Some questions haunt us for life, for me, as I have entered the third decade of my life, sometimes the idea of identity remains unanswered in my mind…
Recently I have come across a lot of remarks such as: ‘I am citizen of the world’ ‘belonging to the world’ ‘the world is my home’ and as much as I want to identity with these remarks, as much as I yearn to feel these sentiments, as much as I work on my mind to live this feeling… I continue to fail.
I was raised by a former peshmerga, a father whose blood boiled for Kurdish soil. Who spent years of his life on the verge of death for the sake of this land. I was raised with stories, and even experiences where the land, home, roots, and our nationhood was in every breath we breathed.
Keeping in mind I was born to a mother who was deported from her own country for not belonging; I opened my eyes to the world only a few years after the Anfal Genocide, a campaign to exterminate the Kurds. So, from when I was in my mother’s womb the idea of belonging, and not belonging, the idea of being denied an identity, and having a Kurdish identity had circulated in my blood.
How do I make peace today with that past? With those stories? With the mass graves? With my father’s stories of death and life? How do I make peace with my uncles’ martyrdom? And how do I free myself from the emotions of identity? How do I teach myself to identify with a world who for so many years, and for some, until this very day, refused to recognise ‘my land’ my language, my culture and my identity.
How can I be a citizen of the world, for if it wasn’t for my Australian half I could not leave the borders of this country without a thousand and one interviews and question marks floating all around me?
Dear reader, help me, identify with being a citizen of the world, because my past and my present and all the nations surrounding my own, refused to recognise me in the first place. If the world does not recognise you, how can you recognise with the world as your place of belonging?
I yearn and dream for the day where we can all be citizens of the world, a world that treats not just me, but all my relatives, family and friends the same.
My Nest in Kurdistan