Summer days!

The weather is really hot! And life here seems to begin after 6 p.m. Although if you are like me and can never take a mid-day nap and can’t stay up after 10 p.m. then summer still has its good side in Kurdistan.

When life gets busy with exam, exam results, an unexpected viva voce, and of course the World Cup then you can forget about a social life no matter where you are in the world, including Kurdistan.

I have not been blogging for a while, not because nothing has happened. Believe me in my part of the world there is something new and interesting every day but just did not get around to sitting down and writing something.

Since I am here now let us recap my series of quests since the last entry:
Quest I: Met Boran Zaza, a talented female musician, only 18, Zaza is already juggling a hectic life of a musician. I had the chance to catch up with her in the Institute of Fine Arts in Erbil where she was playing behind her piano. A young girl with boundless talent and ambitions in her life, her day begins at 6 a.m. and does not end till past midnight (and I thought I was a busy bee).

I am always proud to see young girls like her having goals in their life and doing the impossible to achieve them. Zaza admitted it is never easy to be a female (even worse a female musician) in any Middle Eastern culture and achieve your goals without confrontations. “There are always limits and boundaries… but we just have to push forward” she told me.

Zaza is one of the many young females in Kurdistan who have set their goals in life and are doing the impossible to reach their dreams. Although she is a role model for those still at the beginning of their journey, when I listened to her playing the piano I began to shiver. The softness of this young girl, the way she fulfills her job, her volunteering, her dedication to what she loved was inspiring, even to me! Keep an eye for Boran Zaza in the near future, a rising star who is reaching the sky on her own!

Quest II: Between the end of the exams and the time results came out Y-Peer Kurdistan undertook a series of workshops, it was an interesting three days and I tried to train young people about women’s rights, inequality, public speaking and awareness of other issues in the Sorani dialect, it went great. I must say I am very proud of the team who voluntarily work hard just to raise awareness and increase the confidence of youth to be able to leave their homes and be part of the process in building their society. I shamefully forgot about the second set of workshops (because the second round was after my results came out!)* but there is a lot of Y-Peer activity coming up including an environment awareness campaign later this month!! (Keep an eye out)

Quest III: I thought it was time for another visit to the nursing home, after I began thinking of Daya Gulizard at the elderly people’s home in Erbil. We had been planning to take another trip for a while, but were busy with exams (that’s no excuse I know) so Bewar ** and I prepared some sweets, snacks and off we went. Met our elderly friends, got lots of hugs, we spoke for a while, laughed and cried.

I still think there is a lot that can be done for these elderlies. I feel as though people are just waiting for them to die. They are wonderful individuals who need love and care. Our trip lasted just over two hours, Bewar and I sat in the garden with a group of them after going around to every single room (hint: elderlies absolutely LOVE sweets) with our goodies, almost all of them wanted long conversations –and we tried our best–. I feel so great when I visit the elderlies in Erbil, they love and respect me so much considering the fact that most of them do not remember that I was the same person who they were with last week. I think that is the magical feeling I feel every time I visit them.

Quest IV: With guests arriving from Australia we thought it was perfect timing for our first summer visit to the Bekhal waterfall. (If you spend the summer in Kurdistan without actually visiting Bekhal for one day then it is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eifel tower or going to Sydney without taking a picture with the Opera House or the Harbour Bridge—simply, you better GO!) I will not write much about this special adventure, instead will put a post exclusively on Bekhal!!

Quest V: After a hectic week I thought I should spend the day at home, I completed Elizabeth Gilbert’s book: Eat Pray Love (if you are a young girl and have not read it yet then you BETTER get your hands on a copy). After much reading and seeing that ‘she lives happily ever after’ my stomach began to rumble, with no one at home but a brother who is no better than I am in cooking I thought it was time. Time to cook my first PROPER meal (I should footnote this section and state that: I consider myself a typical Kurdish girl although when it comes to cooking it is the one thing that I just can’t get right, which is opposite to most Kurdish girls who can cook up the most mouthwatering meal in less than an hour). Anyhow, I called my aunt for instructions and recipe and made the famous Brnj & Bamya without burning the kitchen or breaking a plate. For further information on my cooking adventure just ask my family. I’m officially a chef!

The point is that there is so much out there for a Kurdish girl to do these days, if only she had support and the encouragement from family and relatives. There is a lot to discover in our society and so much that we can give to the community that we live in. it’s a beautiful world here, if we only see the bright side of life.

*Not that I did really bad- but there’s a long story you surely wouldn’t want to read about.

**A friend who I wish you could meet. Sweet, kind, intelligent and with heart like no other!

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