To my dearest and most loyal reader*,
Less than an hour ago, under the rainbow I said goodbye. My father had dropped me off and let me settle down, before going to Austria, and then back to here just to spend a day with me, before his return to Erbil.
For the first time, I saw a rainbow in such early hours of the morning, as I hugged him closely, I was observing how clear the colors of the rainbow looked in the sky. One of those moments where I felt that the arch colours in the sky had only come out to cheer me up, because I love it so much. A sign from the sky to tell me be strong. I decided a walk by the lake would be the ultimate thing to do, walking past the ducks. The rain began to sprinkle lightly. As usual, I picked up a leaf and carried it back inside.
|This leaf… picked up a little while back- a cold, early morning walk, after the departure of my father
Another leaf. Another memory. Another moment to remember. First time, after almost 22 years I am feeling far from baba (dad).
I could feel the way he felt. Leaving his eldest child and only daughter was tough. He didn’t say it. I only felt it. I am still under the protection of his wings, even though he may be far from me. Still drowned in his love, even though I won’t see it in his eyes every morning when I wake up. Still his baby child, though I am now fully independent.
When you’re a Kurdish girl, you don’t leave home unless Mr. Prince Charming has found you and takes you on his white horse. It’s a new emerging culture that was brought up and encouraged by the KRG‘s new plan to educate young people abroad then employ them back home, that has changed this recently.
Today, when it comes to Kurdish families, many are prepared to do the impossible to ensure their children are receiving the best possible education. It is inspired from our leaders, and from society, even the middle and lower classes. An educational opportunity is perceived to be a golden opportunity.
|feeling ashamed and embarrassed from the ducks that I didn’t have anything to offer. I think they expected any guest at this time of the morning to have at least some bread
As for baba, I will miss the times I returned home before sunset and saw him around the garden, planting something new almost every day, adding his little touches to the flowers, and the infinite other plants in the our yard. I remember, when we planted the first few trees, he’d do it on his own, saying: “I want your children to play under its shade”. Now I know what he meant. Often I would put my bag down and we’d have a conversation, he’d start by showing me a new flower that has just blossomed, or allows me taste a new fruit, that is still bitter because it needs another few weeks to ripen. From there, I would begin: “today I…..”
Kurdish fathers in general—but mine in particular—feel like they possess the universe when given that perfect tasting tea (which is definitely not a tea bag in hot water), their happiness often derives from the simplest things in life. I know baba was worried and to a degree upset that he was leaving me, I know it will take time to get used to Sazan’s absence in the house. I know the first night he’s in Erbil he will go and sit on my bed in my room (and if I know my dad well enough, he would take one of the notebooks on my bedside table and write me something), but I also know what it means for a Kurdish father to see his children succeed, they realize all their effort and sacrifice was worth it.
The girls here, about eight of them in my accommodation, are encountering the same feelings. When we sit around the dinner table in our pajamas and begin sharing our stories, it’s all the same. We find the experience much more difficult than others because we are not used to this, though it is the support and encouragement of loved ones back home that is helping to finish this journey successfully.
I promise to blog about our days here later this week.
* This blog has become such an important part of my life, that in the most difficult and happiest moments I write in it for you. Forgive me if I have changed direction recently. But it has become part of my life, and I promise to begin writing on life in Kurdistan and of Kurds, from now on. I have settled in. So no excuses!