Stories from Kurdistan

Dancing Kurdish Girl Pursues Dreams with Supportive Family

The following article was originally published in Rudaw.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A Kurdish teenager from Erbil has been drawing public attention through her dancing in public. She has attracted the attention of thousands of people on social networking websites. Rwan’s father is OK with what she does and even supports her.

Rwan goes out of her way dancing on streets, buildings and other public places. She hopes what she does changes the mindset and perspective of the society, who would object to such things.

Her father is a Peshmerga veteran. Although the world they live is very different, he supports the liberties his daughter relishes.

“In the past, we defended Kurdistan through guns. Now is the time for my daughter to serve Kurdistan by means of art. I will continue to support and assist her,” Jawad, her father said.

Rwan at first was shy, sees life differently. She wants to confront the cultural aspects she considers to be at fault. To this end, she has turned to dancing on the streets.

“Through dancing on Erbil streets, I want to tell people that women have potential and are talented, too. That is why I always dance on streets so that I become an example for women who have talents, wishes and hobbies, but are afraid to appear in public,” Rwan said.

The striking feature that distinguishes Rwan from other dancers is that she has chosen to dance on streets, buildings and other public landmarks.

“I think women can convey their message to the society easier on the street,” she added.

“I have a message which I want to communicate through you to parents who prevent their daughters from practicing their hobbies and wishes: now is the time to support and assist your children.

“What politicians haven’t been able to achieve might be done by new generations through art, easily conveying the Kurdish nation’s message to the entire world.”

Bawash, her elder brother has been supporting her, too. He goes out with her, dancing together on the sidelines of the main highways. They even circulate video footage of their dancing on social networking websites.

“Rwan is not only talented in dancing. Rather, she is a leading musician in her school, too. I take pride in assisting Rwan to realize her dreams. I know that she has very big dreams. Our family members all try to turn Rwan’s dreams into realities. Her talent or potential is more than what we now see in her,” Bawash said.


This article was originally published in Rudaw.

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