1, 000 dreams my friend.
Malala said that one book, one pen and one teacher can change the world. This year, an Angel in Kurdistan, for the second consecutive year, gave not only one pen, but many pens, not only one notebook, but many notebooks to children of vulnerable families. She gave them a soft weapon to chase their dreams with. Soft weapons of hope, to believe, to achieve, and a reason to smile on the first day back at school.
This Angel, comes to my mind like Santa Clause in the imagination of young children (of course, with all the elves too). One sack at a time, one location at a time she handed out these bags. I am not delusional to believe with each bag a dream will come true in each of those students.
Unlike Santa Clause, who in the imagination of young children, works in a factory in North Pole. My Angel friend, in 50 degree heat walked the streets of Sheikhala in the heart of Hawler arguing for bargain as she put in order after order–filling her car with children’s dreams.
Thanks to donations from inside and outside Kurdistan this year 1, 000 children from low-income families have gone back to school with a reason to study. They’ve gone to their first day of school proudly opening their new backpacks, with a new notebook and a pencil that is longer than the palm of their hands.
When Saza initially told me she aims to reach 1, 000 children the number blew me away. That’s $10 000 worth of donations. I gulped. But I knew nothing is impossible. I want to take this opportunity to thank every person who helped with every dollar, I want to thank places like Beverly’s, The Book Cafe in Erbil, and The University of Kurdistan- Hewler (UKH) for allowing donation points. I want to thank PeshmergaLLC, Boombinere and the people of Nashville who so kindly donated– from the other side of the world. I want to thank the twin girls living in Hawler who donated all their ‘older’ but very clean school bags and stationery to those less fortunate… I want to thank every person who stood on the road, under the sun, waiting for me to collect their donation. I want to thank two hard working mothers, who gave me their donations after work outside their daughters’ childcare, I want to thank every kind heart who trusts us enough to donate to such causes. I also want to thank every person who helped Saza distribute some of those bags, including members of my own family.
As for Saza Muhammad, I can never thank this Angel enough. She is the heart of every successful campaign. I remember one night we passed by her brother’s house. The garden was turned into a little elves’ factory with kids in the neighbourhood opening bags, putting in the stationery, closing them. One bag at a time. 1, 000 bags! The sight will remain with me for year and years, for there I saw what one good heart can do to an entire community.
I have a dream to never ask anyone for donations, for anything, because they won’t be needed. But till that time comes, I thank you for your trust.
Here are some photos, but how I wish you could see the facial expressions of each child.
Lots of love from
My Nest in Kurdistan,