Enes Kanter Freedom, an NBA star and human rights activist, was honored with his first award of 2024 for being featured in the “100 Outstanding Kurdish Works in 100 Years” project. The accolade comes after a year in which Freedom received several awards for his activism, applauded by numerous leading organizations.
The announcement was made during the centennial of the Treaty of Lausanne, supported by the Lausanne Municipality and spearheaded by the Lausanne-based MALA KURDAN Culture and Education Association. This project meticulously selected 100 works or achievements across 10 categories to compile the final list, recognizing individuals who have significantly contributed to Kurdish culture and heritage.
In a heartfelt message shared on social media, Freedom expressed his pride and gratitude for being recognized as one of the century’s most impactful Kurds. “I am honored and proud to be one of the first 100 outstanding Kurds of the century (1923-2023). I thank all my Kurdish brothers and sisters who supported me on this journey,” Freedom stated.
Freedom also shared a personal revelation about his heritage, saying, “A few years ago, I learned from my father that I have Kurdish blood. I could not be more proud and happy with who I am and my identity. I want to dedicate this award to my father and my father’s family.”
Highlighting the resilience and struggle of the Kurdish people, Freedom added, “Throughout history, the Kurdish people have faced discrimination, oppression, and persecution, but they always stand strong and tirelessly fight against all forms of tyranny. Kurds have the right to live freely! As Enes Kanter Freedom, I stand with my Kurdish brothers and sisters everywhere in the world.”
The recognition of Freedom’s achievements and his inclusion in the distinguished list underscore his contributions both on and off the basketball court, particularly in advocating for human rights and the Kurdish cause.