Sep 14, 2011

Together, We Stand as One

24.8.2011 marked a history in my life. It was the day when people in Hawler (Erbil) Capital of Kurdistan decided to break the silence and marched to Aankawa, where the Turkish Consulate General is to support their Kurdish Brothers and sisters on the borders.

Just a few days ago, we heard on news that Seven Civilians were murdered near Qandil Mountain while they were trying to escape from Turkish air raids in the area.

It was indeed a heartbreaking news for all of us.
Therefore, something has to be done.

The good news is, Kurd all around the world started demonstrations condemning Turkey for its brutal actions towards the Kurdish civilians. Though unfortunately the foreign minister of Turkey denied the killing of the seven civilians, but somehow this was expected, after all, humans’ lives have the least value for human beings!
Sadly, this has always been the case.

Being part of the demonstrations, gave an exceptional feeling.
To be honest, I do love this land and I would do anything for it, but it wasn’t only feeling of love that pushed me towards the demonstration, it was also feeling of guilt.

Yes, I felt guilty. When I was going to sleep I was thinking about those victims. I was asking my self, why do we have to be victims, when we can be victors?  Why do we have to spend our lives fighting to prove ourselves? I was telling myself, “they say with money you can buy anything,” but, all we need is peace, but we can’t buy peace with money, can we? There were so many other why's rising and falling in my head.

So we headed to university first, where I first met Sazan Mandalawi, Bewar Rwandzi and some other dear friends. We spent around an hour making posters and writing things.

Hands were holding Kurdistani Flag, high up to the White & Blue sky; wrists wrapped with White, Red, Yellow, & Green ribbons and we were on our top spirit, ready to march.

I was among a group of freedom fighters. Those who were with me that day were the people that I would call “the leaders” for the future of Kurdistan. You could perceive love, passion, and bravery in their eyes.

While I was marching with my friends, I remembered the times when parents and siblings were telling me about the uprising in 1991, I have always been keen to listen to the stories of that time.  But, this time, I wasn’t just listening to any story, I was actually living them as well.

I won’t forget the moments I lived in 24.8.2011; they stand for so much to me and my people.
Yes, we did, we told the world we will no longer accept victimization of our people. As long as there is a will to freedom and peace, we will always find a way.

To the enemies of Kurdistan;
Dear opponents, it doesn’t matter how hard you try or what you do, you will never be able to defeat the spirit of this nation. We will hold on like a mountain.
It doesn’t matter how many of us you murder, you will never plant hatred in our hearts.

And like dear Martin Luther King said once, “Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can do that; hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that.”
We are still embracing this land tight; and we will always do.

No More Silence.
Bewar, Making posters.
Kurdistani Flag surrounded by the protesters.
The pictures of the family members,who have been massacred in the air-raid. Among the protesters, are some of my friends.
Protesters shouting: " Amad, Qandil, Mahabad, yak Charanus yal Wlat!"
Translation: "Amed, Qandil, Mahabad, One Destiny, One Country!"

Note: The photos are taken by Sara S. Sinjary.

I know it's a bit late to write about this now, but I got to busy lately to write anything. :)
And by the way, today is the first day of Jazhn (Eid); Happy Eid Everyone.

This article was written in August 30, 2011.

What Women Want?

Have you ever wondered what a woman wants? Why is it that she always complains about everything?
I bet you have.

Well, here I have the clue to all your questions about her. I hope.  :)

I have often discussed this matter with my male friends. Their argument was based on this idea,
” Women don’t know what they want; they just love to ask for more always!”

I remember the times, I heard men saying that women have codes, and once a man finds out about the code of a woman, she will no longer be a mystery to him, and she will be easy to control.

At that time, I didn’t understand what was the message behind it. But now I do.
Here is what they were thinking;

Approach a girl that's hard to get, keep following her as if you were her shadow. Like her, take care of her, pretend to love her, and then she will fall in love with you, and last but not least, leave her. As simple as that.
Guess what, this could be true, not because girls are naive, but rather because they are emotional and because men mostly (not all), tend to misconstrue that.

