Posts in Kurdistan

A simple walk that doesn’t last a lifetime, but one I will remember forever. A simple walk like this is all I need to know that even though I was not born here, I birthed my love here. Even though I was not born here, I birthed my dreams and my fight here. That these paved roads that are meant for sidewalks, these homes that have no backyard, and the people that can become family is beauty that I want to find. Walks like these allow me to understand that even though I did not live here, I will start my life here. This is where I am meant to be with the people that know me and the city that dreams and fights like me. I wouldn’t find this in the country I was born in, in the neighbourhood I live in, and in the city that I reside in. Theres no connection for me here, no birth of love that I can collect here and no sense of family that I see.

Walks that remind me why I don’t feel the same where I live, why they don’t find me in the fast pace life of reality and in the clouded smoke of money. There is no walk here in a city that relies on four wheels of rubber and not their two wheels of bones. All I end up seeing is too many homes being built that are still empty and cold. Why walk in a city that forgets how to walk? Why birth my love in a city that only holds industrial smoke to the sky? Why grow my roots in a country that often times forgets who I am and those like me.

My walk will be a journey that I take to reach my people, to reach my dreams and the mountains. I walk in hopes that my destination will be one that I will never stop loving. In the middle of the road that people call sidewalks, past the neighbour that I always speak to in the language of my mother and father, and toward the mountain that echoes “finally” to greet me back home. Breathing in the air of Kurdish bread and the heat of the sun. Pure sunlight shining down on a city that is caught in between two mountains who fight for love. One who takes in pain and one who takes the pain away. So I walk alone past the corner store while the owner waves at me, down the hill to see Dream city flashing its lights at me and I turn to my left to see my babpîr [grandpa] call out for me “Kêchâ mn” [“my daughter”] as I sit beside him legs crossed ready to drink my ça [tea] and dip my Kurdish bread into the tahîn I tell him about my day in the city of my life.

These are what I want my walks to be like..

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Credits to: @axink13 for the photo

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Try and remove borders that are clearly visible, erase history that has been clearly written about, and destroy mountains that echo Kurdish language. Try and destroy villages with the over-used excuse of terrorism, kill children and identify them as terrorist, jail journalist and identify them as supporters to terrorism. Try hiding the Kurdish music that has been sung for years by writing your own versions in your own languages as if we wouldn’t notice. Try forcing different languages down our throats in school and work for the hope that we will forget our native language at home. Try forcing culture and traditions at a young age so we can forget what we are learning at home, to constantly let us know who we are not so we can somehow forget when we are older where we actually came from. Try and forbid the Kurdish language, Kurdish celebrations and Kurdish names too. Claim our victories and laugh at our suffering, tell the world that you are good people but cheer on our destruction, help other countries in need and still continue to kill those next door. I know you’ll try and claim all this as yours and try and tell the world we are just simply mountain people in the four corners of these countries who do not want us to live. I know you’ll try and do all this for the reason of silence and to silence who we are and what we have to say.

It is as simple as this, "If my mother tongue is shaking the foundation of your state, it probably means you built your state on my land" - Apê Musa.

This simply lets us know that our nation story breeds nothing but truth where your governments and countries are fearful of. Fearful of how strong the Kurdish language spreads, how beautiful the Kurdish music can be sung and how determined our people are to live as Kurds with our names, language, traditions, celebrations and culture.To live and to be identified as how we live, to celebrate a family of 35+ million people who speak of only a greater Kurdistan. To finally hear the celebrations of our ancestors to be heard on our land with our borders echoing across the vast landscape of mountains because we are the people of the mountains.

The Kurds.

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We look to history books to take a glimpse of the past hoping that we can read about truth and how our people lived during certain time periods. Hoping to grasp a single moment that has been stopped and a single moment that provided freedom and strength. We take in each word as pure truth and each author as pure knowledge, we put these words into our mind and wait for the subject to be brought up with friends/family. We look to art as the most popular and truest form of expression that can give us a true glimpse into the past. That can give us an idea of life and how people lived with each brush stroke. We look to art to bring a message to its audience by allowing a group of individuals to be side by side analyzing and dissecting the art work for what it is and explaining to each other the message that they witness.

However, no history book and no paint stroke can portray the skill and the creation of Kurdish women who use their fingers to weave Kurdish rugs. Who create images and symbols as a form of expression, an expression of culture and traditions that join Kurdish women together side by side to create apart of Kurdistan.

As each finger is placed to weave with the ability to create in between the strings like a blank canvas. As each hand moves with threads of various colours in between the strings like a blank canvas it is made to remember. Kurdish women weave their stories, their traditions, and culture with their fingers to create a story through colours, symbols and patterns to bring back a moment in time that gets hidden and pushed under rugs. These symbols and patterns will forever be part of our traditions and cultures as these rugs are used to form groups of story tellers who sit around in circles drinking their ça (tea) and dipping their Kurdish bread into mûst (yogurt) telling each other oral stories about our history that will not be written in history books and not used as art in art galleries. These rugs allow the welcoming of visitors and the sense of family gatherings to take place in their presence. For the colours that the Kurdish women have weaved with their skillful fingers to bring light to a room in moments of darkness and to bring comfort in the moments that your toes meet the grip of the rug as you sit and listen to the conversations being told.

