IF ONLY I COULD SPEAK;

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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PESHMERGA;

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

-Alê


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THE LIGHT;

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

-Alê

A GENERATIONS DREAM;

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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REFERENDUM;

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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INDEPENDENCE;

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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TO TRULY BE A KURD;

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)

IS IT REALLY LOVE;

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!  


 


 

BAKUR;

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.


Sopas

CAMP;

Approaching an area in a city North of Kurdistan, which was occupied by the Turkish Government. A city in Bakur, where my father and mother met, was categorized as a refugee camp. I visited an area that seemed so detached and separate from society. With gates and walls blocking off the individuals that were living in the apartments. We were in Amed, Kurdistan which is categorized to the world as Diyarbakir. I was with my father, mother, aunt, and cousin. My father was categorizing these apartments and neighborhood where his family stayed after many days of occupying borders of what is known to be Turkey when escaping the genocide of Saddam. Walking in these streets with my mother and father seeing oddly enough smiles on their faces. I think they realized how far they have come. From being refugees in what was categorized as a different country with no money and no way to speak outside these walls. To coming back with their daughter with the freedom to walk around in the streets with a Canadian passport and not to be questioned. This was important because during the time anything related to Kurdish identity, culture, and traditions were banned.

As I stand in front of the building that my parents lived in being shown the room in which my father lived in with his family. Being shown where he lived after his father had kicked him out at the age of 16-18 when he got married to my mother. He had lived in the basement of this 3 story apartment building, where he would often leave my mother alone to go work and find food. You see though me standing in front of this building I don't see what my parents see, I don't feel what my parents feel. I'm being taught these stories trying my best to remember because I don't want my parent's struggles and difficulties go down in vain. The struggles that I worry no one will hear them or remember them. I start to feel like my mind is writing down these notes with every sentence my father speaks about his experience here. The kids that live in this camp start surrounding me because I start to take pictures with my phone. I tell myself that pictures will speak a thousand words that I won't have room to write within my mind.

My dad shows me the basement where he lived with my mother. I see it as a caged cell that we are not allowed to go through. I see it as a prison where my grandfather threw my dad in and soon the anger I had for my grandfather starts to resurface. However, I will never let it control me again. Even as I stand on this street, in this apartment building, holding these bars that lock me out of the basement it's hard for me to imagine what life my parents lived at ages 16-18. Even pictures would not be able to illustrate their true experiences in the moment within this refugee camp. However, as my parents smiled when they arrived at this camp, I will smile too because I know that my parents beat any odds that were placed on them for survival. They smile because they come back to this moment when it was just my father and my mother but they brought me. A true testament that they were able to beat the voices of individuals who tried to eradicate the Kurds. They won the fight because they were able to escape grow a family, and come back stronger than ever and being able to just remember the memories and smile.

- Ale

my father standing in the 2nd floor of the hallway looking out the caged windows.

my father standing in the 2nd floor of the hallway looking out the caged windows.

door leading to the apartment bulding 

door leading to the apartment bulding 

The streets of the refugee camp 

The streets of the refugee camp 


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Sopas


DARK NIGHTS;

My father who was holding news to his family that would change everything. News that would never allow them to see life the same as innocent and pure anymore. My father who was a Peshmerga was notified by his commander that Saddam's regime was declaring their stage in the Anfal campaign against the bahdinian villages. My father who had told his dad what he was holding quickly caused confusion and heartache. While in the Village of Wermalê my family had to pack everything and head for the mountains. They knew that once they were in the close presence of the mountains they would be safe. My father and his sister had to carry their younger siblings with nothing but a donkey to carry their necessities.

Those dark nights of traveling within the mountains to hiding during the daytime became a clear routine for my family who did everything to hide from the regime that was placed within the lands of Kurdistan. They stayed in the mountains until they reached what was known as the borders or the mountain that separated Bashur (South Kurdistan) and Bakur (North Kurdistan). The relief that my family felt to feel a sign of safety became diminished after the borders were closed by the government that occupied North Kurdistan. Imagine being in between Saddam's regime trying to eradicate the Kurds and the government who would not let the Kurds into safety. My fathers side of the family along with many others stayed on the border waiting for them to open. However, once they were opened they were stripped of anything they had brought with them such as money, gold, or guns. They were stripped of their safety net and brought into a piece of Kurdistan where they did not know what would happen or where they were going. Those Dark nights in the mountains became rememberable, the days that were considered normal before the genocide was declared, and the life that my family once had was slowly disappearing. I will never truly know the emotional impact that these days and nights had on my family and the people of Kurdistan, but I hope writing about it will allow me to learn more. 