On this occasion, one day a male friend of mine posted a video on Facebook about a man causing the death of a girl. They were both in trouble due to their families and they decided to commit suicide together because they thought there is no other way out. He told her, he will count until three and then they both shoot themselves. The guy starts counting to three, the girl shoots herself and passes away, while the guy escapes to another location to save his life. This is a true story.

So I commented the following for him;
"Why do men exploit women's emotion sometimes?!" He answered to me, "I have no idea why we do that!" Even he couldn't give me an answer to that question.

This is the saddest fact in life, being emotional in a world where selfishness, aggression, struggle for money rather than human principles are the most welcomed attributes. No wonder that there are endless wars all through the world.

And if you are one of those who think the same way as those guys, then think twice.

I remember; some of my friends were often asking, why do women always defend women? Women are not angels. Well, no one has ever intended to defend women because they were considered angels, but rather because a woman believes this is the right thing to do, to defend the truth.

Have you ever wondered why all over the world, women are the biggest numbers of victims, whether victim of rape, war, hanger, illiteracy, or society as a whole. Have you ever wondered why women are always easier to manipulate than men?

Women were gifted with grace and sensation by God, yet they are still suffering from second class treatment in all societies! Suffering from being emotional beings.

Now, let’s look back and understand why being emotional is easy to manipulate.
A woman looks into life through her heart. She believes that her instincts are guidance from god so that she could move from unknown paths to the land of her dreams.

You will be surprised if you knew that it’s merely one simple dream that she keeps seeking and pursuing. However, in a minute, you will grasp what that simple dream might be.

Human beings need to understand that emotion is the key to peace within them.  Once peace is being uncovered inside, it will be foreseeable to reflect outside, eventually shedding light upon the world.

Glance into the most well known leaders in the world, like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King; Haven’t they achieved what the rest of the world thought impossible to achieve only by following their instincts?

Prove me wrong if you disagree with me.

The greatest accomplishments come from the heart, always. At least this is what I believe.

Yet, one thing that still has always been ignored is the fact that women are still thought of weak and vulnerable, and hence, they are likely always to be prevented from achievements.
True that, because they are never given the chance to try and when she is given the chance, she is been confronted by a hundred blockades.

Now, let me share with you a story from my childhood, once a friend of mine told me about it that.
I deeply believe in the wisdom behind it and since then, it has stuck in my memory.
The story goes like this;

Once upon time, there was a very noble King. He was in love with a very beautiful woman. All men in his kingdom wished they could win her heart, including the King himself. But she did not love any.
Nobody understood why a beautiful women like her wouldn’t give her heart to no one! The king finally married her, yet she was not happy. He gave her everything one wished to have at that time, still she was unhappy.

That puzzled the king a lot, and made him very depressed and sad that the woman he adored wasn’t contented.
Until one day the king decided to ask her what she wants so she could be happy.
Guess what she answered?

She told him, I want the Freedom of Choice.

Now, you know the answer to your questions as well. It is very simple.
I believe that you can give the whole world to a woman, but only freedom of her own choices that makes a fulfilled human being with honor and self-respect.

There is no doubt that even some women might take heart for granted. But what is important is to understand the value of freedom of choice, and heart it to all with no distinctions.

A woman can have freedom of expression, and freedom of thought, but it is only freedom of choice that discloses the chains of oppression and ill-treatment to the world of creating oneself. Hence,

Put yourself in her shoes,
Limit your choices,
Then judge her.

Photo by Nawroz Sinjary.

This Article was written in July 14, 2011.

My Little Friends In My Univeristy

I promised to blog about my little friends from the orphanage in my university, and here I keep my promise! :)
It was last Thursday 28, 2011 when we invited 30 of them to our university. It was a memorable day; they all brought joy, innocence, beauty to out university. I’m looking forward to see them in UKH more often.
This is how I started my day;

I went to university early in the morning, ready to meet my little buddies.  So what I did first in the morning is going for shopping (bazaar) with two other fiends, Helen and David. We had to go and buy paints for face-painting plus pen and paper for drawing.