As we spend time analyzing history books to learn about Kurdistan stop and look at these beautiful creations and how one strand of thread can speak millions without a single word being written. How one rug can be a million paint strokes without a single brush being used. As Kurdish women continue to create with each finger another story is shared, As Kurdish women continue to weave another moment, tradition has been remembered. A single finger has a million stories to share and each hand has a lifetime to create. Lets create those moments of story telling and oral traditions while we sit around in a welcoming circle and ask those around has how much sugar they want in their ça (tea) before the story starts.

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NAME | ئالین

my name, my beautiful Kurdish name that was rooted in culture and history. My name, spoke on the tongue of my mother and father for the first time when I was born.

my name, my beautiful Kurdish name that planted the first seed in me that would grow to be my Kurdish identity. A name that spoke meaning on the culture of my people, the meaning of Kurdish traditions.

I am claiming back my name that got lost in the white clouds of assimilation. In the same Kurdish language my parents used when I was born. There will no longer be an english version to use as back-up when you choose not to pronounce the name I was born to be.

I will not apologize for my constant corrections when you mispronounce my Kurdish name because it does not fit into your vocabulary. I will not be silent when you cover the white clouds in my name to fit to your liking. I will speak up and make sure you are aware of the meaning behind the name I was given and the history that comes from those four letters. I will speak up and be proud when I listen to Kurdish music that speak the words of my name. To be proud hearing my parents simply call my name because of the pure connection I feel my name has to my rooted identity.

my beautiful Kurdish name is a name that protected me from the white clouds that tried to surround me every-time I stepped out of my Kurdish home. It grounds me in a home that I do not see everyday, but pray that one day I will embrace. My beautiful Kurdish name was given to me by my beautiful Kurdish parents who battled for freedom and the joy of simply living.

Do not disrespect the need for my parents to keep their Kurdish culture alive just to try and fit it into your world. I will not get lost in this assimilated version of society, there will be no more silence that surrounds me when my Kurdish name becomes an English escape. 

my beautiful Kurdish name is Alîn (Alê) and this is the only version of me I will be.


Let the flowers bloom in between the layers of the earth like the layers of your skin. let the flowers bloom in cracks and creeks of neighbourhoods like its hiding from the destruction of human kind. Let the flowers bloom with hope and confidence like it will last forever and never fade away. With petals that can fly after the death of a flower to find a new place to collect its power. Let the flowers bloom in the midst of destruction and war like its battling to be noticed. Battling for a spot in this world through the layers of the earth and the rooting of the seed and soil. Battle to fight for life in the streets of death and decay, and in cities of rubble and dirt. Just notice me in the moments of destruction and I will grow beautifully when its all over… I promise.

Let me bloom without the fear of destruction and war, let me bloom without the fear of smelling apples all over me. Let me live and flourish to show you the beauty that is hidden underneath you, in between you, and in the cracks that you don’t think to look. Let me bloom so I can allow myself to see what my dreams were like in my sleep. Let me bloom again and again to provide a small sense of beauty beside the mountains that protect you and allow you to bloom. Allow me to provide guidance and confidence, look at me when the world is falling apart and when the world only knows the words death and war. Look at me to remember that anyone can bloom anywhere, in any crack, any layer, and in any place that it wishes. Allow yourself to dream because once you dream you bloom. Dream and bloom forever within your life because I will always notice you in the moments of destruction like you noticed me…so grow beautiful flower. Bloom because the war is all over… I promise.

photo credits: @dashnimoradofficial

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“You were homeless?” is what I get asked every time I allow my story to be heard. “You lived under a bridge for 3 months?” is what I get asked when I try to explain to people where I have come from. The difficulties of hiding what you have been through and how that has shaped you has been a battle of past and present. It has been an internal battle of past and future and what my life will be if I continue to answer these questions to those english-speaking Canadians who have no idea what freedom means. They keep asking me if I was homeless, but I do not know this word daughter. English-speaking Canadians use this word homeless as if I was born without a home and lived my life without knowing my roots.

They speak to me in a foreign language that they assume I understand as if I was lived in Canada my whole life and know what homeless means. My daughter, why do I have to answer these questions for these people to understand that the world is not always pretty. Why do I have to get them to understand that by just looking outside your backyard and seeing how peaceful and beautiful it is does not mean the world is like that place. Why must I waste my energy, I’m too tired to speak, I’m too tired to try and translate their English speaking words into my Kurdish speaking brain to answer their questions. I wont do it.

But I will tell you this my daughter, even though my life wasn’t what I planned for it to be. Even though I had no dreams and goals for myself in the village of Eradina. I knew that my only dream was to survive and see the beautiful side of the world and allow my future children to see. I ran from the ugly, the smell, the guns. I ran from the bullets, the Arab men, and from my village. I ran away from the refugee camp, and from the Turkish military that would hurt us. I continued to run until I reached the moment under the bridge. I was just resting my daughter, this is what it was. I knew my dream would not come true here, but I had to wait for my ancestors to pave the way. Why don’t you tell those Canadians who think that their backyard is their only world about my story. You have the language to speak and I give you my voice to tell. Tell them how I survived genocide and war. How I left that side of the world to be here and see the peace and beauty.