As villages were destroyed, individuals went missing, and mass graves were created all because we the people of Kurdistan were seen as different. We were seen as fighters of our future and not allowing the future be told for us. We were seen as strong leaders who dreamed of independence and declared the rights of Kurdistan to be present. We were seen in the eyes of Mullah Mustafa Barzani, Qazi Muhammad and all the other leaders that came before. The regime wanted us gone and the mountains for themselves. He created mansions and houses in the mountains like they were his own. However, the mountains will always know their rightful owners. The mountains will always know who treated them as their friends. We declared these mountains as a soul part of Kurdistan. Those dark nights hiding from the regime in the mountains became a strategy that is still used today. Those dark nights were not scary nights but nights that were secured and protected by the Peshmerga and the mountains of Kurdistan.

He tried to eradicate us, but he didn't know we were seeds growing on these mountains. 


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Supas

IMAGINE;

Imagine what life would be like without your mother. Imagine what life would be without your mother when you needed a mother the most. Such thoughts just as this can never be imaginable because who could ever imagine their life without their mother by their side. You were created with having the unconditional love of your mother always with you even at an old age. Such unimaginable things become imaginable for my father. What he or anyone else could not imagine became exactly that. 

A father who was once a child, my father who was once a little boy had the unimaginable break his whole life. As he was just playing outside in the streets of Sersinkê, he was told that his mother had just died unexpectedly. The sentence of "your mother is dead" was processed as a joke to my father because it was unimaginable to him to hear that at such a young age. Though he soon found out that jokes like this could never be made and what he initially thought was wrong. That sentence became a sentence forever embedded in his head as it was a break from his reality and what he thought could never happen to him or his younger siblings. My father who left his home to go play outside in Serinkê with a mother waiting for him, came home to no mother waiting. There was no love. No mother. No symbol of light waiting for my father's return. It was just the unimaginable.

As you would think such hardships would end there for my father, who as a little boy, had to grow up much faster to care for his younger sister and baby brother. However, the hardships didn't end there. My father, who grew up never knowing where his mother's grave was, had left such a tremendous hole in his heart for many years. My father's relationship with his dad continued to decrease after each year because of the tragedy that occurred. His dad, who didn't identify where he had buried his wife after so many years, created my father's hole in his heart to become larger in every way possible.

The first time I saw my own father cry who, at the time only seemed to scare me, was when he walked into the cemetery of Sersinkê. This was the only time where I have ever seen him completely helpless even to this day. Walking into a cemetery and only know a bit of information as to where his mother may be. He spent years going back to Kurdistan back to that cemetery to see if he could find her. To finally know where she is resting and finally say goodbye. To say a proper goodbye and not feel so helpless anymore. My father took me to the cemetery of Sersinkê where I saw tears streaming down his face as he walked back and forth in the land of the cemetery hoping to be one step closer to finding his symbol of love and life. Hoping that by walking around he will remember anything that might be able to help him to finally get to feel his mother again.

Imagine that. Having a mother one second to never seeing her again and not even getting the chance to say goodbye after all these years. My father who now has a wife and kids, where he named his first daughter after his mother and who now lives in a completely different country still did not get the chance to say goodbye or know where she was buried. He was still processing and recovering from the unimaginable

However, as we are often told all tragic stories have a good ending right? His father who spent years not telling anyone where he had buried his wife was finally brought to Serinkê by my father's brother. Where his father declared a piece of Kurdistan the land where he had buried his wife. A piece of land that my father walked past countless of times throughout the years, became the piece of land that he wanted to crawl under and never get back up. Where he wanted to hold and cry because he finally got to say goodbye for the first time. He was finally home because home was where his mother was, and where his mother was still waiting for him to return. Even after all these years.

My father finally got what was seen as unimaginable. He finally got his goodbye and I finally got to meet my beautiful grandma and declare myself as her granddaughter for the first time. 

I love you Rêba. 

- Alê

first picture I took of him in the cemetery 

first picture I took of him in the cemetery 

the second picture I took of him in the cemetry A YEAR AFTER 

the second picture I took of him in the cemetry A YEAR AFTER 

3rd picture I took him in the cemetery 2 YEARS AFTER! Finally at my grandmothers grave

3rd picture I took him in the cemetery 2 YEARS AFTER! Finally at my grandmothers grave

My grandmother and I. 

My grandmother and I. 

Happy Fathers Day Babo!! 