Coming back to university, we rash out for preparations like wrapping the gifts, preparing our cafeteria to welcome the kids and playing music for them. To be honest, I felt like I was going back to the times when I was in the primary school, it felt really good.

A few students and I welcomed the kids at the university gate. Of course like all times, the kids jumped to embrace us. Daroon was the first one I welcomed. I don’t know why but I feel Daroon and I have a really good connection together as if she was someone really close to me, her big smile always brings a smile to me.

The best part of that day was face-painting. We all had so much fun with it, we were painting on each others face without caring about how we are going to look later. It seemed to me as a small Festival, from my four years of university, I never had that much of fun in my life! Of course, we all were looking so ugly, but we didn't really care about all that.

And then we played (Habwri bwri) a kind of game I used to play when I was little. In this this game, we all hold each others hand, making one big circle. Then we walk in circle and start singing about each one participating in the game and every time a person's name is been mentioned in the song, that one will have to turn her/his back and we go through the circle again. It was really special to play childhood games with those little kids.

I decided this time to let the pictures talk more, so I have provided more photos. I guess so far I have said a lot about those kids.

They should be role models for all of us.These people are homeless, they don't have a place where they can it, a real "home", a place where they could find the love of a mother, and the support of a father! And I doubt they will ever find one. They are the ones who carry dreams in their heart. The ones who keep their dreams alive through their hopes.To me they are more than just kids, they are young women and men in the body of a child.

While wrapping the gifts.
A smile :) for the kids.
Everyone is busy with face-painting, now you know why I call it a small Festival.
The kids drawing. See his look, he is in a different world!
Daroon, I painted on her face, it's a butterfly.
He looks brave.
We were siting in the University Garden, singing with the kids
Playing (Habwri bwri).
Our last photo with them, before they leave back to the Orphanage.

This article was written in May 6, 2011. 

Through Their Eyes, I See My Own World

It’s been a while since I have shared anything here. I have been so busy recently, but the thing is somehow life is playing hard on me these days.

I guess, we all go through tough times in life, I can’t really deny that, but sometimes life gets really tough, tougher than the strength we have to handle some circumstances.

Now one thing about me is, whenever I’m really feeling sad, I have that one special place I resort to, the Orphanage.

I have said it before, the orphanage is where I really feel like I belong to. Not that I hate my family or I’m poorly treated, it’s just I have always felt that I’m part of the orphan community. I guess we all somehow belong to a place along our home. They say, the dreams you carry within your heart, determine where you really belong to and I believe in that.

I have found myself long ago among my little friends in the orphanage (not that they are all little, some of them are in my age, but I like calling them my little friends). Now I’m going to reveal one of my biggest  dreams to you. I’m dreaming of having an organization, where I can hold all the needy people in all sorts without considering their gender, age, race, etc. I have been in so many places where they hold orphans and needy people, I have talked to them, I have made friends with them and I know how lonely those people are.

I’m not saying that all organizations we have in Kurdistan are poorly treating those people, but it’s just I know they are pretty careless to pay serious attention to them.

A lot of times, I sit with myself and think about life. I often ask myself how much does it take, if people cared a little more about those little kids and visited them every now and then?  My point is, we may not all have enough money to help those kids, but at least we do have love to give.

From my experience with them, which started three years ago, I know those kids need love, care, and encouragement more than anything else in the world.

I usually go there with my friends in my university, we are a group of people, I want to mention their names because each one of them have had their roles in offering help to those kids, they are Bewar, Sazan, Shko, Savi, and many other friends as well.

We have been in the orphanage together so many times, and those times are the best times of my life, I won’t forget them.

I don’t know why, but every time I’m sad, I feel like I need to visit those kids. So this time, I decided to go alone. I was really sad in the past days; I felt like I really need to go and see them so I woke up early in the morning, took with me some candies and chocolate and headed to the orphanage. Of course the first reaction I received there was, the little kids, (this time I mean really little ones, two years old kids) running from distance as they were playing in the yard, to embrace me and kiss me on my chicks.

