Univeristy Life

Above: Students of Politics & International Relations (all but Jang & Lana) with our proffesor of History of Political thought- Dr. Greaves

Having returned from such a beautiful country such as Australia, today I proudly say “I am lucky to be in Kurdistan!”
Many would consider this remark naive and to a degree foolish of me. However, living amongst people of my own background, culture and people who understand me for me is like a dream come true. I will not deny the fact that if I sit and compare ‘there’ with ‘here’ there difference is enormous, and of course, life ‘there’ when compared to the region can be described as more than perfect. Despite this, something inside me does not want to return to my second home- not just in another country, but another continent- Aussie Land!!

I miss it.

But my life here is more energetic, diverse and special. I lived many years as ‘the foreigner’. I had wonderful friends and lived in a very friendly atmosphere. Nevertheless, I could not fit in. I was not one of them, and I could never be. No matter what I did, I was different and no matter what they did sometimes it was hard to understand me.

I was brought up in a small family where from a young age I was taught what it meant to be a Kurd, my father would spend hours telling us stories of his experiences and the past of Kurdish people. Even living far from home, we were made to watch videos our relatives sent of weddings and other special celebrations. I was taught why I was a Muslim, and how I was a Kurd. I often try to think how I have deep emotions to a nation that I have only lived in during my early childhood…

Having this tie to your roots in any country it is difficult to manage every day life. Life becomes a routine, I personally found difficulties to engage with the wider community despite my friendly nature… no matter what I did contentment sometimes just didn’t come to me. Often I would speak of our culture and beliefs to the girls, even though they never said anything, deeper inside I felt my reasons did not make any sense in their minds.

When I think back now, at that delicate and sensitive age, especially teenage years, I admit I at times did now have the ‘courage’ to stand up and say that’s who I am.

Coming back to Kurdistan was not all sweet for me (in fact the first year of my life back here can no even be described in a nightmare… but we shall leave that for another blog!!) now, I do not regret a single second. When I sit and engage in a discussion amongst my peers the feeling is unbelievable. I can express, and even if there is no agreement they understand where I come from. I can talk and they realize what I mean, because they share my background, they know the culture; they know what I see as ‘morally’ accepted or unaccepted.

This may mean nothing, but for a young Kurdish girl who was brought up far from her own soil the feeling is much beyond description and words. Inside I often feel I had a jar and the lid was on, now it is all bursting out. It is by no means all delightful but university life in Kurdistan, for me, is indeed a learning experience like no other.

No matter how much I am open minded, flexible and tolerant of all cultures, beliefs and in many issues. I am a Kurd, I often talk with emotions and no rational or logical thought, I talk from the heart and some times give no reasonable or scientific justification. But I am proud to be just that. I am proud to have fond to these traditions to these values, some of which have been passed down from many generations before.

To end… all I can say is that no matter where I was, (on the other side of the globe & hemisphere) home is home. My home may not be perfect but the beauties it offers me is enough to keep me happy… meanwhile Dr. Greaves lesson today was rather difficult to grasp- Aristotle, My telos is living happily in my home country, hehehehehe I think I have learned something today, it really does allow for your mind to wake up and function!!

Sazan Mandalawi

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