I want to wish everyone else's fathers a Happy Fathers Day as well. The fathers that pretty much left their life back in their home countries just so their children could receive everything that was only seen as a dream to the parents. 


Comment your feedback/opinions on this piece I would love to read and interact with my readers. 

I have a new set schedule coming soon, If you want to know what will be published on what days follow my Instagram; Alins.a

Supas


 

 

SERSINKÊ;

The connection that was created in this town was a way of finally getting to know more about my own father that I have never known before. Throughout my 15 years of life, I knew nothing about my father's life as a child in this town. The town that raised my father as the man he is today, the town that broke him when he saw his mother pass at a young age, and the town that celebrated with him when he went to his brother's wedding. Sersinkê created my father to be a strong and caring man who truly never depicted his emotional side to his children. He went through life never telling stories about his childhood until when he decided to take me back to Kurdistan for the first time in a long time.

When we reached Sersinkê we bought bags of candies to hand out to the children on the street during the days of Ramadan. We walked into the cemetery as a way of greeting his mother because we still weren't aware of her resting place (FULL STORY ON THAT GOING UP MONDAY). We walked through the neighborhoods and streets to reach a house where my father declared as his home. This was home to my father, where he can still remember which each room stood for and where he had found out his mother had passed away. During this day I met my father for the first time. I met a whole version of my father where my eyes were not able to hold back their tears and my words were not able to become full sentences because I never knew that my eternal love for my father could grow. The bond I share with him grew stronger because we shared these connections, the memories, and the stories of my father's life living in Sersinkê. 

The hardships that he faced accepting his mother's death, and the challenges he faced with little to no money and no food in his stomach. This all made him the man he is today. The town of Sersinkê gave me an opportunity to share a truthful connection with my father without holding anything back. 

I learned about my father's jobs at the restaurants and how he would break the dishes himself just so he wouldn't wash them. I learned about the struggles my father faced when going to school hungry and because of that did poorly with his grades. I learned that during the times of going to school my father would oftentimes walk with very old or broken shoes on his feet without any money to buy new ones. 

I learned that Sersinkê influenced and help create the man my father is today. A man who never takes anything for granted. Who fights for my education and who knows the value and worth of having money and food. Due to these memories, my love for my father became infinite through a pure and true bond that we both share that can never be broken. A bond that is represented through our love of Kurdistan, our love of passing on stories to the next generation, and our love of learning about the history of our people. 

I saw the most venerable side of my father that I've never seen before. Thank you Sersinkê.

- Alê

My Dad in the front yard of his childhood home

My Dad in the front yard of his childhood home

That smile

That smile

My dad sitting down at the restaurant he use to work at

My dad sitting down at the restaurant he use to work at

This story is very personal to me and my father and is a memory that I will cherish.

With the blog post on Monday, I write about the story behind his mother's passing and the stories my father told me about that day. 

Let me know down below what you guys think, and make sure to subscribe to never miss a personal story like this one. Supas!
OUR ONLY FRIENDS;

THIS POST IS SEEN AS PART 2 TO THE LAST STORY I PUBLISHED CALLED "THE MOUNTAINS" 

 I wanted to write this for individuals who might not know why Kurds have this saying, this is sort of an explanation. 

 "The mountains are our only friends" has been created by the Kurds as a deep rooted connection to their culture and landscape. We refer to the mountains as our friends, our protection, and our history. The mountains have been apart of our culture for many generations through the paths that Mullah Mustafa Barzani took as he fought for freedom, or the path Masoud Barzani took along side his father learning about the goal for liberation and independence. The mountains were always there to protect us. 

The protection these mountains served was always for the purpose of protecting our community, to not allow such community to be eradicated by such disgusting men who were in power. The mountains protected my mother during the day time while hiding from the regime and during the darkness while she walked with her family to the man made borders of what was considered to be Turkey. The mountains protected my father as he wore the symbol of the peshmerga high on his chest and fought the regime to protect the Kurdish dream. He used the mountains as strength and power to catch the ones who wanted to hurt my people. However, as history defines us our present moments alter us too.

The mountains have not and will never stop protecting our people. They continue to protect us in moments of question as Kurds were scared that ISIS was approaching their city, they never hesitated when they said "we have to go to the villages the mountains will protect us". The moments of strength as Kurds on the frontline, to this day, use the skills and knowledge gained from the mountains and as peshmerga veterans to destroy whats left of ISIS. As well, the moment of despair when the Yezidi Kurds ran to the mountains of Shingal to try and protect their loved ones. The mountains have always been apart of our daily living, and our survival. 