I felt really good, I spent one hour and a half there, playing with them and we had so much fun.  Well, to be honest, they somehow tortured me with their demands. For example, I was giving candy to one of them and the next thing I found was another one crying for having the same exact sort of Chocolate. So I had to tell stories and make promises so I could stop them from crying before I leave.

Even though, sometimes I forget some of their names, but their face and their cute voices are always in the back on my head. They are many, and sometimes, some of them leave the orphanage and new ones come, but there is a few of them I have been with them since 2008. Daroon is one of them; she is a very cute little girl always smiling. I feel like she is my own daughter.

I’m planning to bring them to my university soon hopefully. I have raised money from my university, we are doing  charity works and I’m going to bring approval from the orphanage soon.  This time, I want to invite them all for lunch. They are about 70, and after lunch, we will spend sometime playing , and hopefully I will try to make a discussion group about awareness and trust with them. I’m planning to divide them into to groups, the group of the girls, which I or someone else will be leading the discussion, and group of the boys, which I will ask one of my male friends to lead the discussion for the boys.

Wish me luck friends, hopefully soon, I will write about this event as well.

You can tell she is very naughty!
A smile, says it all.
Preparing for the photo shots.

Eating Chocolate, yummy!
She was asking for my Sunglasses :)

This article was written in April 16, 2011. 

If You are Brave Enough!

As I am sitting here in my room alone and I look outside the room, all I see is darkness with a few shining houses miles away from my home. Just a few minutes ago, I was sitting with my sister, my brother and my lovely niece and nephew. We were talking about some of the beautiful and bitter memories of the past.  My oldest sister Awaz, she came back just a few months ago from Korea with her children. Having them with us in our house is just wonderful.

She was leading the whole conversation, recalling some of the scary events about ghosts ( my favorite topic of all time!) and about the times, when my dad was in prison because of political reasons and eventually she ended up reminding us of some of the most beautiful memories we spent together.

She was talking about the times, when we were living in Shaqlawa (a beautiful place located in the North of Kurdistan) and about the times when we used to live in Ranya, Chwarqwrna, and Btwen (those are some of the towns located in the East of Kurdistan near Iraq-Iran border).

I was saying nothing; just listening to her soft voice as she was beautifully reminding us and smiling. Those times were the best times of my life; I will miss those days forever!
By the way, not to forget I am really sick. I spent last night in the Emergency. It’s been three days, I have pain in my right kidney, but last night the pain was too much, I started crying because of the pain and eventually I ended up in the hospital.

However, I feel a little better now, thank God. So going back to my topic, what I was doing was just listening to my sister as she was taking us all back to those memories.

Tonight am spending my last few hours before I enter a new age tomorrow. I have to say I feel both happy and sad.  The reason why I feel sad is because I feel like my life is slipping away from hand and I haven’t reached what I want yet! My only concern would be dying and getting old before I fulfill I turn my dreams to reality.There is a lot in my heart. So many dreams and ambitions, but above them all there is one thing always in my mind, “Making a difference, even if a small one” I know and I am positive that bringing a change will help me to peacefully, close my eyes forever.

“Making a difference” includes many things to me, to be honest I have a list of the things I consider them a mean to make a difference.

For example, I want to help someone who is really in need of my help, someone who deserves to be helped.

Graduation! I need to graduate successfully in the university as this year is my last year. I am hoping by the end of the year, I will get on to the stage with my certificate in my hand and get my award for being a serious and dedicated student. It’ll be an honor for me. I definitely think about s extending my education to probably master degree as well. I really like law, when I was little, I want to be a lawyer and I still like it. If I ever get the chance to do masters in law, I will absolutely do .

Writing is my life. I really aspire to become an inspiring and dedicating writer. I love writing, I really do.  The only thing makes me feel complete.

Traveling is also one of my dreams. I am dreaming of traveling to Africa, where I could work for the humanitarian organization.

So traveling to different places and meeting new people is a way to meet yourself!
There are many other things, but I can’t say them all here. There are some of the wishes and dreams I have been carrying them in my heart since childhood.

