8 things that are really a’yba!

It feels rather awkward writing this post, since the last blog post I wrote was…. let’s just say a while back. My little angel turned one yesterday. I am hoping as he is older it will be easier to set time aside and do the things I used to do…

Photo by the one and only TheDarlingBeast – follow her on Instagram

If you live in Kurdistan with a traditional Kurdish family, you will understand when I say every second thing is ‘a’yba!’ or ‘sharma’ (shameful, embarrassing, socially unapproved). I recall doing a peer education session in one of the schools in Tayrawa; in many of our discussions with the girls the word  a’yba re-occured. It was frustrating and oh how I wished to eradicate that word from the Kurdish vocabulary. Knowing it is not in my hands to remove, I thought I would just add to that list. Yes! Since  a’yba exists anyway, it might as well include the following as well:

  1. The way we drive (referring mostly to my dear Hawleri drivers) is so  a’yba but its fine. How about we make it a’yb if you harass your fellow drivers on the streets, if you don’t give way when you should or drive above speed limits?
  2. Not smiling to strangers is  a’yba! Whether you work at the airport, as a cashier at a shop or just basic eye contact on the street.
  3. Too much gold is  a’yba, have it, don’t show it.
  4. Smoking ‘shish’ and cigarettes around non-smokers is  a’yba. Kaka wala this is too a’yb.
  5. Asking someone if they are Sunni, Shi’a or whether they are green or yellow (political party affiliations) is a’yba. Religion is a personal matter and no one’s business.
  6. Throwing rubbish from car windows or leaving it at your picnic venue  har zooooooor a’yba!!!!!
  7. talking everything negative and hiding your positive encounters so people ‘chawet le nayan’ is not only depressing but also very a’yb (I know some might not agree, but come on!).
  8. Holding a very disorganized and unthought of event is a’yb.

Despite all our shortcomings I still love Kurdistan. Is there anything else you want to add to my new a’yba list?

lots of love to

My Nest in Kurdistan



3 thoughts on “8 things that are really a’yba!

Add yours

  1. I went to Zakho, to visit my family in law in april-july. As an european i found out that alot of things were “sherme”. Like for example eating ice-cream in public or drinking water from a bottle on the street or not giving money to the kids if they came to visit :p Still, kurdish people are the best! so open, helpfull and loving. I had a great time


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