So when a Kurd says, "The mountains are our only friends" they truly do mean it because when no one acknowledged us, believed in us, or accepted us, the mountains did nothing but protect us. We as the Kurdish community will always stand by the mountains as our own and we will never forget what we were taught at a young age,  to never trust anyone but the mountains.

- Alê

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THE MOUNTAINS;

Each rock that was placed on these mountains was for the purpose of protecting my people. For the purpose of protecting my mom from Saddam's regime (baathist regime). For the purpose of protecting my father as he fought on these mountains during the war. The war that my father fought in as he lived on the mountains. The mountains of Kurdistan continue to stand strong to injustice that is placed within this land. These mountains continue to carve out our borders for individuals to finally see that we have already declared these mountains as our own. We have declared each rock that falls off the mountains as a piece of our hearts falling with it. As each rock falls, it symbolizes the Kurdish communities strength and power to build these mountains and take care of it as our own. 

As one rock falls, a Peshermga (Kurdish Army) has fallen.
As one rock falls, a story has been broken. 
As one rock falls, our history has been altered. 
We will protect these mountains with our blood sweat and tears.

When no country wanted to be friends with us, the mountains loved us. 
When no country wanted to see us free, the mountains brought us freedom. 
When countries would make broken promises, the mountains healed our disappointment. 

These mountains were the only protection that we faced from all four sides of our borders. It broke its pieces as protection, it crumbled as a form of love. Nobody can replace what these mountains have given us. We will always run back to these mountains in moments of happiness and despair because without these mountains, Kurdistan would not be as beautiful as it is today. 
The Kurds have learned to trust no country or the promises they give us, but to only trust the mountains and the protection that stays with us. The only friends we have in this world are the mountains, because the mountains will forever be our only friends. 

- Alê

(As Kurds we should never take any people or countries support so blindly. Those countries will never treat us the way the mountains have treated and protected us, remember that. Soon these mountains will be officially declared as the mountains of Kurdistan belonging to the country of Kurdistan)

A MEMORY; DESPAIR

When a moment of despair had reached my life, it was a moment where I did not know how to react. My life turned from laughing at my uncle and taking selfies with my aunt, to finding out by a Facebook status that my grandma had taken her last breath in Germany during the early hours of Ramadan. My hope that everything would be okay was destroyed. My hope that God would create strength inside of my grandma to fight harder was broken. My hope that I could show my grandma how I've changed from my crazy young self to a mature woman was erased. The strength God gave my grandma was not the strength to fight, but the strength to let go. She was holding on because she was waiting for my mother to be by her side. My grandma took her last breath as a sign of her strength. As she was able to understand she was passing on to the hereafter, knowing this was a peaceful goodbye.

My Ramadan was spent making Duha every minute and hour praying. Praying that this wont be the moment where my mother would lose her symbol of life (her mom) because I couldn't bare the sight of losing mine. I couldn't bare knowing and understanding that all life comes to an end and the moment where I would tear up even thinking about was happening to my mother. My hope was destroyed when my grandma passed away because I thought my prayers should have helped her fight harder. My realization now is that my prayers were answered, they were answered in the way of God giving my grandma the strength and courage to let go. Knowing my grandma accepted what was given to her allowed me to understand the bigger message within it all.

The message of knowing nothing lasts forever but the moments that you, as an individual, have with your mother will last forever even if life in this world doesn't.

I'll always remember the moment where my hope for the world was gone, but returned to me. It was returned to me through my best friend, my grandpa. This happened when I was in the living room crying and my grandpa suddenly sits beside me. He tells me to look at him and wipes my tears and says "your tears and sadness will not change anything. Your tears will not change what has happened, but your Duha and being able to forgive your grandma will benefit her in the hereafter. You need to just make Duha that is all she needs right now." After hearing that in that moment I stopped crying and ever since my Duhas have been for her and forever for her. 

