Vera B. Saeedpour, Scholar and Archivist of the Kurdish Culture, Dies at 80
An article in the New York Times entitled, “Vera B. Saeedpour, Scholar and Archivist of the Kurdish Culture, dies at 80,” reported that Vera died on May 30th. Vera dedicated her life to promoting awareness of the Kurdish problem here in the U.S.A. She was an activist, a diplomat, a curator of Kurdish cultural artifacts, and an early organizer of Newroz celebrations here in the U.S. She was a pioneer in working to promote Kurdish culture and issues. Her death is a great loss to Kurdish freedom. We are indebted to her for what she did for us! She will live in our memory!
On behalf of the Kurdish American Society,
Vera Beaudin was newly divorced and a recent arrival in Harlem when a stranger knocked on her door one night carrying flowers and coffee cake. She fell in love, married and learned about the plight of his oppressed people.
When he died five years later, Ms. Beaudin, who had taken her new husband’s name, Saeedpour, responded by starting the first library and museum in the United States dedicated to Kurds, an ancient, stateless people straddling three nations in southwest Asia.
She did this in a Brooklyn brownstone where five or six cats and a dog or two prowled and where people rented rooms on the upper floors. Soon, scholars, journalists, government officials, homesick Kurds and the just plain curious were beating a path to her door.
“I’m dealing with the whole world from this brownstone,” Ms. Saeedpour said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1988. “I’m like an old lady holding fast to a balloon that’s going up in the sky.”