Tonight is no exception. Here am writing about them and deep inside, hoping there will be better tomorrows for those dreams.

This year has been very tough, I have lost many things. There were times, when I felt like I have lost myself.  There were times, when I was deeply down and couldn’t find someone or something to hold on. I had to choose silence and pray only.  There were people whom I was holding on so tight, but all of the sudden; I
had to set them free!  Those people are the closet people to my heart. But for some reasons, I lost them.

Setting them free was very painful, it felt like I was burning in a house, many people were outside looking at the house while it was turning to ashes thinking that there is no one inside, but in fact someone was inside, that someone was me! But I couldn’t shout for help because the pain was too much that I couldn’t say a word or even make a noise.

I learnt and decided to set those people free, I mean completely free and move on in my life. It still hurts, remembering some memories with them, but part of life, is letting go and only the strong can forgive and let go. I decided to be strong.

If we can only be brave enough to set the past free, take notice of everything we see as a key to our journey, and accept everyone we meet as a teacher; then we will reach the ultimate goal of our lives, which is realizing who we are.

I found myself now, and I decided to enter a new age with a free spirit. Only I and my dreams are going to continue my journey, I will not let any of the past bitter events cross the line with me. I consider them all, my past.

I know, and am sure the true people around me will walk with me along the journey. I know if they are true enough they will support me in every decision I will make from now on in my life. May be they are only few, but for me they are more than enough.

Now, am working as a journalist with Kurdishglobe. I do enjoy my work, it helps me meet new people, tell new stories about Kurdistan. I am also studying and hoping soon I will finish my last year in University.

The most important thing I learned is to have faith in myself and in my dreams. I know someday, I will make them come true and I am positive with praying and the power of will, I will handle any problem in my life. So far, I have had enough of pain, but those pains helped me to take off my glasses and see the world as it is.

I learnt from the past, when and how to eliminate people when they become harmful to me. I learned when and how to eliminate things that hurt me in my life. I learnt to try to be strong and find new hobbies and replace some dreams when I know carrying them in my heart hurt. Learning those lessons did not happen over night.  Learning them was a very painful process.

I wish and hope coming years in my life will be way better than the past.  

Happy birthday to Ash., (Me). :)

Me,on Xarand mountain

Photo by Bakhan, K. Ali.

This article was written in November 26, 2010; a day before my Birthday. 

The Heart alone, is The Real Home

In life, we all look for a place where we carry sense of belonging. It's a home that we are really looking for.
To be in your home, is to feel comfortable and safe, but a home itself is hard to define simply because it differs from one person to another. A home could be a country for some, what they do for others, while for few; it’s the person they love.

For me, a real home is the heart. For the heart decides what and where the home is. There are people with feeling of "love" for their country, people with feeling of "love” for where they live or what they do. And people with the feeling of "love" for their lovers. But, to love your country, the place where you live, the thing you are passionate about doing, and the person you love, you have to have the feeling first. The feeling is the love you will carry in your "heart".

Therefore, no home is a real home, unless love is involved, unless the heart decides.
The vaguest, yet beautiful fact is when a person becomes the home itself! Many experience the feeling, while others resist it. It's strange, yet a true fact.

It's amazing when the two lovers carry the same feelings for each other. Their hearts become their home. At least, this is what I believe.

Since I am a woman, they say women are emotional. I guess it's true. Whatever I do, I have to love it first and once I loved it, I feel like I belong to it. This is why I have considered my heart my home. I follow it no matter what, even though a lot of times it leads me to tough paths.

There were times I had to fight alone in order to get or to do something I want. Following heart is never easy, but I know regardless of difficulties I will face, I will never stop following it. I know it will never lie to me because even in times of difficulties; there are lessons to be learned through the heart.

Sometimes the image of the “home” gets distorted by the heart. I have seen people who have fallen in love and were broken! Though it may seem awkward, but I have always felt their pain. Broken hearts are often homeless!
But even supposing the person you love may not carry the same feelings for you. That’s to love, but not to be loved in return or to be broken, that does not change the fact that the home has already been defined by the heart. Only I believe even when the heart is broken, even when the home is gone there will come a day again when it will be whole again and then new home will be defined.

