Volunteer to make a new friend

My dearest loyal reader,

Some of the most beautiful moments of my life are spent speaking to people that I don’t know close, of those who have a complete different background than myself. They are the moments that I cherish and those I learn the most from.

I began my irregular visits to the elderly people’s home in its former location back in 2009.  During that time some of those I grew to love and care about passed away, others got married, one became blind, another had a heart attack.  The experience is unique, and not always a happy one, it is one of those that leaves you with a lot of thought and often tears. But something inside always asks you to revisit the home currently just off the 100 m. rd.


Over the years I have realized sometimes it is not the things you take that they appreciate, but rather the  individual conversations you have with them, as many feel lonely. Saza and I spoke to Kak Omed (a very lovely social worker – how glad and surprised I am such amazing work there) who brought up the idea of having  interested youth to come and visit the elderly. The aim is to make friends and have general conversations. These are not interviews for your school project or quotes for an article you will publish. Just a relaxed, friendly conversation. It will go a very long way in terms of addressing their loneliness and socializing needs. Trust me!

The smile when someone has come to visit is priceless

Often the elderly speak in tears, other times in anger. At times you look into their faces and it feels like a little child complaining. Everyone one of them is different, some are filled with life, positive energy and patriotism; others full of complaints, boredom, and tiredness.

Sweet Mam Raouf, in a good mood calling friends

Here I am, asking you, the younger loyal readers to donate two hours of your Saturday mornings to visit the elderly home in Erbil. No need to bring money, food, or anything. Dress simple, walk down the corridor, and just start little conversations with some of our elderly people who as you will realize are very vulnerable.*


I want to take this opportunity to thank some of the staff at the Erbil Nursing home who work tirelessly day after day with the limited resources they have to provide and care for the individuals living there. I hope one day their jobs and efforts will be recognized and appreciated. I also hope the building will move to a bigger one with much more facilities to ease the life of the elderly.

If you do visit, take note of the beautiful pictures on the walls, a work created by my talented friend Aral Kakl when he celebrated one of his birthdays.

Lots of love from

My Nest in Kurdistan


*As a result of  previous experiences in this, we might need to do a little interview, oral or written, before you begin your visits. To make sure those who decide to volunteer are dedicated.

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