Let them know that homeless is not a word in my language or in my vocabulary. I was not homeless, I had a home. I had roots that grew under my feet each time I steeped outside my home in Eradina. I had a home with my brothers and sister, with my mom and dad that the world decided to break. Don’t tell me I was homeless when I have a language, culture, traditions and roots to prove you wrong. Don’t tell me I was homeless just because I decided to run from the destruction from those Arab men. I have a home, my home is with me everywhere I go. It is within me when I speak to my daughter in Kurdish, It is with me when I tell my oral stories about that ugly side of the world to my children and not keep it inside of me. I am not homeless, I have a home and there is no doubt in my mind that I will come back to my home and allow those roots that I left behind to reconnect and show you all, you were wrong.

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I drive to the mountains when I want them to hear my pain, I run toward the mountains wanting this pain to go away. There's something absolutely beautiful and stress-free knowing the only thing surrounding you are the mountains of Kurdistan. And so I imagine those stress-free moments and decide to run toward the mountains to echo my pain, my sorrow, and my love for Kurdistan. I take in the moments of fresh air, allowing myself to take powerful breathes knowing I’m away from the busy city that is constantly beside me. A city that doesn't take the time to appericate where they are and who is with them, A city that doesn't take the time to reminisce the culture, history, and ancestry that have passed these streets, trees and mountains within them.

And so I drive to the mountains in hopes that my echoes could be heard, that maybe the mountains will respond back with a way to give peace and freedom to my people. I run to the mountains in hopes that my echoes calling for the mountains to help me will give me any form of strength and motivation knowing that thousands of Peshmergas have crossed these mountains to battle for Kurdistan. My echoes are still speaking even when my voice has stopped, my echoes are still being heard even when my mouth isn't moving. I want those echoes to reach those who do not want me on this mountain, I want those echoes to be heard in the streets of cities who celebrate our loss, so they can hear what true beauty, passion and dedication sounds like and what pure love, sacrifice, and history feels like.  

As I scream to the mountains I hear my own voice echoing back at me and I suddenly notice the emotions behind my own voice. I scream to the mountains in hope for an answer, but all I hear is my own voice echoing back at me as if it I am answering my own questions.

And so I allow my echoes to be heard across the mountains of Kurdistan, through the branches and the leaves that move in flow with the wind. I allow my echoes to be heard across the imaginary borders that try and trap my voice in, through the air strikes that try to break in. I will let the world know that my echoes will never stop, that they will one day shake the earth for those to finally know that I'll forever plant my feet on this mountain and scream for my echoes to be heard "This is MY home".

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The act of forgetting is the scariest thing to see and experience. I'm scared to forget my childhood and moments that I want to enjoy and relive all over again. I’m scared to forget such incredible and emotional stories that my parents chose to tell me about their past. I'm scared that I will forget to mention every beautiful thing about our Kurdish history to my children. I’m scared that I wont remember because what with forgetting comes the lack of stories, memories, and history that can be passed down from generation to generation. Every chance I get, I am constantly asking questions about certain gaps that I have created in my head about my parents story and their journey to this very moment. I ask question after question hoping that my brain can accumulate all this information and allow it to stay there in enough time for me to share these stories to my kids. For my parents, I do not want their stories to be lost in a world of materialistic things. For my parents, I do not want their stories to disappear or never be shared because it was seen as unimportant. This is why I am here today. 

I want to know every story, every tale; everyday that my parents lived, cried, escaped and celebrated to reach this moment. I want to know every part of history, every song, and every poem that was created in love of my country. I want to know every singer, every artist, and every leader that had Kurdistan in their hearts to the moment they took their first breath. My fear of forgetting is shared with my passion for my country and stories that millions of Kurds share on how they escaped genocide and war. My fear of forgetting is shared with my emotional attachment to my parents and the life that will soon come to an end for all of us. I fear that I haven't asked enough questions to get all the stories that I can. I fear that my brain will forget about these stories 10 years, 20 years or 30 years from now. I fear that I will be like my mother who has sadness in her eyes and anger in her voice because every question that her daughter seems to ask her is answered with "I can't remember" or "I don't know, stop asking". My strategy to ask question after question only seems to hurt my mother who has forgotten stories about her past, information about her mother, and moments that have subconsciously been avoided due to trauma. Through talking to my mother I've learned to try and avoid such topics. My mother who has lost her own mother can't remember certain things about her. This I've learned to avoid in fear of seeing tears in her eyes due to the realization that what is forgotten is never coming back and what is dead is never returning.

