A Dream is Born

Dear: Most loyal blog readers on the WWW!!

“When I was a child my father would sit me on his lap and tell me, ‘You will fly like a bird, to all countries and palces, you will become familair with the most amazing experiences. You will fly to have fun, to learn, to discover, to be adventurous and to find yourself, but in the end you will always go back to your nest.’ By the nest he was clearly refering to Kurdistan. Years later, when I spread my wings and began to fly, fall, and fly again, I realize Dad’s words were correct– every single word.”

This, my dear reader, is the little paragraph at the back of my book: “My Nest in Kurdistan”.

May 16, 2011. The birth of one of the biggest achievements in my 21 year old life so far. It was a simple phone call. In fact a 30 second phone call, I can’t remember much (fish memory!) but Kak Publisher asked me to visit when ever I had time. And of course I leave everything and rush out (what could be more important at that second?!).

Since then, what a week it has been! My book, “My Nest in Kurdistan” came to live.
My first look at the stack of books…

I get my share.

 I only have three pictures of my childhood years, and one in particular stands out to me (I just took a picture of it with my phone– shows you how friendly I am with techonology. I could have easily scanned it!) I am lying on my tummy on a mountain top –surprise surprise– with dad next to me, and there is a pen in my hand, and if its clear enough you can tell there is a paper also. Even when I was a child I seemed to be ahead of my years…

I was just telling my father how this exact scene in the picture above is repeated almost every single day in my life even now. I write in a little notepad or on the laptop, and dad is there with his chay … we grow up, but somethings just never change!

When I look at those pictures of my childhood, they don’t bring back memories. Nothing comes to mind except one occasion. Only one event from my childhood. I remember it clearly. A summer evening, before it was completely dark. Grandma was at our place, there was a knock at the door and within minutes we heard gunshots. I don’t recall what happened in between, but I clearly see my mother grab my baby brother and we went under the stairs. We hid, holding each other tightly. My mother was crying. And the gunshots continued. Dad, we thought, was gone; we’d lost him. Four men had come on a mission to kill.

Not long ago, before the book was published, I went to see the bullet holes still on the walls of the house where we once lived. The house where I hid under the stairs, in the arms of my mother, listening to gunshots and thinking “dad is gone.” After the silence outside, mom lost consciousness and I was on her chest, crying. Moments later, I saw my father with a large Kalashnikov over his shoulder, and then I fell into his arms. This is all I remember from my childhood.

  The second I saw my book, My Nest in Kurdistan, at the publishing house, dozens of them stacked on top of each other, that’s what I remembered. Could it be, that same girl, who sat in fear under the stairs? That same girl refers to the same place as a Nest? Today, I feel as though my pen is a bullet. A soft bullet. A bullet of hope.

What was the most amazing part of this experience is that when I came home with about 75 of my personal copies of the book, on the way home I began to brainstorm all the people who I had to give a copy to. Back home on the kitchen table I wrote a list, and had to give priority of who are the individuals who I was going to dedicated a copy to.

Only on the kitchen table did I realize how lucky I am. I realized the number of people who have influenced my life. All those names who have inspired me, all those names who have touched my life in the simplest ways, but they have made the greatest difference. All those individuals who have inspired me– from my little cousins Lava and Haval to Pura Gulizard at the Erbil Retirement Home. From my parents, to some of my Twitter friends. From my cousins, to well known Kurdish personalities. From my next door neighbours to decision makers at the state level.


(I did try to rotate this picture… [don’t laugh] but I just couldn’t figure out how to)

I wished to dedicate copies of the book to so many people, the elderly friends in the Retirement home, the men in the Erbil Retirement Garden, the man who looks after insane individuals in the back room of his Chaykhana, the gardener, the many women who I have met in the villages and on Kurdish mountains. The problem is that all these people can’t read in English. These people, the simplest in the world, are those who have inspired me the most.

It is funny, the amount of books I have signed and dedicated to “my second parents” and “my sister…” many of the people who are close to me have adopted me as their daughter, and many others have become sisters over the years.

It was true. This book, an achievement of mine, could not have been possible without these individuals to believe in me, to encourage me with their words, and more importantly to inspire me! I don’t think many of them realized how important they were in my life, in fact until I sat on the kitchen table I didn’t realize there were this many of them.

Just before I finish off, thank you for all of you, my blog readers* for reading these entries! (By the way, now that the book is published, it doesn’t mean you stop following the blog!)
When you’re a Kurd, expect the unexpected.

* Zor Supas!!

(this is part of this week’s “Memoirs” column in the Globe. It was written on two seperate days)

38 thoughts on “A Dream is Born

Add yours

  1. Next march i will buy it in Kurdistan! Congratulations!
    I could be nobody, but I became Kurdish – it was the most unexpected thing in my life. But the best one. I was thinking about it last few days – and I though, even if i will remain nobody to the world, i will be somebody to myself, coz I found something very important in my life and all the things that I am doing now are no more meaningless. I am sure you know what I mean, coz all things that you are doing in your life are just like that – full of meaning, important and leaving the better world behind them.


  2. even if it is an incomplete entry it still is amazing… amazing achievement and amazingly eerie childhood experience… I hope you never have to go through that again…

    As for your book… WOW…. I am so impressed by you… So proud of you… and at such a young age… way to go…. Wohooo!

    Would I be able to read it? I mean is it in English? If yes, I would love a copy! How can I get my hands on a copy? Can Mahawi get one and I will pay her later?


  3. @Kulka!! You are always so quick to comment. Thank you!! I hope you get a copy, I think you will feel the words that I have written… I can feel your emotions towards Kurdistan! True! Everything I do has a meaning, I think for most of us who live in Kurdistan we feel that even if we are doing something small, but it is contribution and goes for a good cause.
    Don't ever feel like your life is meaningless, because it's not!

