Helloooo loyal readers,
It is Ramadan, you’ve been fasting all day, it has been very hot and hence hibernating behind the walls of your home- for the lucky ones with electricity. You gobble down your dinner (please do not try this at home) and decide it is finally time to breathe in some fresh air.
You start Whatsapp-ing a few of your friends. Everyone is excited. “Yes! Yes! Lets!… we can be ready in half an hour… yup sure, lets meet up…” and then there is that moment. That awkward moment that replaces all those lovely words with boring emojis. The anxiety level goes sky high and you feel like just typing “how about we just sit at home and watch Ramez instead!” (By the way I can’t stand that show!)
Because it was time to agree on a place to meet.*
So, if I can, I will open my Kurdish cultural house and cafe. The cafe will be connected with a book shop and a study area. It will be a friendly place, casual, yet the design and the atmosphere will be everything that is Kurdish. Kurdish culture. Kurdish everything!
From paintings and wall art to the seating, ceiling and every little tiny bit of detail will be all things Kurdish.
If I can I will have an outdoor seating area for sure (because who doesn’t like spending their summer nights under the stars and the moon). However, inside there will be an events room for booking (of course, Kurdish themed), there will be an area for those who want to study, write their essays or finish off work. This means lots of plugs for laptops, comfortable seating and a book shop too. You can order your chai (in a pyala of course) and it will be served by young Kurds in Kurdish clothes; no need for second thoughts, kurdish clothes is the uniform for all the lovely staff.
Of course, the shelves will have the colours and designs of old Kurdish furniture (my best friend has a masters degree on the art used in old Kurdish furniture- so that’s easy). Here, books will be written, main characters will be formed in the minds of writers and poets will seal their love letters.
The roof top… will be an artist’s little paradise. There will be boards, paints and brushes, artists will leave their paintings and come to work on them day after day. My lovely friend A.R. will no longer complain she has no place to go when she wants to paint. The ground will be stained with all sorts of colours… When they weather isn’t perfect it will be closed off with glass. Because we all know artists love to see, feel, and smell rain.
When you come with your friends for a discussion, for a work meeting or just an outing you can order maasti marr and nani tiri with your chai. It will be served on traditional plates. The tables will be wooden, or they might be made of old Kurdish furniture. Water will be served in the mud-like vase structure. Full of positive energy too!
When in season, fresh shooti from Kurdistan, rewas and everything else from Kurdish soil will be on offer.
Of course, If I can, I will make sure this Kurdish cultural house will give back to the community in its many charity activities. Those in shelters, talented women in villages, even the blind who are making handmade things will be asked to do Kurdish souvenirs, it will be on display for sale and all money will go back to those who made them.
If I can, I will have cultural nights once or twice a month. Here, we can have well known Kurdish figures to come for conversations over chai. I will invite one by one all those inspiring friends of mine to meet students. They will be sources of inspiration.
I want the wall of my cultural house to be the home to growing love stories. I want it to be a place where lovers can go on their first dates, a place where the same couple meet when they are having an argument.
It will be place they will come to when she has in her mind to tell him “we will separate and go our own ways,” but when she arrives before him, and sees the place, remembers all their memories and has flashbacks of her birthday here, the days they studied for their exams… she will look to the colorful walls and remember it as the background to the many photos in her phone with selfies of them laughing and smiling…. she will pause to rethink.
A lovely girl in Kurdish clothes will come and ask if she wants to drink chai with her usual sugar cubes, or does she want to wait till he arrives. Because when you are a regular at my cultural house the lovely staff know you well. “I will wait till he arrives,” she will smile.
By the time he arrives and takes his seat, she decides for the love to continue. She may book the house for a celebratory gathering to announce their wedding, and will come to the same place with her diary and write to the fetus in her womb:
“Dear baby… I am writing to you from the exact same place where I first fell in love with your father. I can’t wait till you are born so I can bring you here…”
She will write page after page, as she orders Kolera ba ron, because that’s her latest craving.
When born she will bring the little angel in a stroller. Because if I can, I will make the place mother friendly.
If I can, I will make this dream come true. If I can, I will make it a place of memories. Not just for myself, but for every single person who visits…
Lots of love from
My Nest in Kurdistan
*Somewhere without smoking or argeela, somewhere casual and friendly, somewhere not too fancy but not where you feel uncomfortable. Once upon a time I had a few favorite places in Hawler, now that the country’s businesses seem to rely on Hookah (argeela) there are no options.