- Alê

I love you Dapir & Im still forever making Duha for you. Insha'Allah har jehê ta bahsht bît ♥

Check out my first post I wrote about my grandma called;  "FINAL RETURN HOME"

MY BIGGEST REGRET;

Such regret that I face when I reflect on the memories that I could have with you. The regret of having such clouded judgement and my fathers memories get a hold of my love for you. I regret not taking the time to get to know you because I was holding your mistakes close to my heart. My biggest regret is not creating the relationship I have with you now a long time ago. Why is this my biggest regret? It's because reflecting on our relationship now I could not love you more. As a secure loving father figure to me, my biggest regret is not accepting the love you had for me. The regret I have in my heart is being constantly remembered by the memories of my hate during those years. Memories of not even wanting to see you because my fathers hate as a child was growing inside of me. Hating on such decisions that were made in low points of your life, in which I was not even able to comprehend, but still continued to cancel my love for you. My biggest regret could possibly be never giving you the chance you deserved to know your granddaughter as a young woman. If I had known that my heart was going to be as full as it could possibly be just seeing you laugh and smile, I would have never let someone else's hate darken my eyes to your lovely smile. If I loved you from the beginning I wouldn't feel such sorrow in my heart because I knew I was hurting you. 

My beautiful grandpa who I call my best friend. I was able to create a relationship with you by destroying what hate I had for you. Day by day I felt your presence in my heart with each consisting heart beat. I had this regret in my heart because I would never let someone take control of my love for you. I had this big regret to where I needed you to know how much my love for you was never going to change. I would hug you before you walked to the mosque to pray and hug you whenever you returned. If I left for a day or two I wanted to come home just to see you and tell you how much I love you. I did this because this regret still haunts me. I was given a relationship where I never knew could be possible with you cause I allowed hate out of my life. A relationship where we would take pictures and make funny faces or recreate Pelistank TV songs. To the point where it became our thing for me to yell out "Babpîru" and you would respond "ah Kecha min". 

But, my biggest regret soon became my best friend and the reason for the space in my heart growing bigger and the quality of my love growing stronger. 

This is dedicated to my grandpa and the regret I have for not creating a relationship with him in 2012 or 2013 when I went. I'm happy though my trip to Kurdistan in 2014 changed my life forever, I love you Babpîr.

- Ale

I appericate you reading this far; comment down below letting me know your biggest regret, or what has changed your life significantly. I would love to start a discussion/interact with you guys! 

A MEMORY; GUNDÊ BESHÎLÊ

For this story I wanted to talk about a really significant and happy moment in my life. As my pervious post talked about a significant moment in my life where I fell in love with Kurdistan for the first time. This moment is a memory where I was just really happy.


A memory that I hold represents happiness of just simple things. A memory where I can look at these pictures and reflect on what I was feeling emotionally. I was just happy.. really happy. Having my family together and getting along with all of them. I cherish this memory because I knew this was the only significant moment that I would have with my family before I had to leave Kurdistan in 2014. I remember waking up that morning telling myself that I needed a memory that would last a life time as a way of finally saying goodbye. How happy, how humble and grateful it made me feel. This was just a regular day for Kurds, going to a village and sitting down and eating. However, this is what made it so memorable for me. I never had regular days like this outside of Kurdistan. I sit next to my grandpa thinking to myself I have to make him smile and tell him how much I love him because only God knows when I'll be back in Kurdistan and if everything will be the same. This memory in Gundê Beshîlê was a memory that I cherish the most because I created that memory with my grandpa. I created the memories with my mother and aunts as we sat on the rocks of this beautiful village and talked about how amazing this waterfall was. All of us just mesmerized by the fresh air, the cold water, and the clean environment. Such a simple day for me had the biggest impact in my life, because we were all together. There was not one person that I missed that day because I had everyone beside me and that is all I needed to make me happy. 

- Alê

GUNDÊ BESHÎLÊ

GUNDÊ BESHÎLÊ

GUNDÊ BESHÎLÊ

GUNDÊ BESHÎLÊ

family

family

GUNDÊ BESHÎLÊ

GUNDÊ BESHÎLÊ

If you read this far you should know that this day I saw PKK fighters going to the waterfall too after we left. I tried taking a picture but it came out blurry ☹