My fear of forgetting and seeing someone I love forget is also interconnected with the fear of time. I fear my time does not have enough seconds, minutes and hours to remember these stories that I wait so eagerly to be shared or answered. My time restricts me from spending those seconds, minutes and hours with family who currently live in Kurdistan away from the questions that I am constantly asking . Every second, minute and hour that passes, I fear that questions I want to ask my grandpa are coming to a close. Every second, minute and hour that passes I fear that my mother will avoid every question that I ask because now she has forgotten her whole life. With the last seconds, minutes, and hours that pass I fear that my father will have his last moment of forgetting to be of me and his children. 

So I sit here still in fear of the forgotten, fearing the stories that will stay untold, and the moments that will forever be lost. I sit here writing about my fears hoping that it will spark a small moment in time that I just now remembered, or a story that I was told that my brain kept silent. As I am who I am today, I will forever fear the forgotten and the moment of forgetting. I write to tackle such fears, I write as much as I can with every moment that I experience. I write to never be able to forget, to have stories where not only my family can read and remember, but my children can look back on and understand. Understand my story and how my story is my parents story that is all connected as one. 

And so I try and remember those stories that were told to me in the car at 10 pm when my father would drive to my University just to pick me up to go home. I try and remember the stories that were told to me on our countless drives to visit my sister and her husbands house. I try and remember the stories that were told to me in the moments of driving to the village with my parents on those unforgettable trips to Kurdistan with the mountains surrounding us. I will never stop trying to remember, and never stop asking questions and hearing stories because I need these stories to write. I need these stories to share, I want to remember these stories not just for me, but for those who think their stories are better left untold.  

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 "Kurdish women embody the strength of long hair. Every strand being made to protect made to grow, and made to know. I realized why I feel unquestionably comfortable with my long hair and why my mother never wanted me to cut it. It's a part of me and my history" (03.06.18/Instagram) 

As a young girl who was always told to never cut her hair and to let it grow by my mother never realized why my mother was so persistent on my hair and its length. As a young girl who was always told by my mother to never dye my hair because there was no need to destroy it, never realized why my mother was so persistent on my hair colour and keeping it natural, while I constantly saw my sister colour her hair in more ways than one. 

The consent arguing as a child to want to fit in and follow what my friends and sister were doing turned into battles with my mother about chopping my hair off and dying it a different colour so she'd finally leave me alone. However, my hair now and even back then was a possession of mine in which I was so incredibly comfortable with. The comfort my hair allowed me to have, the safety it portrayed for me and the protection it gave me allowed me to be in control of what I allowed the world to see. My hair helped me keep certain body parts invisible. My hair helped me hide that unwanted arm hair’s that people would often pick on and question. My hair allowed for the distraction of my unibrow to be ignored while the compliments of my long natural hair were uttered. 

The realization of such simple moments brought to light the embodiment of long hair as a Kurdish woman and why those battles with my mother were simple acts of just wanting to fit in without realizing what my hair really meant to me and my culture. As each strand and root started to grow I was growing along with it. My confidence became something that I wasn't faking anymore, but almost like a possession of mine that I rooted in my hair. My strength became as strong as the Kurdish women who embody their roots during battle. I have bridged a connection between my ancestors and their long hair that became a clear form of freedom in eras of oppression and war. With every strand that grew and every inch of hair that was added it created a form of freedom for my ancestors. I embody the small freedom of growth. I embody the source of protection, confidence, and safety that allowed the female fighters of Kurdistan to battle the enemies of our land and win. the source of friendship that was placed within the moments of female fighters braiding each other’s hair for battle. 

And suddenly I'm brought back to the moment when my mother is braiding my long hair for school while I'm yelling at her to just leave my hair alone not realizing the source of friendship that can come from these moments. Now my mother who sees me brushing my hair is suddenly starring. Not realizing that with my long hair that I hated when I was younger and that everyone found weird when I told them my mother does not want me to cut it. Showcased an unbelievable resemblance to my mother at a young age. Who looked like me where she embodied the possession of long natural hair, in which she was able to remember her traditional upbringing in the village of Gundê Eradina in Kurdistan. Seeing me resembling her physical appearance and the exact age has allowed me to understand the importance of why I need to keep my long and natural hair. Not only for my mother to have an escape and source of happiness to cherish unforgettable memories of when she was my age with her long hair. But for the protection and source of strength, I feel when I put my hair down letting it run free while starring at myself in the mirror. 

Now I know why I feel unquestionably comfortable with my long hair and why my mother never wanted me to cut it. It's a part of me and my history. It's a part of the resilience of a Kurdish female living in an oppressed society and the idea of freedom by allowing your hair to naturally grow however it chooses to. 

do not own credits to cover photo!

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The smell of apples can be a sign of spring and new beginnings. The smell of apples has been a sign of life and tasteful creations of God. 

Though, our apples, our smells of those rotten apples were signs of a chemical storm dropping into a town of people. Our apples were the images of babies who died in their mother's arms, kids on the floor feet away from escaping, and men who all they cared about was protecting their own. 

Our smells of those rotten apples we're signs of people not knowing what was taking place and of people dropping to the ground. The Kurds smelled those apples and saw people die. The Kurds smelled those apples closed their eyes and saw nothing but the gates of heaven. The Kurds smelled those apples closed their eyes and now were little birds in the sky.

