Nowruz in Aley, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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A throng of revelers waving a red, white and green flag with a golden sun emblem at its center poured into Aley's sports club Tuesday, dancing to the beat of Kurdish folk music.In Lebanon, Kurdish families celebrating Nowruz – or "the new day" – took advantage of the occasion to flaunt their ethnic identity.As Kurds of different nationalities came together to celebrate their ethnicity, the thorny issue of building a free and independent state still loomed large.Now I love telling everyone I am a Kurd," Ali said. Since she resettled in Beirut in 2008, she has been teaching Kurdish folkloric dance to children in an attempt to keep the Kurdish cultural identity alive.Thanks to the recent territorial and political gains notched up by the Kurds in Syria and Iraq, many believe that a "new day" is really about to begin.The battle against Daesh (ISIS) waged by the peshmergas has gained the Kurds the support of the U.S. and unprecedented political leverage, which he hopes will be used wisely to carve out a Kurdish state through negotiation rather than military might.
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