Every now and then a reader somewhere, in some corner of the world drops an email. They say people alike always find each other, I won’t say anything more, but after reading this you might realize why I might have found a sister in India. Shweta asked if it was okay to send something for the blog! And here is, an exact copy-paste of what she sent me to be published here! [It feels great to have a guest on your blog! and for all those times when I thought no one was reading my entries….]
To all the readers of Sazan’s blog *
A big heartfelt thank you to Sazan for letting me be her voice for today. Zor Supas (if I am not mistaken) I come from India, thousands of miles apart from you in distance but a neighbour or a friend to you in our culture and customs. But today I do not come to you to write about the wonders and similarities of our lands. I am 23 years old, and have gone through similar conditions what many Kurds have gone through. I was lucky, like few people in your land – to have parents who immediately shielded me and brought me up far away from trouble. And mind you, I say lucky with my parents – not because they took this step for me. No, any parent would always be there for their child. But my luck is attributed to the fact that my parents were there- alive to make them take this step for me. All I grew up with is happiness and harmony but never ever was I kept ignorant. I knew the trouble through stories always.
Far away from Kurdistan, and not at an age of understanding in 1988, I didn’t know about the tragedies, the genocide which took place there until much later. When I found out, I wept, tears and tears and kept asking myself why? Why did this happen? But my imagination couldn’t have prepared me for worse. With the advent of internet, I went on to youtube to find out if anyone had uploaded anything about Halabja. And even though you may consider me an outsider, and maybe I am one – I was shocked beyond words. Prior to this, I had only seen one picture, the one with the man shielding the child – that is the most famous picture I think. Even when the Indian media carried reports of the (Hated) Saddam capture and trial, that was the picture I saw. But now I saw hundreds and hundreds of pictures. Even a video – though I didn’t understand the language of what was being said, I can very well guess. What I saw shook me to the core, it is impossible to have words to describe the inhumanity. It is a coward man who wants to hurt others for the sake of hurting. But I don’t understand what punishment could be enough for a man who killed innocent women and children. When I saw the video my hands shook as I tried to touch my laptop. Those innocent children – how could they die? What had they done? How could anyone have such a murder on his conscience? Even a lion doesn’t kill when he is not hungry. This man was worse than a wild beast? He couldn’t control his hunger to murder?
What haunted me the most was one picture. A picture of a small girl carrying a child on her back and running on the road. Behind her there are masses of thick clouds. The girl is crying and the baby is clutching on to her. If you actually saw- this girl looks no more than 5 years old – if she is; that it is the maximum she can be. She is forced to be so mature as to pick up another tiny baby and run. Go to any other country and a child of 5 years will be treated like a baby – people will tell her not to cross the street, they will remind her not to speak to strangers, they will tell her to be home before dark, and tell her not to pick up her baby brother or sister too much because she herself is still so tiny. Here, the girl is holding onto the child and running. My concern was – who clicked her picture? Why didn’t that person save her? Or did he save her? Did he take her away and save them both? Is she alive now? Will she read my words, will she see Kurdistan standing and remember her sacrifice? Did she have a chance to see normalcy return to her beloved mountains and valleys? Or did she become a martyr like the thousands of others and we live today as a result of her sacrifice?
I want her to live, I want her to have gone through this horrendous experience but still have survived. It is such a resilience that makes up Kurdistan and Kurdish folks. I know my sympathies will never be enough; my condolences will never fill the void. but hopefully my words will make you know that people are there by you, standing and watching with a lot of pride as you rebuild your beloved country. My deepest respects and bows to a wonderful nation and an even more wonderful brand of people. The world still stands the way it is, only because of you.
*I humbly count myself in the number of readers of Sazan’s blog. It is people like her who write with the ink of their hearts. Many seasoned and senior people have yet to get this quality in all their writings. My dear sister Sazan –you simply rock.