A Friend to Kurds: Kristiina Koivunen Receives Non-fiction Writer Award

The Association of Finnish Non-fiction Writers awarded the five most recognized writers on October 24th, 2020. Among the 3200 members one of whom is Dr. Kristiina Koivunen who got the award. She has received the non-fiction writer award in recognition of her extensive and meritorious production of non-fiction works about Kurdistan. The Kurdish Association in Finland congratulates Koivunen on her significant achievement in this momentous event.

The non-fiction prizes were presented at the Helsinki Book Fair online. This year's awards was given to Reijo Heikkinen, Kristiina Koivunen, Arto Mustajoki, Sirkka-Liisa Ranta and Pekka Valtonen received the Non-fiction Writer Award for the twentieth time.

Born in 1959, Kristiina Koivunen earned her Ph.D. in Political Science. She is a Freelance Journalist and Non-fiction writer. Her expertise is on Kurdistan, a region that is the focus of world politics but not so much known in Finland. Koivunen is widely familiar of the area for 20 years and has worked as a university teacher from 2009 to 2012 in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region of Northern Iraq.


Koivunen has studied information science, religion, and social policy. Her doctoral dissertation in 2002 at the University of Helsinki dealt with the invisible war in northern Kurdistan. Her latest book "Kirkuk, The City of Baba Gurgur" (2019) is also related to the wars and power struggles in the region. The book was published both in Finnish and English language. Koivunen has written and published numerous books related to Kurdistan, which at the same time gives information to countries in the neighboring regions such as Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. She has also focused her subjects on Jihadists recruited from Finland and how to combat radicalization, (Suomen nuoret jihadistit, 2016). Furthermore, she has described her emotional and traumatic experiences on the field of work in the war zone, (Taiteilijatreffit sota-alueella, 2009).

Koivunen's in-depth knowledge of the region and its inhabitants enabled her to bring awareness, feed news, and events visible to the Finnish readers through mass media. Koivunen's versatile non-fiction production has significantly increased the information about Kurdistan and more broadly, the entire region that is connected to it as the center of international policy.


On this significant event, it is overwhelming to read comments and heartwarming congratulations from many supporters, readers, friends and colleagues of Koivunen in the social medias like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others. No one was able to witness or attended the recognition award due to the restrictions imposed in the prevention of the widespread of COVID-19. With high hopes, Koivunen will continue to be able to persevere in researching the history and current state of the Kurds in order to bring the injustices in the region to the world's attention.

(Above photo): Walet Nehri handed the Plaque of Appreciation award to Kristiina Koivunen during the Kurdish Association Annual Meeting in December 2019.

The Kurds and friends posed for a photograph after the annual meeting and election of Board members of the Kurdish Association for the year 2019-20.

It is noteworthy that Koivunen's passion and long-term work on issues deeply affecting Kurdistan are highly valued in our community, in the society, and the global Kurdish society as well. The Kurdish Association in Finland awarded Kristiina Koivunen, "The Kurdi Friend" award during the latest annual meeting in December 2019. The Appreciation Award is in recognition of her tireless efforts and unwavering support towards the Kurds. The inspiration and the love poured into her works for bringing awareness to the world that the Kurds' lives matter. Koivunen has shown deep respect and demonstrated immense importance to the lives, culture, political issues, and history of the Kurdish people, and that is evidently proven from all her manuscripts and published books during the past two decades and continued endeavors.


For more updates, Kristiina's latest book "Kirkuk - Iranin sijaissodan näyttämö" ( "Kirkuk - The Scene of the Iranian Substitute War") is already in print. Kristiina's work can best be supported by buying and reading her books. The books are preferably ordered directly from the author. https://www.facebook.com/kristiina.koivunen.3 By: Fargo Bcn




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