I know life and fate might separate us from the people and the things we love, but as long as we consider our “heart” as our “home” no time or distance will part us from them.

And for me, it doesn't matter where I go or what will happen to me in my life, even in the land of strangers and far across the borders, I know I will always be "home" and all the people and the things I love, I will keep them with me.

This article was written in October 6, 2010.

"UKH" The Place Where My Journey Began

September 19, 2010, was the first day of the new academic year in University of Kurdistan-Hawler (UKH). The feelings were mixed for the students; there were moments of happiness, sadness, anxiety, and etc.

Most of the students were present in UKH. In every corner there were groups of friends sitting and chatting about the summer break,the changes in their lives and so on. Except UKH this time seemed different.
Last year a large number of seniors and Master students graduated. We were like a big family, we all had contact with each other. We still do, but not seeing them around in the campus anymore feels awkward!
Coming to myself, I spent a fine summer break this year, even though I had many troubles on my way, but somehow I made it. The first day of UKH wasn't so exciting for me; I don't know the reason why or may be the reasons why, except I didn't have the same feelings that I had in the past years. I guess I'm just a little disappointed.

Not to forget, I still love UKH. I worked harder than anything else in my life to get into UKH. My Father and the whole family were not happy with the idea of going to UKH. The reason why they didn't want me to get into it was because my average in high school was 93 and at that time, I could attend medical school. My father always wanted me to become a doctor, but I just never thought about becoming a doctor, I don't even like doctors for me they are heartless creatures; this is my only opinion about them (with my respect to some). I love my father a lot, more than he can ever imagine and I would not break his heart no matter what, but the idea of studying Medicine, I just couldn't bear.

I remember when I was in 5th grade which is now class 11 in high school, I saw kak Nechirvan Barzani , the previous KRG prime minister on TV talking about establishing a new university in Erbil, it was UKH that he was talking about.

At that day, I decided to work hard to be accepted in University of Kurdistan-Hawler. Since then, UKH became one of the big dreams for me.

One thing that still surprises me is the dream I had when I was in 6th class (12 Grade) in high school. After the exams were done, I was waiting for my results. One night I had a dream about UKH. In my dream, the principle of my school grabbed my hand and she took me to a place. I was standing on the top of a building with her and below us there were only shining lights. She told me this is UKH, and then she took me to a class where there were many students from boys and girls. "This is your university and these people are going to be your classmates!"  She said. And indeed, I got a very good grade and after a long struggle, I made it into UKH.

In UKH, I made faithful and wonderful friends which I never had before in my life! Having them around me, makes my life special.

Although, I suffered a lot, yet my love for UKH never changed. It's my second home, a place where I feel I belong to and a place where my dreams are.

Note: you might be surprised how much I suffered if you were living with me at the time when I wanted to get into UKH, I promise.

This year is going to be my last year in UKH. It makes me sad when I think about it, but at the same time when I graduate in the future, I will know I have accomplished one of my dreams.

I have learned a lot in UKH so far, from my friends, the staff and the system. Some of the things I learned are positives while others negative and they brought pain to me. But, at the end goods and bad, they all teach us something valuable, a lesson.

I have been part of Students Union in my university; I participated in debates and discussions and exchanged my ideas with my fellows. I have been in different places with my dear friends outside UKH and experienced the feeling of orphans, old people, and needy ones. Besides many other beautiful experiences I had and hoping will still have with my friends.

I will pray and work hard to make this year also worthy. For me happy moments are those when I offer help and hand to people around me and share my happy and sad moments. I'm grateful for all the things I have achieved in UKH and all the friends I have and hoping to graduate "successfully" with my dear friends in 2011.

I dedicate this to UKH, the place where my journey began, I also dedicate it to all the friends I made there, they are too many to count, but they all have their special places in my heart. Wish them all a wonderful year ahead.

University of Kurdsitan-Hawler

This article was written in September 20, 2010.

