Lebanon Table of Contents
Kurdish parties have exerted little influence on Lebanese politics. In general, Kurds have been more concerned with international Kurdish matters than with internal Lebanese issues. In addition, Kurdish groups in Lebanon have been characterized by a high degree of factionalism.
Jamil Mihhu established the Kurdish Democratic Party in 1960, but it was not licensed until 1970. Mihhu, however, supported the Iraqi government against Kurdish rebels fighting in that country, and he was captured and imprisoned by the Kurdish resistance in Iraq. Consequently, the leadership of the party passed to Jamil's son, Riyad. Another son, Muhammad, disagreed with his family's position on several issues and therefore in 1977 started his own movement, the Kurdish Democratic Party--Temporary Leadership.
Riz Kari was another Kurdish group dissatisfied with the leadership of the Kurdish Democratic Party. Established in 1975 by Faysal Fakhu, Riz Kari supported the Kurdish forces fighting against the Iraqi regime. For a brief period during the 1975 Civil War, however, Riz Kari joined forces with the Kurdish Democratic Party to form the Progressive Kurdish Front in an effort to eliminate differences in the ranks of Lebanese Kurds. Riz Kari was weakened in the mid-1970s by the defection of part of its organization, which called itself the Leftist Riz Kari, or Riz Kari II. This organization, led by Abdi Ibrahim, a staunch ally of Syria, rejected the formation of the Progressive Kurdish Front because it included the "right-wing" leadership of Mihhu.
Data as of December 1987