IF YOU READ THIS COMMENT PÊSHERMGA ♥

Welcome home; Duhokâ Rengîn

 I still remember the time I traveled from Canada to Kurdistan with my father in 2012. This was many many years after I visited Kurdistan when I was a young girl in 2000 with my family. When life was completely different for Kurds and how they lived their daily lives. As cheesy as it sounds, I remember when we were finally in Duhok and I stepped out of the car for the first time in awe by the mountains that surrounded me. I stepped out of the car for the first time in along time and was memorized by the mountains. How the mountains where able to protect every inch and every corner that was Duhok. Smelling the air of warmth and freedom. I stepped out of that car and knew from that moment I did not want to leave this place. The mountains, the people, my family. It was like I found a new part of me that I never knew during the time could happen. I was introduced to my family who I only remember spitting images/memories of. I was introduced to the mountains with their names and the memories my father holds of him fighting as a pêshmerga (Kurdish army) on the mountains. I was introduced to the culture with daily reminders that this was nothing like Canadian culture. I was introduced to the idea of not knowing everyone but knowing them as your brother and sister because we were all Kurdish speaking a beautiful, historical, and loving language. I stepped out of the car ready to embrace my Kurdish culture, ethnicity, and traditions as an individualized part of me. I was able to create friendships with my family that could never be imaginable in Canada. I bonded with my family members that I never even knew existed and I created my unconditional love for Kurdistan. I knew that after I step out of the car my life would change forever... and it did. Duhok is the city where my love for Kurdistan became a reality. This is where my love for history started to grow and where my love for knowledge continued. My friendship with Kurdistan and its mountains is what keeps my passion relevant. My friendship with the mountains was assigned to me at birth, but only after this trip with my father the mountains truly became my friends. As every Kurd understands the mountains will forever be our only friends and I will forever love Duhok, Kurdistan as my only home and the place where my love grew. 

- Alê

(this story was written on the basis of what I remember a friend telling me after I came back from Kurdistan in 2012 with my father. She had sat me down and told me that ever since I came back I've changed. She talked to me as if it was a bad thing that my personality was different and how I acted was not like me. However, I was finally able to accept my culture in such a white and westernized society. This is why I wrote this piece because I am extremely happy my father took me to Kurdistan when he did because I've never been more content with myself and my identity. I changed in 2012 because I was able to finally see my differences among people who all acted the same) 

Duhok; Kurdistan 2012

Duhok; Kurdistan 2012

Gelî; Duhok (CERDITS TO HAYMAN MUHAMAD)

Gelî; Duhok (CERDITS TO HAYMAN MUHAMAD)

Gelî; Duhok (CERDITS TO HAYMAN MUHAMAD)

Gelî; Duhok (CERDITS TO HAYMAN MUHAMAD)

*NEXT BLOG POST WILL BE UP MONDAY AT 3PM EST*       

LIFE; PART 2

As I drive up the mountain on the roads of Lufet Babîrya and embrace the beautiful landscape in which my village is placed on I smile with light. As I wait patiently for the sign to welcome my father and I home I start to embrace the walls of Lufet Babîrya. I place my hand out the window and feel the wind of my village as it signifies the life and the warmth of my people. I listen to the tires of the car driving over the small rocks and dirt on the road as it continues to make sharp turns to reach the top of the mountain. I start to count how many turns it takes to finally be able to see my beautiful village again. To see my family who remembered death and built life, who craved those deep paths that connects life of this village and the memories of the old one. who created the path to the gardens, the path to the graveyard, and the path to the water. Gundê Babîrya represents the ways in which we as a village and as a larger community within Kurdistan accepts our history like our own identity and blood, but do not let it define our present and future moments. I step out of the car with my father and take in the air of the mountain, the air of Kurdistan, and the air of my village. I am surrounded by my family, by the kids of Gundê Babîrya. I look at my father as he looks around at his surroundings and opens his arms to accept the kisses and hugs from his family that reside in this piece of Kurdistan. After looking at my father I start to look at my surroundings I see the homes, the gardens, and the large black berry tree that has been there for generations. I suddenly stop and I smile at the sight of time stopping on the other side of this mountain. As I see the fallen rocks, the tree still standing, and the craved path that represents my old village. My people placed Gundê Babîrya on the other side of the old village to be a daily reminder of the struggles that were placed on them, and to remind them that death is never just an excuse for sadness and hurt, but the ability to build such strength to create life again. Gundê Babîrya created life again in historical moments of death and despair. I knew after witnessing such life that I was where I belonged, that this was where my heart resided.

 

- Ale

[ as this series of part 1 and part 2 is dedicated to Gundê Babîrya for always welcoming me and my family home. Welcoming me as their own sister or daughter and allowing me to create beautiful memories with my father]

water station in Gundê Babîrya; Kanîya Sar Kîza

water station in Gundê Babîrya; Kanîya Sar Kîza

Lufêt Babîrya; the road that reaches the top of the mountain with its concrete walls

Lufêt Babîrya; the road that reaches the top of the mountain with its concrete walls

looking at Gundê Babîrya while standing on the old village

looking at Gundê Babîrya while standing on the old village

Gundê Babîrya view that overlooks the mountains; on Lufêt Babîrya

Gundê Babîrya view that overlooks the mountains; on Lufêt Babîrya

Gundê Babîrya

Gundê Babîrya