Our apples weren't of new beginnings but of a dark time in our history. They were not welcoming the signs of spring but killing the signs of life in the hands of chemical Ali and Saddam Hussein. They were not welcoming the celebration of Newroz, but the beginning of months of Anfal, months of genocide. 

The rotten apples still linger in our hearts and in the town of Halabja. Those rotten apples still haunt the people affected and grow tears in those who are grieving.

Though the smell of our apples didn't welcome new beginnings and a new life. Our Nergîz (narcissus) grew despite those apples. Grew to fight the smell of those apples and lived to destroy those apples. We created our new beginnings by remembering our old ones. 

We grew those Nergîz because just as our history is written we Kurds can overcome oppression, we grow stronger in our resistance and remember those days of those rotten apples to never forget who we are as individuals, as a people, and as a country. 

Let those Nergîz grow, but let us remember the days of those rotten apples forever. 

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The olive trees have been known to grow. To grow with strong roots, strong branches, and even stronger stems. The olive trees have been known to grow. To grow with incredible texture and a strong taste. A taste of resistance, freedom, and strength. 

These olive trees are not trees to declare war. These olive trees are not the trees to freely destroy without consequence. The people who planted these trees that handpicked a land that is free allowed these trees to grow as strong as they could. 

these are trees that grow to protect a city and its people from men who allow these olive trees to bleed. From men who laugh at these olive trees crying. Who wait to count how many olives fall down these trees and smile. 

I speak to you to let these men know that there is something special about these olive trees that you declare and point your guns at. These trees with the strong branches, strong stems rise up. 

These olive trees I speak so highly of are the women who rise up against these men. The women who point their guns back at these men. Who protect cities, families, and children from the bloody guns of these men. These are the women who pick up those olives and place them back on the tree to allow them to grow freely and even more powerful than ever. 

Let us women rise up. Let us women rise up for the city of Afrin and the beautiful people who have been living in freedom and peace before these olive trees were attacked. The city who allows the freedom of trees to grow and who embrace and grieve the bloody flowers of red in their land. 

Let us raise and stand up for all of Afrin. Let the world know that the female voices of the world have risen for Afrin and its strong olive trees to fight back the oppression. 

Let us Echo the names of the people in Afrin 

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If only I could speak I would tell you that I'm crying but I can't seem to wipe my tears. I'm bleeding but I can't stop the blood from flowing into the ground. I'm hurt but nobody knows how to fix my heart.

If only I could speak I would tell you that I cry every time a fighter takes their last breath, I bleed every time a bomb is dropped on the land that represents me. I hurt when the world turns it back on me and the people that protect me. 

I am crying but nobody seems to care, I bleed and now the rivers are red, I hurt because people try to divide my heart into four. I'm weak. 

If only I could speak I would tell you that I have nurtured strong fighters who use my mountains for protection. That I have nurtured the people of my land who represent the light that is shined on them every day. That I have nurtured the trees, flowers, and fields of food to grow from the blood that won't stop flowing. 

I have sacrificed my land which was intended for peace, freedom, and independence. I have sacrificed my mountains to protect and fight those who consider the people of my land enemies. If only I could speak I would tell you that I fight so the people in my land can have a celebration of independence, to know what freedom is and to live in peace. 

You see I will continue to cry while the world cheers, I will continue to bleed while the world watches, and I will continue to hurt while the world tries to divide my heart into four. I will fight back while the world sees me cry. I will be strong while the world wants me to die and I will unite while the world wants me to divide. 

Because I am Kurdistan. I am the land that protects the people who live with me. I am the mountains that protect the villages and roads that move within me. I am the sun that shines it's 21 rays on the land that was born from resistance and that fought oppression. 

If only I could speak I would tell you that I am Kurdistan and nobody can deny that.

- Alê 

(If only I could speak is a piece written with the perspective of if only Kurdistan could speak what would it tell the world?)   

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Every time I see those mountains I'm reminded of you. I'm reminded of you as a fighter. The fighter who fought for those 21 rays and the unconditional love for the mountains. The ones who faced death when the world caused you pain. The ones who approached death's door when the world ran away. 

The person who fought without question because the mountains were screaming for friends, for protection. I see those mountains knowing that each rock that was carved into creating my country was created with a purpose and a story. A story of battles and blood. Stories of victory and death. Stories that seem so far away, but still happen amongst it all. 

I notice the poppies that have handpicked their spots in those mountains, in those fields of battle and blood. To remind us what you did for the world and for the people that grew surrounded by the beauty of green. Poppies that grew from the love that you had and the blood that you spilled for my family to wake up to those mountains every day. 

Those poppies represent the seeds that grew in us. The seeds that the world thought had disappeared and been eradicated had grown. It spread, picked their spots and drew their rightful line of land to call home. 

You created those poppies with the stories you shared, with the memories of loss and with the thought of love. Those poppies became our seeds of life, success, and pride for the mountains. The mountains that protected us when the world turned its back on us, battled with us when the world tried to destroy our seeds and guided us in times of darkness when the sun would rest in the west. 

