"Nightingale of Amed" Seyidxanê Boyaxcî passes away

Kurdish dengbej Seyidxanê Boyaxcî died at the age of 87 years in Amed. The "Nightingale of Amed" last suffered from paralysis due to an infection.

The "Nightingale of Amed" Seyidxanê Boyaxcî has passed away at the age of 87 years in his apartment in Amed (Diyarbakir). The Kurdish Dengbêj last suffered from paralysis caused by inflammation of the nerves and muscles as a result of an infection. The funeral is to take place at the Yeniköy cemetery in the Bağlar district.

Seyidxanê Boyaxcî, whose civil name was Seydo Şimşek, was born in 1933 in the village of Lexerî in Ergani district. When he was two, his mother died. When he was four years old, he became an orphan following the death of his father and grew up with an uncle. He spent his childhood as a shepherd instead of going to school. When he was 15, he moved to the centre of Amed and earned his living as a shoeshine boy in the town of Sur. During his 25 years as a shoeshine boy he also worked for a while for the city cleaning service.

Seyidxanê Boyaxcî has no descendants. All his seven children died shortly after their birth from diseases. In an interview he said: "Others would have been broken by this suffering. I was lucky to find comfort in my songs. Because the Dengbêj culture is nothing but a great love."

For many years he spent his days in the Dengbêj house in Sur, singing about the joy and suffering of the Kurds in his songs - and passing on Kurdish history to younger generations. The building had to be evacuated in 2016, when the city was first placed under trustee. It had previously been damaged during the Turkish military siege. The Denbêj House was reopened in 2017.