Jun 15, 2012

An insight into an Artist's world

What if you wake up after hours of conscientiousness, to see nothing but darkness everywhere and to discover that everyone around you is silent?


During my journey in life, I have met many of those who have made differences, big and small, to many lives. some have directed others by taking their hands and walking all the way through the journey with them; some by giving a piece of advise; and some, by just evoking their stories, left the biggest impression.  


Many of them do not really realized how much they touch people's lives. 


I was lucky enough to come across an Artist, thorough one of my instructors, and through her story I am able today to deliver a vital message. 


I had the pleasure to meet Aftaw in her house and have tea with her and her humble family. 
Aftaw was born in 1986, in Hawler. Her vibrant childhood and bright world was suddenly changed to darkness when she lost both her sight and her hearing in a car accident. 


Despite her silent world, Aftaw's willpower has propelled her life beyond that of an ordinary person's. Aftaw is not only an Artist but also a 'change-maker', something most individuals fail to accomplish.


I was able to communicate with Aftaw through her sister Alan, who has become her voice. Amazingly, in spite of her deafbliness, Aftaw is able to use a sign language with her sister Alan. 
Aftaw refused to talk about the car accident, nor about how it happened, except for when she woke up the next day in the hospital and, to her surprise, she found out that she was deafblind. 
Aftaw while making crafts. 
To remember me, Aftaw made sure to touch my face and hair tenderly with her fingertips. Soon afterwards she grabbed my hand and smiles as a sign of welcome to her home. A sense of revelation shot from my head to my toes. And in that instant, I grasped a self-effecting spirit in Aftaw's being.


Aftaw loves colors, she wears colorful dresses all the time, and she loves meeting new people. But what Aftaw loves most is making crafts. According to he sister Alan, she spends hours in her room and her institute just making crafts. To Aftaw it is a way of expressing feelings of resentment, sorrow and even happiness. 
An example of Aftaw's handicrafts. 
Aftaw was persistent to speak about her hero-the teacher who a few years ago saved Aftaw's life and prepared her for her future. Her teache was relentless that Aftaw should learn craft-making, despite that Aftaw never had any interest before, and her deafbliness would make it even harder for her to learn much.  


After years of learning, now Aftaw teaches other deafblind kids in the deafblindness institute. Aftaw is determined to save these kids who are suffering from cultural skepticism due to their deafblindness. She is determined to motivate them and help them find their own passion in the art of handicrafts. She is determined to deliver a message to society as a whole.
Aftaw has become a role model for the kids she teaches in her institute, they all look up to her, hoping that someday they will also become people of value. Her attitude and confidence is transforming their lives.  


Leaving Aftaw, and I remain with an unanswered question. Apart from all the things I have heard from her family, apart from what her family already knows about Aftaw, apart from the answers that I have recieved, apart from how complete Aftaw is with het life. Does Aftaw hide in her modest heart a secret wish to see and hear again? I can't tell. 


This piece was published in Kurdistan Tribune.