My dear daughter

As a young child I was always amazed by the experiences of my father and the stories he told me as I sat on his lap. He would continue speaking as my eyelids closed and I fell asleep in his arms. The person I am today is a result of the endless talks and stories that he whispered in my ears before I fell asleep every night as I spent my childhood continents away from a place called home.

Every story began with: “My dear daughter…at that time….”

As I grew up I began to fear that there was nothing for me to pass to my children, if I ever had any. I feared that my experiences were not exciting enough to pass on. I began to find the stories of my parents inspiring and interesting, and each had a deep meaning about the beauty and lessons of life.

As I flip through the pages of a draft book I have been working on, I realize that since the past four years–after my return to Kurdistan–I have had the most tremendous experiences and witnessed many historic events. I too will tell stories that begin with “My dear daughter… at that time….”

I will tell her how I came in my teenage years to Erbil and how I grew up in it. I grew watching the development of roads, bridges, and buildings that grow taller and higher every day. I will say: “You see that building over there? I watched it being built.”

A great number of my experiences are happy memories: I watched Barzani and Talabani shake hands and refer to each other as brothers. I took pictures as the French foreign minister opened the French consulate in Erbil. I was there when the wheel spun for the first time as our oil started to “glug” through pipelines. I saw the rise of an opposition in our Parliament for the first time.

I lived the day where for the first time a Kurd became the President of Iraq. I saw prime ministers come into Cabinet and leave. I visited Koreans as they built and finished the largest public library in the Region. I listened as Halabja was finally recognized as genocide. I watched as record number of women took oath to be sworn in as Kurdish lawmakers.

I had the honor to meet families who went to court in Baghdad to testify against Chemical Ali. I went to the openings of the first shopping malls in what was once a big village. I rode the rides of the first proper theme park. I witnessed the controversy of the rising of new, “modern singers” in Kurdistan.

I watched as thousands of martyrs in mass graves were brought back and buried under Kurdish soil. I was present when thousands of people and journalists flooded the streets and protested for freedom of expression. I remember the first time I ever voted in Kurdistan and sunk my finger deep into the blue ink. And I was graduating university when the first Kurd in history became a member of Parliament in Great Britain. These are just few of the stories that I will tell. But you know what will be great?

My grandfather was not only oppressed by Saddam Hussein’s regime, but the regime killed one of his sons. My father fought against the regime and was part of the revolution that brought autonomy to the Kurds. I, however, was lucky to see the former dictator hide in a hole underground and later be detained behind bars.

My dear daughter may be lucky enough to see the day when Kurdistan will be declared a country on the international map, and only God knows what stories she will pass on.

Just like my parents’ stories that brought tears to my eyes, that made me think for days and nights and made me become a better person. I hope that my stories passed to my children in future will carry the same meaning to them as Dad’s stories did to me.

*This was published in an issue of the Kurdish Globe, in my “Memoirs” Column

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4 thoughts on “My dear daughter

  1. Being Kurd many times was and sometimes still is painfull, but at the same time being Kurd is the greatest thing ever. Its a big honour for me that i had a chance to became a part of Kurdish world. Its very big honour for me that I can fight for Kurdistan, the way I can, even if things that i am trying to do for Kurdistan dont change anything and have no meaning. But most of all I want to see independent Kurdistan with the proper borders on the worlds map. Its the biggest and the most important dream of mine – to see every inch of Kurdish land within the borders of Greater Independent Kurdistan. I wish it for all Kurds, for every single kurdish kid, who was already born and who will be born. BIJI KURDISTAN, BIJI KURD, BIJI KURDAWARI, BIJI KURDAYATI!

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  2. all you said is very nice and very wonderful about anyone to had those expriences in life.parents are like a mirror for children,no doubt parents wish best for their children but in case they known, how do that.otherwise i regard for your expressions but you know there are so many kurdish people who seen destroying kurdistan destroying byt they hoped one day come when their grandchilds been living in a modern & peaceful kurdistan.i wish that they when kurdistan is free

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  3. hi ,dear sazan accept my apology about the comment which appear your name on top,in fact i made a mistake in mailing and in result your name been type .i hope you and your followers who read your article and comment.yours faithfully hoshyar

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  4. Sezan xan – of course i know what a lot of Kurds had to go through in thewir life in Kurdistan in the days of ba'ath regime. I am working with people – a lot of them younger than me and they telling me the stories from thier experience that brings tears to my eyes and sometimes i cant believe – it was really their lives? And i watched “Gardalul” – 3 years ago, when i watched this drama for the first time… dont ask me what i felt. But – “they may vanish the mountains, but they will never vanish the KURDS!”

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