Behind every Kurdish freedom fighter…

Sunday Memoirs
We always speak of our Peshmarga, the young men who fought across mountains in the worst conditions. The individuals who put their life at the forefront of death, the brave men–and of course women–who sacrificed for their nation. At commemorations, as Kurds we remember and recognize their endurance and suffering. We appreciate their sacrifices, and are thankful for their deeds.

Today, as I witnessed the mourning ceremony for the late Mrs. Hamayil Barzani many thoughts provoke my emotional heart and mind. This is not just a commemoration of the president’s mother, but maybe even the mother of this nation. Barzani, and many others like herself have made me reflect on our Kurdish mothers.

No one can, or will deny the strength, courage, power, belief and loyalty of our Peshmarga. As young Kurds, we will forever show our gratitude. But behind every Peshmarga, behind every great freedom fighter, there was a greater mother, a warrior.

It was the Peshmarga who fought with no fear of death, but it was the mother who had to deal with the news of his death.

It was the Peshmarga who left home for the mountains, but it was the mother who raised the children in his absence.

It was the Peshmarga who went through mental anguish, but it was the mother whose words provided the healing.

It was the Peshmarga who suffered the physical wounds, but it was the mother who lived with the pain and carried the scar.

The mothers endured the difficulty of moving city to city, and country to country. This movement was not in the luxury of an airport with luggage that had wheels. The moving of a Kurdish mother consisted of crossing borders in the worst weather conditions, sometimes while being shelled.

There is no award on earth that is sufficient enough to be presented to the mothers of this nation. There is no deed that can be done to show our appreciation, thank you for their endurance is just a word. What will bring back their lost sons and husbands, What will bring back the joy of our mothers who didn’t get to enjoy their youth?

As we commit to memory the life of a symbolic Kurdish mother, at the same time I salute every other Kurdish mother. I have memories of those I have met, and the stories they have shared with me as they go through the beads of the rosary in their hands, one by one, with their long, thin fingers. The veins lay close the surface of the skin of the shaky hands.

I salute the mother who had to rebuild her demolished house time after time.

The mother who survived fleeing her house in fear of bombardment — not knowing that she would come back, and if she returned: would the house still be there?

The mother who had to hide her young son in the clay oven outside the house, with her heart beating a thousand times a minute in fear that the guard with the thick mustache would open the lid to find him.

The mother who hugged her son in the hopes she will see him in 15 minutes, but the tears in her eyes would not stop until the moment of her death 15 years later as that hug was the last she saw of him before being tortured, imprisoned and then killed.

The mother whose son died at the forefront of war, and the same day she buried him, she pointed out her grave next to his body.

Salute to the mother who endured physical torture in prison while being pregnant.

To the mother who lost three sons and her husband at the same time.

Salute to every mother, and the wife of every martyr who raised children to have influential roles in today’s Kurdistan.

For every Kurdish mother, and grandmother, alive or dead, I salute you!

This was this week’s column at the Kurdish Globe, you can see it here

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