    Zor Supas once again!


  4. Sazan I believe you are the first Kurdish woman to publish a book at this age. This is what I heard. Bravo


  5. @Tabouleh–
    First of all thank you!

    Secondly, thank you for your support, encouragement and for always reading and commenting on my blog entries– though we have never met! When people like you give me these words, it is always giving me a bigger push. I appreciate it.

    I wrote a copy of the book for you on my kitchen table the day I received them. I will drop it off at Maha's and see how she can get it to you! Though we would love to have you here in Kurdistan! You should think of visiting…

    Thank you once again. Your words mean a lot to me…


  6. @Ozair 1- Zoor Zooooooor thank you!!

    To my knowledge the book is available in book shops across the Region, especially the ones who sell Ministry of Culture and Youth publications….


  7. @anonymous – Not sure about this, because Kurdish women have accomplished a lot across the different fields, including writing. But now the time has come, for us to make dreams come true at such an early stage in our lives!


  8. Many congrats on the book.. a very big well done, I now crave to get my hands on a copy.
    🙂 I love the blurb, i think it says a lot and for that i will be sure to pick up my copy as soon as i reach Kstan.


  9. @Choni-Bashi : First of all I love the name 🙂 !!

    Thank you, I hope I can get it online somehow, because of those who are interested seem to be abroad. Keep reading the blog, and if it does go online I will make sure to post a link! Hope you land in Kurdistan and enjoy the experience!

    Thanks once again,


  10. You are such an inspiration for the young teens in your beloved country.
    Actually, I don't expect any less than what you are achieving especially with all the love and support from your parents.

    All the best!


  11. mabruk for your book, i wish to read it really soon. i feel like i know you in person, i know your personality because through ur writing it comes out so strongly i dream to meet u one day in person!


  12. Congratz lil Miss Mandalawi!

    I'll try to get a copy today inshallah (-:
    and will let you know about my opinion once i eat it up! 😀

    Keep it up!


  13. Peroza can't wait to get my hands on this book, be a good excuse to come to Kurdistan again not that I need one, I have too many 🙂 Lara


  14. Congratulations Sazan!, Well Done!, Continue to pursue your dreams and you'll reap the benefits, Wish you all the best and more…Continue to Focus, Create & Inspire, Ciao!

    P.S…Where's my bookshelf's worth of personally signed copies????


  15. I am really excited to read your book. Is there any way we can get some copies sent to the US?

    THANKS and congrats!


  16. YOU are an inspiration my dear Sazan.
    There is really nothing else I could add…. your modesty simply take my breath away… you have no idea how brilliant you are! Congratulations!


  17. Many congrat Saz! I'm so proud of you dude! First of all I love the name of your book “My nest in kurdistan” It's an amaizing name! Mabroooooooooooook 7ayate. I wish to read it soon!


  18. Congrats sazan , it is a really a big achievement , i read the book ,really amazing in the subjects chosen and the way of oraganizing them , the awesome way explaining the things u r telling, i am really proud to have such creative kurdish young writers , that make me ambitious about the future of kurdistan , congrats again and keep on ur ambitions .
    Best Regards
    Ali Hussain


  19. @Julie SUPAS!! Of course my parents, but also of a wonderful friend like yourself. You've always been an encouragement. If its a success then part of the success is dedicated to people like you who are in my life.

    I still have your copy! 🙂


  20. @Zainab Thank you for your lovely words. Here is an invitation for you to visit to Kurdistan! It makes me happy that my personality comes out through the words I write… inshAllah we'll meet, and we'll walk through the citadel streets in Erbi.


  21. @Ahmed I guess as much as Miss Mandalawi grows up she remains “lil” hope you managed to get a copy. If you are it all up, then afyatet bet!!



  22. @Zend Thanks for those strong and encouraging words. I am trying to do just that. Really appreciate it.

    As for your bookshelf's worth. Isn't one copy enough? hhh..


  23. @Youngkurds Thank you!! I will be traveling to the UK later this year inshAllah. I will make sure to bring over some copies. How does that sound?


  24. @Hevana
    Unfortunately the book is only available in Kurdistan. Maybe if there are a large number of requests from the US we can arrange to get some sent over. I will keep you updated if this happens.
    The other option is that you visit Kurdistan and get a copy. How's that? 🙂

    Many thanks for your interest.


  25. @Hevana
    Unfortunately the book is only available in Kurdistan. Maybe if there are a large number of requests from the US we can arrange to get some sent over. I will keep you updated if this happens.
    The other option is that you visit Kurdistan and get a copy. How's that? 🙂

    Many thanks for your interest.


  26. @Hevana
    Unfortunately the book is only available in Kurdistan. Maybe if there are a large number of requests from the US we can arrange to get some sent over. I will keep you updated if this happens.
    The other option is that you visit Kurdistan and get a copy. How's that? 🙂

    Many thanks for your interest.


  27. @Tabouleh
    Lana, thank you for seeing me as an inspiration, though have been inspired by so many people myself.
    Thank you for thinking of me in this way… Kurdistan is waiting for your arrival. 🙂 Baxer bey!!


  28. @Rasty
    Thank you so much Rasty. The title came naturally, so I am glad that you like it. I hope that you can get a chance to read it as well.



  29. @Ali Hussain
    I took your comments to the heart, since you have read the book. I am glad that you enjoyed it and found it interesting.

    The future of Kurdistan is bright inshAllah. Many thanks!


  30. :-/, Actually I'd be happy to get one at the moment now that I think about it,…being at the bottom of the world and all….


  31. OK I read the answer. How many would we need to have shipped to make it work??

    I think you should come and do a book tour here, and have a fun vacation as well.


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