Osman Sabri

Osman Sabri (1905-1993)

Osman Sabri (Kurdish: Osman Sebrí, Osman Sebrî, عۆسمان سه‌بری), was born in 1905 in the village of Narinj in vicinity of major town of Adiyaman, in Kowan Province in Kurdistan.  He was among the pioneer Kurdish journalist who realised the importance of the Kurdish pen in Kurdish political struggles. Sabri and his family were involved in the revolt led by Sheikh Said Piran of 1880-1925. The revolt was crushed by the massive military pressure of new state of Turkey. Sheikh Said Piran was hanged by Turkish army in 1925. His last words was “I can live without bread, but can not live without freedom”.

Sabri was a student of such rebellion philosophy and could not compromise his national identity in his work and writing. Due to his political views he was arrested and imprisoned at the age of 23 in 1928 in Denizli. After release he moved to Syria and later on to Iraq in 1929. After the fall of Othman Empire in 1918 and creation of the new military state of Turkey many Kurdish intellectuals and activist such as: Jeladet Alí Bedir Xan, Jegerxwín, Tíréjh and Qedríjan. They found Khoybun (Xoybún) in 1927 which was the first Kurdish political party of Kurdish modern history. This circle of Kurdish intellectual played a great role in Sabir’s work as writer and intellect.

The Xoybún movement established the independent Republic of Ararat (1927-1930). The young Sabri tried to join the revolt in Mount Ararat when he was arrested by the British authorities in Mosul. Sabri was released in 1935 and exiled by the British to Madagascar in 1936. He went to Lebanon in 1937 and devoted more time to Kurdish writing and publications in Beirut. He took part in establishing the “Kurdish Democratic Party of Syria” (Partiya Demokrat a Kurd li Súriyeyé) in 1957 and was elected as the secretary general of the party. Due to his political activities, he was arrested and imprisoned several times until 1972.

Sabri joined his views with J.A. Bedir Xan on the role of Kurdish library and the effect of social awareness in mother tongue education. He actively wrote in newly introduced Latin based alphabet of J.A. Bedir Xan (1931). His poems become among the first published Kurdish poetry in Latin based Kurdish alphabet. After the sudden death of J.A. Bedir Xan in 1951 he published a book on Kurdish writing practices “Elîfbeya Kurdî” in 1954 to promote the Kurdish Latin based writing system. Sabri was died on 11th October 1993 in Damascus, Syria.

Sabri managed to publishe many articles in different Kurdish journals, such as Hawar (1932-1943), Ronahî (1943), Roja Nû (1943), Hêviya Welêt (in Europe, 1963), Çiya (in Europe, 1966), Hêvî (Paris, 1983), Berbang (Sweden, 1983), Roja Nû (Sweden, 1979).


  1. Elîfbeya Kurdî, 56 pp., Syria, 1955
  2. Bahoz û çend nivîsarên din, 68 pp., 1956
  3. Apo, “Gotinên xav nepijîn bê tav”, Germany, 1981
  4. Elîfbêya Tikuz, 1982
  5. Çar Leheng, Syira, 40 pp., 1984
  6. Derdên me (gotar û helbest)
  7. Dîwana Osman Sebrî (Collection of Poems), 215 pp., Stockholm, 1998
  8. Bîranînên Osman Sebrî (Memoirs), 2003