Years Teach Us Patience, Seasons Teach Us Adaption

They say when the ones we love pass away, time will work its way out, that time solely will heal the wound they leave in our hearts and within years we will be able to forget their memories, but I doubt that!
From my experience, I learned we never forget those we love; we only learn to live when they can not be around no more.

My Grandfather died long time ago during the civil war between PUK & KDP in 1996. I was almost Seven when he passed away. Among my grandparents, he is the only one I remember being so close to me. Shareff was his name and ever since, I use his name instead of my father’s name, almost all the times as a symbol of love to him.

I still remember a lot of things about him. I remember what he was wearing most beside the traditional Kurdish clothes. I remember the small clock he was carrying with him in his pocket all the time. I remember his smile. Yet, no matter how hard I try, I can’t remember his voice…

When I was a child, I used to be disobedient and stubborn and some were calling me “the rebel one” I was often beating up kids in the street, in school and I often was in trouble. My Grandfather was my angel guard.  He was my hero. Whenever I was in trouble, he was the one I would go to help and protect me.

I remember the day when I was fighting with one of my cousins. That day I was in a big trouble as I knocked my cousin down with a stick. He is a year younger than me. He started crying and told my mom about it. I knew my mom is going to punish me like always so I run as fast as I could to my Grandpa’s arms.I will never forget when my Grandpa told my mom  if she touches even a hair of me, he will get really mad at her!
Hence, everyday was the same story. I would make troubles and Grandpa was always there to stop the whole world from hurting me.

Holding me in his arms, gave me sense of protection and safety. The warmth of his arms and the comfort of his words were my world. Being rebel, I always had to do things all alone. Nobody was handling me or the troubles with me. My Grandfather was the one who saved me from loneliness. His love gave me so much power and encouragement.

A lot of nights he comes to my dream and we talk! We talk about him, about my father and about me like we used to talk when he was alive.
Once I had a dream about him. In my dream he seemed tired and the White attire was still twisted around him. I was so afraid to talk to him. This time everything was different. It wasn't like other dreams I had about him before. This time I didn't see my Grandpa, rather I saw I dead man came out from his grave. Then I saw him approaching me and asking me not to be afraid of him. That night, he told me he is not dead and he never left me and never will. I wasn't afraid anymore. I woke up in the morning and I felt his presence around me. It brought back to me all the sweet memories with him.

The moment he passed away, I was sitting right beside his bed. I was looking into his eyes and I couldn't believe that my Grandfather was just a dead man laying on the bed, just a body without soul and a heart without beats. When he died, he was looking at the sky. Those images are rooted in my mind and every time I think about them, they bring tears to my eyes.

I miss him a lot. I miss those days when he was always around me and I miss the feeling of being completely protected.

I miss when he was giving me candies every time I was crying. I miss his words and the stories he used to tell.
Since he died, years taught me patience, but it never taught me how to forget him and I know it never will. As seasons change and we learn to adapt with them, I only learned to adapt living, without him.

this is a framed photo of my Grandpa. It's the only photo remained from him.

This article was written in August 15, 2010.

Smile & Let the Whole World wonder How

A little girl with her one year old sister and brother begging in 30 meter avenue in Erbil.

April 19, 2010 was a sunny and shining day. Around 3:00 pm and those kids were begging!

Looking at them, I admit I had a strong feeling of sympathy. I wondered why do people bring children to this worlds when they can not afford their most basic needs such as education, a proper meal and clothes?!
Smile & let the whole world wonder how!

I had the chance to talk to the older daughter when she was holing on my university's gate! From her curiosity, she seemed to be a very smart girl to me, yet her parents took her and her brother out from school a year ago! She asked so many questions about my university, what do I study, how do I spend my day and so on.
She told me she came to that street for begging with her one year old sister, brother, and her Mother.
Looking at her big smile I wondered about how she might feel as a little girl living in a tough world! "How can she survive" is something I still wonder about. Despite all that, with the smile on her face, no real pain revealed itself.

I realized so as to stop people around me from asking why, I better smile. Sometimes we are just not able to express how we feel. After all from our smile we give so much strength to the people around us, yet we let the whole world wonder how.

