Dastan’s Dream

Dear Loyal Reader,

I feel my heart is filled with emotions and words, I feel like I want to cry from sorrow and happiness. Where else can I express other than this little corner?

I met Dastan Othman at a time in her life where it was the most sensitive. Her mother fought (or as my author friend Stephanie calls it, dance) with cancer for many years, and in the end, sadly, she lost the battle. During her chemotherapy and never ending hospital visits, Dastan started observing the devastating situation at one of the hospitals that treat cancer patients.

The patients are mentally weak. They lacked the inner strength. They are not given enough psychological support and comfort.

Every time I spoke to Dastan the tear was hidden in her eye. She would try hard to hold it back, the strong, yet sensitive young girl she is, it was difficult for her to see the dearest person in her life lose a battle. I remember in my living room at home, not too long before Dastan’s mother passed away we all cried after she explained her mother’s battle and the situation of the hospital. She said: “I want to make it a better place for the kids there, at least for my mum’s sake, I know she will be happy if we do that. And I want to do it this week. I want my mum to see the change.”

It was as if Dastan knew, before the activities and initiatives were launched in the Nanakali hospital, I woke up one morning to the devastating news that Dastan lost her mother. This time, cancer won.

When girls put their heads together, from Hawler, Slemani and London the result is big.

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Some of the books donated in Slemani for the Nanakali hospital

One book at a time, this week the library is scheduled to open, over 2000 books have been collected to be based in the hospital for patients who are staying there, to keep them occupied in some of the most mentally draining days of their lives.

A psychological support center is also being setup at the hospital, as well as other little things to provide a more friendly, loving place for the children in particular.

You know what this tells me? It tells me when girls like Dastan believe in something, and go through a difficult life experience they can turn it into something positive. It tells me when people get together instead of fighting and gossiping they can benefit society. It tells me the little things we do, make huge differences. It tells me we don’t always have to rely on someone else to do something for us. We can stand up and take action ourselves to do little changes… like making a hospital a friendly place for young children with cancer….

Biza brought the Slemani donations, she wrote to me this morning: “A poor man, a ‘dartash‘ said he is willing to build the bookshelfs for free.” This left me speechless.

There are so many good people in my society, so many amazing individuals with great hearts. Why is it that we always see the bad, evil ones?

Dastan’s dream is slowly coming true… the point is, these little initiatives should not go unnoticed. The fact that young girls are stepping up in society, and feeling responsible to make things better makes me content.

Dastan, Eman, Ruwayda, Saza, Biza and all the others who have helped… I send you all virtual hugs, you all make Kurdistan a better place.

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