Stories from Kurdistan

My Kurdish Story

Omid and his family were living as refugees in Turkey and on the verge of being extradited back to Iran which could have meant death, at-least for some of them.  Through the help of friends and the UN they were able to escape through Greece and France and eventually to Denmark.  Today, they live in Denmark, and while he and his brother missed years of schooling and saw what no teenager should ever experienced, they have grown a sense of tremendous vitality about life, about hope, and about not taking things fore-granted.  Omid is about to finish college, with top honors, studying Film & TV Production at Media College Denmark in Viborg, and has already started his career as a photo-journalism for TV–OEST.

My Kurdish Story

On a freezing and stormy night, after ten years of hopelessness and confusion as refugees with no human rights in Turkey, we were determined to use a small sailboat that we had obtained to hit the open seas in search of liberation – with longing for a new life and in search of basic human rights.

The tattered vessel was launched.  And while the extreme cold had frozen every bone in my body, I was thinking that at any moment the tides could smash our measly lifeboat against rocks and the elements of the open seas, breaking it into pieces.

Shivering, I stared at the turbulent waves of the water.

Suddenly, I noticed my mother.  Until that day, I had never noticed my mother’s bravery – a Kurdish woman’s bravery.  She walked ahead of us without hesitation, with me, my brother, and my dad in tow – one by one we followed her on to the feeble lifeboat.

That night of adventure and risk which could have easily lead to our demise was a price we were willing to pay for our freedom.

That frigid and stormy Mediterranean night, before reaching a Greek Island, I promised myself that if we made it alive, to a destination where I could taste freedom for the first time in my life, I would spend the rest of my existence to be the voice of my brave yet abandoned people.

With hope (that enduring Kurdish characteristic) that one day:

… all Kurdish speaking children start their first day of school in their mother-tongue and not be forced to use an imposed language;

… governments’ response to the Kurdish youth’s opposition to systematic assimilation would not be imprisonment and execution;

… the crimes against the Kurds by those countries who consider themselves the owners of Kurdistan are not legitimized by the silence and indifference of their people;

… borders are no longer the means to separate one culture from itself, and families from families;

… and no other human being has to forfeit their lives and that of their loved ones to sea, in order to escape the weight of injustice, oppression, discrimination, humiliation, and being ignored!



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