You, my brave Peshmerga fighter, remind me of the mountains and everything Kurdistan stands for. You planted those seeds in the fields of the mountains and allowed them to grow when the world tried to poison us. You created those poppies with the blood of the brave men and women that fought to protect us. 

You, my brave Peshmerga, allowed those mountains to be our view every morning and our prayer every night. You have allowed me to identify a clear home that will be surrounded by the mountains, by the poppies that grow and by the brave Peshmerga fighters that will forever fight for my home. 

Thank you

Dedicated to the pêshmerga. Wrote this on Remembrance Day/Veterans Day 

Bijî Kurd Û Kurdistan.
Bijî Pêshmerga


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My father who is in Kurdistan at the moment took this photo in Barzan while paying his out most respects to the incredible leaders. The leaders that spoke to my father in more ways than one giving him the courage to fight along with the pêshmerga during the Saddam era. He prayed for Kurdistan and thanked Mullah Mustafa Barzani for the incredible and brave work he did to fight for Kurdish freedom. My dad experienced something beautiful that day. While the light from the sun was diminishing being laid to rest he still saw the rays of the sun peaking through. The sun of the Kurdistan flag peaked through covering the mountains and the beautiful flowers that handpicked their spot in Barzan. You see even in times when we expect it to be dark with no light guiding us we as the Kurdish community who make up the beautiful Kurdistan are able to see the light every time our flag is flying in the sky. We see the 21 rays that cover every inch of Kurdistan and protect us from the darkness that may fight its way into our mountains. 

 Though darkness often times may fight its way through the beautiful rays of sun in Kurdistan it will never be apart of our rewritten history. We as Kurds need to unite stay strong, hopeful and most of all continue to fight for freedom and peace because we have never given up on our dreams. A dream that is commonly shared throughout Kurdistan of one day allowing that light that is represented by those 21 rays to shine every day without that sudden darkness coming through. While my father was in Barzan the light from the Kurdistan flag continued to shine even in the moments of darkness peaking through while the sun was setting. Without darkness, our light cannot grow as strong and as bright. We as Kurds need to accept these dark times to understand the light that everyone has fought for. We need to continue fighting for those moments of light because it will be the light that wakes us up on the day of independence. The light that will peak through your windows shining brighter than ever to let us Kurds know that the Kurds have won the war of independence. 

My father stands in Barzan acknowledging the light and knowing Kurdistan will soon get its moment to shine forever. 

Bijî Kurd û Bijî Kurdistan



My father who strongly and proudly holds the Kurdistan flag as he is wearing traditional Kurdish clothing. He holds one side of the flag while I, his daughter hold the other. We are standing together holding the flag of freedom, the flag of independence, and the flag of Kurdistan. 

As I am holding this flag I think about all the stories, traditions, culture, and language my father had gifted me with. It was his dream to take care of his children and teach them the dream of Kurdistan. As I stand beside my father with the Kurdistan flag in between us I want to thank him for teaching me the importance of accepting my Kurdish identity. The importance of dreaming because all we could do was dream of Kurdistan and to dream of better days. He walks proudly representing his generation of dreamers and I walk proudly representing the generation of mine. I walk proudly knowing that everything I learned, I learned from the man who would do anything for his land and his people. A man who dreamed of going back to Kurdistan with his family to start a new life there, who wanted nothing, but freedom for his country.

My father and I walk together holding the beauty of the sun, praying for the blood of the peshmerga, and reflecting on the beautiful nature of the mountains. Though my father has lived a longer life than me our dream is still one. 

Our dream is what generations before us dreamt about, what the peshmergas fight for, and what rightfully belongs to us. Nobody can take away our right and our reality from us because we had declared those lands before you people knew about its beauty. We had celebrated our traditions before you knew who we were. As I stand here by my father who is a  peshmerga, a son, a brother, and an uncle I dream the same. Though I do not feel the same I can only imagine the pain and struggle of having to leave his roots behind and start fresh in another country. To fight every day to keep the Kurdish dream, traditions, culture, and language alive in his children as the next generation.  

We both hold this flag representing separate generations of the same blood. Holding the same dream, same identity, and the same ethnicity I share this moment with my father as a way of letting him know that his struggles created a strong independent Kurdish woman who will do anything to see that flag represented on a world stage as the newly declared country called "Kurdistan". 

Bijî Kurd û Kurdistan

- Alê

As I write this Diary entry my father is on his way to Kurdistan. He left to vote on September 25th for the referendum of Kurdistan. If that does not show true dedication to Kurdistan I don't know what will. Love you Bab, Insha'allah Salamatî ghîya malâ xou. 

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How lucky are we to be apart of the true path. A path that led all of us individuals who make up Kurdistan to true independence. As we walk through the path we carry all those before us, we appreciate the blood that spilled for the next generation and we remember those who dreamt of this journey.  

