Jan 24, 2023 - News

Historic marker honors Nashville Kurdish community

A historical marker describing how Kurdish people moved to Nashville.

A new historic marker on Nolensville Pike. Photo: Courtesy of the American Muslim Advisory Council

A new historical marker unveiled this weekend on Nolensville Pike celebrates Nashville's robust Kurdish community.

  • Nashville is home to the largest Kurdish population in the country, with an estimate of about 20,000 Kurds living here today.

"Kurds fleeing horrific genocide and seeking refuge from political persecution have found a welcoming home and sense of community in Nashville," a resolution from the Metro Council states.

  • The community came from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey and began arriving in Nashville in the 1970s, according to the marker.
  • Officials say the Salahadeen Center, founded in 1998, is believed to be among the first Kurdish mosques in the country.

What they're saying: Nawzad Hawrami, a co-founder of the Salahadeen Center, tells Axios Nashville was a welcoming home for the Kurdish community. He says the marker shows the community has contributed to Nashville’s story.

  • "We're proud to be here."
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