Kurdistan Here Kurdistan There

31 December 2011
2:15 p.m.
Today was emotional. Dad met his nephews and nieces (who are almost his own age) it was reunion after almost two decades. It is interesting how we are both Kurds but have been raised and brought up in different ways. We still speak the same language, but sometimes they put in Persian words, the way they pronounce some words is also different, but at the end of the day there is mutual understanding.
  • We have just had lunch, people keep coming in and out, I have already been introduced to people I have never met, but they treat me like we have grown up together—they are also Khzm (relatives). Some hug my parents and begin to cry. At some points I hear them swear at Saddam, because he is the reason for the distance and them being deprived from seeing each other.
  • Few interesting observations about my Irani-Kurdistani relatives:
  • Their voice is a low tone, they don’t scream
  • If the TV says no chicken tomorrow its dangerous no one eats chickens, no one eats it. My relatives back home, would be like “if it kills me, let it kill me”
  • As much as they smoke, no one smokes at home or in the car,  
  • They have picked up from the Iranian culture as well.
  • The ones here are a little more religious,
  • After saying all this, it is the ones back in Erbil who are enjoying their life more, and are more optimistic. The ones here seem to be very depressed. One of dad’s major conversations over lunch was why the mothers spoke Farsi to their children. His argument was something along the lines of: “They will learn Farsi from the outside, from school, and education and the neighbour… but if you don’t speak Kurdish to them you will lose it and so will they,” I agreed. One of the younger mothers said her child would be teased when she went to school if she can’t speak Farsi fluently.
I asked to be excused so that I can pray, so better get the prayers done and go back to the living room where everyone is.
I am living an interesting experience, but I am not making the most of it, with two major papers to submit and an exam to prepare for. I feel guilty that I haven’t read a single word for any of them. Hence the minor depression. 

1 January, 2012
1:50 a.m.
We returned back to my aunt’s place half an hour before midnight, where we had a brief get-together for New Year while watching the celebration on Kurdish channels. They are still busy talking, there is so many years that they need to catch up on. The highlight of the night was when the clock stroke 12, we made New Year resolutions and mentioned some of the highlights of 2011 and wishes for 2012. Two people made a loud prayer for the fall of the regime in Iran.

A wish for 2012

It was around 10 pm in one of the relatives places, we were having fruit and of course chay (by the way the people here have very light tea with little sugar, opposite to how they like it at home) M.M. reminded me tonight was New Year’s eve, he winked at an elderly woman sitting down “you think she knows tonight is New Year” I gave a little smile, and told him not to mention anything.

I don’t think other than my aunty and my own family, anyone realized how important tonight was.  I was looking at the eldest woman in our family, Mimi I. New Year is not important to her, I doubt she even knows the significance of it. What a way to end 2011, being with some family and relatives that I have never met, others I had met once at our house back in Erbil many years ago.

My new friend in Kermanshah, Terika Bazaar… (If you know how to rotate pictures on blogger please do let me know, why don’t you believe me when I say it is not possible?!)

I take the opportunity for my mind to leave the noisy living room (though my body is still there) and think of 2011. What a year it was. Although as I say goodbye to it, I know it is a year that I learned a lot from, I grew up as an individual. It was a year of experiences. I feared that for the first time in my life I will spend New Year far from my family, though tonight I am just grateful I can spend such an important day in the company of not only my own family, but a greater family that I have recently got to know.

Many of the Kurdish folklore are actually hand made here, in this part of Kurdistan, as usual I manage to find my big love….

I miss Erbil on a day like today, where the sky glows in sounds and colours. I remember not too many years ago there were huge, scary sounds, my mother and I hid under the stair case. Earlier, as it became 2012 I watched the sky in Kurdistan light in colours, the sound of fireworks—happiness and celebration in the sky. I am just happy, at such a date our children today can acquaint that “bomb” sound to celebration and joy.

As for 2012, I wish to finish my degree with success. And beyond everything else I wish for good health, success and happiness for all the important people in my life. As for you, my dearest blog reader, I wish for you to get a chance to see Kurdistan in 2012, I wish for you to keep reading my blog… I wish for all your New Year resolutions to come true. I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

*please excuse all typos, miss-spellings etc… these entries were all written on the go and I haven’t read through them again before posting on the blog Thank you for your understanding!

3 thoughts on “Kurdistan Here Kurdistan There

Add yours

  1. The most important wish – See independence at least on a part of Kurdistan, at least at bashur, so we can started from that to extend it to all the territory.
    The very important wish – not to read, hear, see in the media about killings and oppressing of my people.
    The last wish – see Kurdistan again.

    I dont know what else… Although my New Year is on 21 march…


  2. I've found a way to rotate pictures on blogger, although it's certainly not straightforward.
    First, go to http://www.picasaweb.google.com, and sign in with your google/blogger account. All the pictures from your blog will be in an album on there, and you can pick the photo you want, select edit, and then rotate the picture. Then save, and you should be all done.
    I really enjoy reading about your travel and experiences in Kurdistan.


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