This article was written in July 19, 2010.

Old in Age but Young in Heart

Life is a process of endless struggles, fights, endless pains that take over our hearts as we grow older.
Each one of us experience life in different ways. Even though understanding life seems almost impossible for us; however, the more we grow old the closer step we take in order to understand life. Despite all the pains we face while taking our journeys in life, some of us are born with the gift of accepting of whatever life brings. Hence, those people are the ones who take life with an enthusiastic spirit. For them age remains only a number and the heart alone judges how old or young one can be.

This is what I have witnessed as I and a couple of my friends visited Baxi Shar (a place nearby Bazar where old men usually meet and discuss variety of issues together).
March 4, 2010 was the day when I had the privilege to meet a couple of gentlemen and have the pleasure of talking to them about their lives.

Entering Baxi Shar where all those men sitting in groups, drinking tea and staring at us I admit I was feeling awkward and a bit shy to approach them and talk to them. For them it was the first time a group of young women visit them. Soon after sitting with a couple of them, we were able to build a bridge between us and walk the distance. We spend two most informative and pleasant hours with them and talked about variety of issues in Kurdistan and the rest of the world.

We talked about the times when Saddam Hussein was ruling Kurdistan. We talked about the beauty of knowledge and the power of love. We talked about all the struggles and fights we have to take in order to achieve our dreams in life. We talked about Art, Music, theater and so many other beautiful and interesting things!

For me, those men were not just simple men. They carried in their heart power of love for their family and friends and their land. They way they were talking about each others' talent amazed me. One of them was writing poetry another musician, an actor and so on.

Looking at them, I could see the bravery of fighters and the strength of young men. Life for them was more than just struggle; life was bunch of different colors. The spirit of young men was still in their soul. Growing old never stopped them from living life. "Life isn’t just about existing," as they were saying, "it is about living regardless to age." and indeed life is all about living it. 

Bewar & I while talking to a group of gentlemen in Baxi Shar

Photo by Sazan Mandalawi.

Visiting the Orphanage for the First Time with UKH Friends

In Majidi Mall buying gifts for the Kids.

Being an orphan without love and the warmth of family is unquestionably the most heart breaking and difficult condition that anyone could go through in this world. As a young girl in Kurdistan, I have always felt responsible to ease some of theirs pains.  Visiting them where they live was the simplest thing I could do for them.

Though I have started visiting Mali Xanda Orphanage since 2008; yet, most of the visit were only me and Bewar together.
This time was different as I and a few friends of mine decided to arrange a day to visit them in group in their home where they call it Mali-Xanda. The first thing we did was raising fund and buying gifts for the children.

Waking up early in the morning and excitingly heading to Majidi mall after collecting enough money by volunteers from different places is  in Hawler was a very sad, yet special experience in my life. Reveen, Bewar, Savina, Naza, Sazan, and I in February 18, 2010 visited the most beautiful and peaceful place my eyes have ever witnessed.
After two hours in Majidi mall, we soon headed to the orphanage. I remember once we entered the living room, the kids jumped out to embrace us with their sweet smiles on their faces then started kissing each one of us, that moment I will never forget.
The kids were amazing. I can not find enough words to describe them completely, but for me Daroon the little girl that I played with most was the one I found myself attached with most. Her image with big smile and wide black eyes is printed in the back of my head. Every time I visit them, I feel like I am in my own home among my little brother and sisters.There isn’t a day passes with out thinking about them.
There are days I just wish if I could do more just a visit. There are days I wake up and wish I could bring them to my home and give them the warmth and love of a real family. Although it’s difficult for me to give my full attention to those kids, yet I know only a visit has already done a lot for them. Every time I go there I can see the joy and excitement in their eyes.  For me those kids aren’t just orphans, they mean more than that; they are a special part of my world.
I know deep inside, I will never let go them. I know no matter where I go I will always remember them and despite the distance between me and them, they are always close to me as they are always in my heart and they shall always be.
Sazan, Reveen, & I while playing with the Kids.
This Article was written in February 18, 2010.