Kurdistan's referendum is the beginning of the journey of independence. As we vote yes, we vote yes thinking about Mullah Mustafa Barzani and the revolution that took place in the past. we vote yes thinking about Qazi Mohammed speech. We vote yes thinking about all those individuals who died in the hands of our oppressors in Bashur, Bakur, Rojhelat, and Rojava.

This journey to independence is much more than any political gathering or separation of our people. We vote yes because we are Kurdish. A Kurd who looks past any political goal and only looks at the true goal of independence. A goal that has been embedded into our minds ever since we were just children. We dreamt of independence for our parents and the genocide they faced during the Anfal campaigns. We dreamt of independence every day thinking about those who we lost, and those who we wish we could see again. We dreamt of independence because we know with a country we will be free from oppressors, genocide, and discrimination.  

This referendum will create a true journey for independence because we have waited too long. It's our time to declare those mountains that are rightfully ours. To declare those cities that have been left behind and to open the doors for all people of all religions who support Kurdistan.

- Alê

September 25th will be the day where we take that step towards our independence and rightfully so. Vote yes for your parents, your grandparents, and for greater Kurdistan. 

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The dictionary definition of Independence is stated as "not influenced by others in matters of opinion, conduct; thinking or acting for oneself" being "autonomous and free" and "not being dependent upon something else for existence". When reading this definition of independence I think about Kurdistan and how the definition of Kurdistan's independence has been written in our history, it is seen within our borders and will be present when true independence is declared for the people of Kurdistan. The definition of true independence will be created when Kurdistan is finally able to change its history. The definition that reflects on Kurdish independence is the heart of Kurdistan, the dreams of its people, and the blood of its fighters coming together to declare independence. 

You see, through everything that my people have been through, through the consent battle of fighting to just merely exist in our oppressor's eyes to declaring those rightful borders as ours is something that reflects on more than just being independent. Through the constant genocide, constant oppression, and constant enemies on all four sides independence will be shown as a gift to us Kurds because we fought when no one knew we were alive. We fought when Saddam attacked every village, we fought when Assad did not allow the Kurdish language to be spoken, we fought when Erdogan would kill children calling them terrorists, we fought when any form of Kurdish celebration would get you killed in Rojhelat. 

We dreamt for independence not because we believed that it was something that would only be possible in our dreams, but we dreamt because we knew that there will be a time when the world will see what we knew all along. The Kurds are the true protectors and lions of Kurdistan, through every side, every inch, and every border we fought not only to protect ourselves but to protect every individual, religion, celebration, and coroner of Kurdistan. We have become the light in the middle east and as true as our sun can be, as pure as our blood can bleed we will always be fighters. 

Fighters with each passing generation because we were never taught to back down. Our parents fought for their existence and their chance to stay alive when the world kept silent and barrels of apples kept flying. Our parents fought when they left everything behind in the mountains to step out into the unknown world. We as the next generation continue to fight so our parent's struggles don't go down in vain. We fight so our country can taste the freedom and independence and we will continue to fight for that dream to come true.   

because without the dreams of Mullah Mustafa Barzani, Qazi Mohamad, and Abdullah Ocalan we would be nothing. Our independence will come and our definition will forever stay true. We will forever celebrate because nothing will ever stop us from declaring what we (Kurds) already know to be. The world will find out what Kurdistan is truly all about.

- Alê

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It seems like nowadays stating you are Kurdish comes with nothing, but an unaccepted status without a true identity. Being a Kurd within this generation is seen with no awareness of the oppression, the history, or the true culture of what it means to be Kurdish. I often see Kurds who have assimilated into our oppressor's culture, Kurds who never speak about their Kurdish heritage and Kurds who still continue to deny their identity and their obligation to know about what being a true Kurd really means. 

To truly be a Kurd is to allow yourself the time and openness to educate yourself on what being Kurdish truly stands for. It is to give respect to your elders and allow their experiences and stories to be heard through oral traditions. To allow their experiences be valued and accepted as part of the Kurdish history. Being a true Kurd is to understand the vocabulary and language that is used and understand the idea to deny the oppressors language on our land. To not identify Kurds as part of the oppressors country, but to identify them as part of Kurdistan's four beautiful sides (for example to not say Kurdêt Turkey or Kurdêt Iraqê, but to say Kurdêt Bakur or Kurdêt Bashur). 

To truly be a Kurd is to express what you absolutely love about Kurdistan, but also express your opinions on what you believe we need to change. To never allow oppressors to speak about Kurdistan unjustly and to always stand up for yourself like a true representation of our mountains as strong and as beautiful. To stand up for those who could not speak because all they smelled was apples, to stand up for those who could not stand because all they saw was airplanes attacking their villages, and to stand up for those who could not see because barring the sight of losing their loved ones as out of the question. To acknowledge the bravery and pure hearts of our fighters who protect every inch of Kurdistan. To thank those who fought and those who still remember every inch of those mountains. Being a true Kurd is not just love for our own nation or your own religion, but to support every nation who is struggling, every community who has been oppressed, and every culture who has faced genocide because with support comes love and with love comes with the ability to confidently grow.

