Finding Our Voice

Finding Our Voice

Roza AL

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In the North of Iraq the Kurdish people are singing out for freedom.  Women are leading the way.  Dashni Morad and Helly Luv are two examples of women who are standing up through art and music to create a new Kurdistan. My father interviewed Dashni Morad in 2012.  She is so nice; it made a good impression on me.  We still chat online today as she has returned from Holland to Kurdistan. I told her that I wanted to share her message with the young people of America.  Through song she brings a message of hope and freedom out of a place that needs both.  I want to share this message because there are many people who need to hear it.  We are both refugees from Kurdistan and we both were born in the same city Sulimaniyah.

Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan’s Cultural Capital

Here are some inspiring words that were spoken by Dashni as she reflected on the struggle to find her voice and to share her story.

In Kurdistan as a little girl I had a simple but perfect life.  In 1991 we fled with tears into the mountains.  When you listen very carefully to the mountains you find it weeping.  The mountains have always protected us. I don’t think adults can handle cruelty like children- they still manage to see beauty.  I didn’t lose hope. Looking forward is part of our identity.  My dad was taken into prison in his own town and when he got out he said, we are going to Europe.  Kurdistan was wounded.  My father was sent back 7 times but he didn’t give up.  He was driven by the power of love for his family.  We need to appreciate the situation we are in now.  We only seek freedom and love and showing our talent to the world. Why is it so wrong to be different?  I thought the whole world had mountains like Kurdistan.  I was struggling between two cultures.  Culture is very important but when you are seeking freedom you need dialogue.  Trying to discover yourself is not bad.  Just as I was searching for my identity as an 18 year old girl so was my homeland Kurdistan.  In 2005 I got in touch with Kurdish TV.  I discovered my roots doing that show.  We make a difference between each other and I don’t like this difference. By not having any fear I grew.  It is OK if I lose as long as I keep trying. The TV gave me an opportunity to create my identity.  When I came back in 2007 after 10 years in the media what I didn’t know is that they all wanted to be a part of my fame.  I grew up too fast.  Kurdistan and I both struggled and we were both losing ourselves.  I didn’t know how to express myself and I let words of dishonesty take over me.  Because of my struggling and painful past I have a present.  I know I have a future because I believe in myself. The struggle and the pain gave me a voice and this is a blessing.  I think that I am always telling the story of Kurdistan and Kurdistan is always telling the story of me.  I am at the moment reading a book that is helping me understand that sorrow and joy are inseparable. If we work with the power of love we will have a beautiful future tomorrow.

Kurdish Art; KurdOnline.com

Do not fear your tears to fall down, said the sun, for it will give birth to sun flowers on this bursting shrivelled empty land.

Dashni Morad

A friend once told me to write about happiness,but as I tried, the pencil in my hand cracked, as I learned it only becomes sharp enough to write, when dark ink invades the veins of my heart.   – Dashni [email protected]

We hope one day have a country and live together without fighting I know we hope the same thing and we are all chasing hope to take us home.

She talks about her life goals, her struggles and her success and how the Kurdish people didn’t give up.

Another famous woman from Kurdistan is Helly Luv.  Here is her story being told by NPR last year: http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/07/22/421736647/in-iraq-a-kurdish-warrior-diva-sings-against-isis-despite-threats