Vera Beaudin was newly divorced and a recent arrival in Harlem when a stranger knocked on her door one night carrying flowers and coffee cake. She fell in love, married and learned about the plight of his oppressed people.
When he died five years later, Ms. Beaudin, who had taken her new husband’s name, Saeedpour, responded by starting the first library and museum in the United States dedicated to Kurds, an ancient, stateless people straddling three nations in southwest Asia.
She did this in a Brooklyn brownstone where five or six cats and a dog or two prowled and where people rented rooms on the upper floors. Soon, scholars, journalists, government officials, homesick Kurds and the just plain curious were beating a path to her door.