Through that it is allowing yourself to love who loves you, to love who supports you, and to love who you truly are because without love nothing can grow. Through the growth of one's self, you will find what the true meaning behind being a Kurd really is and why being a Kurd is the true beauty of your identity. 

- Ale

I encourage discussions down below feel free to state your opinions respectfully 

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& Happy Eid to all (Eida
wa hemîya pîroz dkam)


I often sit and think about how incredible God created us Kurds, with such beautiful qualities and characteristics. We were created with nothing, but love. Love for our mountains, our people, our language, and everything in between. The love we have for our country is truly one of a kind because with each passing generation our love grows stronger and even more passionate. I have experienced this love along with the rest of my country and even with all our enemies denying our existence, we continue to grow stronger and love harder. 

However, Is it really love when we write about Kurdistan being our home and the mountains being our friends when we trash the mountains with our garbage and leftovers? 

Is it really love when we say, "the mountains are our only friends" but don't take care of the mountains or protect them? Is it really love when we pray for an accepting nation, but go and kill animals in the streets or the mountains?

Is it really love when we state that Kurds should never be divided, but we demonize and restrict women within the community? Is it really love when we pray for an independent Kurdistan, but contribute in all of these wrong doings within our community? 

I sit and reflect on the amount of love we state we have in our country and with one another, but some individuals actions never reflect it. We have been oppressed throughout many generations, we have cried for our freedom, fought for our rights and our protection within the mountains, yet we still treat our land like it's nothing.

We (as the Kurdish community in general) throw our trash on the beloved mountains that our parents used as protection against Saddam's regime. We throw our trash while we are in the mountains celebrating Newroz (Kurdish New Year), but don't even have the respect for our land to pick it up and dispose of it. Yet we love Kurdistan?

We kill animals that have always been a significant part of our culture because we believe that animals don't have the same value as humans. We kill animals for pleasure and we kill animals out of anger. Yet we love Kurdistan?

Is it really love if you are sitting down and reading this telling yourself you have done these things? Love Kurdistan wholeheartedly, love every piece of it, respect every inch of it, and value every individual in its land and borders because without the love we hold for our land those mountains, people, and animals won't be able to grow in such hate and we as a country won't be able to grow in such conditions. 

- Ale

I do apologize for not posting frequently I had family come for my cousin's wedding and I wanted to spend as much time as I can with them. As some of my family members left and the house is quiet I have time to really sit down and write for you guys.

writing this post I wanted to come back stronger than ever.

I hope you enjoy!  




This is where my families history had journeyed toward. This is where the Kurdish history had journeyed towards, the journey toward freedom, acceptance, and equality. However, the journey was not where Bakur was placed upon. Bakur (North Kurdistan) did everything in their power to protect the Kurds, but the visitors of our land did everything they could to dehumanize and belittle the Kurds. The Kurds who ran for the mountains during the time of genocide and death by Saddam. However, the so-called "leader" did nothing to allow freedom for my people. All he installed was more fear and sadness. 

My parents who lived in the Amed camp from 1988 to 1990, had experienced troubling times upon the streets that were named as Turkish. These Kurds were visitors in their own land, soil, and mountains because this land was declared to be Turkey. My parents lived in a ruling where outside those walls that divided the Kurds from society was no place for Kurds at all. The Kurds, like my father, who went out of the so-called protection of the walls to find jobs, money or food for his family was presented with the Turkish army attacking anything in relation to the idea of Kurdistan. The army attacked Kurds on sight without explanation and justification not allowing for the native language to be spoken in their own soil.

The government, as told by my grandfather who was also in this camp, would hand out food such as bread to the refugees. However, often times some of the pieces of bread carried poison of some sort along with it. This was a way of slowly eradicating and destroying the Kurds. Imagine running away from a dictator who killed Kurds by using forceful violence and chemicals to be led by another dictator who was using forceful violence and poison to get rid of the Kurds. My parents experienced violence, inequality, and forceful discipline because they were Kurdish. Living in their homeland of Kurdistan without ever feeling like a home because of these so-called leaders.

However, Bakur was a piece of Kurdistan and will always be. We declared these lands before such dictators and so-called leaders were announced. Bakur took care of my family through the nurturing, the protection, and the acceptance within the Refugee camp. Where the Kurds were all united and experiencing it all as one. Even with the forceful violence that was implemented the Kurds continued to stick together. The Kurds continue to remember each other, the memories they shared, the celebrations they created, and the weddings that were presented. Bakur protected my parents, Amed created strength in my parents, and Kurdistan continued to love my parents. Within those walls that divided the Kurds from society were walls that protected the culture and tradition, it created love and allowed it to grow. It created strength and the future within the next generation. 

United we stand, growing together in a garden of red, yellow, white, and green flowers

- Ale

Unfortunately, after visiting the Refugee camp in Amed I did not take a lot of photos because I was told by the guy at the hotel my father and I stayed at that a lot of people will just grab your phones on the street and in your pockets so I left my phone in the hotel room. I did take a lot of videos, but there's no way for me to add videos to blog posts. 

The photo was also taken on my way to Amed from Duhok in 2014.