Do you sometimes admire people from far? Even though you don’t know them in real life? Well. I do, and Lanja Xawe, age 23, and her group of friends are one of them. I came across pictures on Facebook of Lanja and some lovely girls on their bike in a Slemani neighborhood selling books. “This is why it’s the cultural capital!” I thought to myself.
I want to point out Kurdish girls more often underestimated in national and even international media. I feel we have created an imagine that we are oppressed, locked up, illiterates who live a horrible life then commit suicide by self immolation. While I will never deny this reality, I would also like the world to know about so many of our shining Kurdish girls.
Kurdistan has phenomenal young women who are dreamers, believers, and change makers. I want everyone to know about the Kurdish girl who is studying at Harvard, the girls who invented a bomb detecting machine, the girl who volunteers 6 days of the week helping orphans and elderly people, the young woman who writes books, attends conferences and gives lectures to other youth and of course the girls who ride their bikes in local neighborhoods selling books to raise the culture of reading. Yes, all these girls are Kurdish girls.
Anyhow, my admiration for Lanja Xawe lead to me finding her personal Facebook page. We had a few conversations. She is the sweetest person to communicate with, no surprise that this girl would lead such an amazing initiative all on her own with her group of friends (who I assume are as sweet, and lovely as she is). My admiration for Lanja only grew. Dearest reader, if only you knew how proud I was listening to Lanja speak so passionately about this little project.
Lanja formed the Sofia organization over five months ago, a non profit, the organization is dedicate to doing projects for literature and education in society. She says many girls contacted her showing their eagerness to read books but they didn’t have access to them. This is where Lanja’s idea of reaching out to people with the books came about. With absolutely no funding, and all under their expense the girls purchase bikes (some bikes are borrowed from here and there) and ride local neighborhoods.
They reach out to people, raise awareness and along the way sell books much cheaper than one would pay at the bazaar. Alongside some other projects the girls of Sofia organize a meeting every two weeks to discuss books, and literature.
How proud I am of these Kurdish girls. In our own little way we can create great changes in out society. Step by step, little by little. But yes, my dearest reader, this is Kurdistan and these are Kurdish girls. If anyone is reading this can fund this girls to grow this project it will be very much appreciated. We need to support people like Lanja, and all those young woman who do little things coming from their hearts to improve our developing Kurdistan. You can contact the beautiful Lanja here.
Lots of love to My Nest in Kurdistan