other disputed areas.[8]



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