|Erbil, Hawler at night. (Pic. from Caitlin In Kurdistan)|
So many years have passed since I first landed in the Erbil International Airport, at that time, it wasn’t even a proper airport. So many years have gone pass since my first tears of the big return ‘home’ and so many years have passed about me learning about this place which I now call My Nest.
The memories I had of Kurdistan in my childhood years were not great ones, but I am glad my later teenage and early adulthood years memories of Kurdistan are pleasant ones. I will have a lot of stories to tell once I grow old. Once I have wrinkles and grey hairs, once I have grandchildren sitting on my lap (not sure if by then grandchildren will even have time to sit on an old granny’s lap, but anyhow, you get my point).
I am not originally from Erbil, or Hawler. But for some reason I feel it is my own city, I share a beautiful bond of love and appreciation with Hawler and it’s people as well. They’re warm hearted, loyal, friendly and every time I meet someone for the first time, they make me feel like I have known them all of my life, that’s one of the beautifies of this city.
I share a bond with the people here, because I have come to understand where they were and where they are. They are people who appreciate things they have (most of them) and they appreciate the fact they live in a safe place that is a result of years of sacrifice. They’re just lovely people who are going through an intense transition phase.
So many years have passed, yet it has been too fast. Too fast to to even sit back and compare where we were and where we are. Too fast to sit back and comprehend. But I have come to love it here. I love the summer picnics, the winter seatings with family around a heater. I have come to love the little bits and pieces that we so often complain about (but I know it will get better); I love how the youth love their nation, they want progress and development and they want it fast. I love every inch and every bit of this city.
So many years later, they still manage to ask me, “so, why Kurdistan?” and all I can reply is “why not?!”
Maybe this is why I want so many people to come back. I want them to feel the tough pains but also the fruits of success and accomplishment; I want people to know here, they are not working in a system, but they are helping to create and build a system so that many future generations can work within and improve.
It is definitely not an easy journey, it is definitely not all smiles and laughter. No, by far not. But it is a journey of self realization, a journey that will let you grow as a person, a journey of finding out more about yourself as you attempt to find who you are.
My dearest reader, if you’re thinking of a return, don’t have second thoughts. Come back! Give it ago!