Above: Oprah on her trip in Australia (sorry, but this picture was not taken by me, Oprah.com)
I think as Kurds who at a point in time had to flee (or migrate) into other countries we remain thankful to the host country who gave us security, protection and a hope in life when times were not necessarily going the best way that we desired for. I want to return this thankfulness and admiration that I have inside me to Australia one day. I feel like I owe it something and I need to pay it back somehow.
I have a feeling that –despite the long distance between both nations—Kurds and Aussies are two nations that can get along well (as mates!!!), it is possible to exchange their lifestyle and culture. We can learn a lot from Aussies, and Aussie land.
Just on that note, a few nights back –again me watching OPRAH—** there was an episode that included an interview with Sarah Shourd. She was one of the three hikers who accidentally stepped into Iranian land while being tourists in the mountains of Kurdistan. They were imprisoned and Sarah was the only one who was set free. Sarah discussed her experience in the Kurdish region of Iraq (Nope! Oprah doesn't know about Kurdistan) along with her friend and fiancé, both of whom are still imprisoned in Iran. I was touched with the story when I first heard of it in the news (see freethehikers.org). But the fact is there are actually people coming to Kurdistan as tourists. It is hard to let people in other parts of the world (including Oprah) to believe that Iraq can actually be a tourist destination. Which is why I was so glad when the guys from Top Gear drove through our mountain roads, we have to use the media to reach out and let people know more about what's happening in my little corner of the world.
**It's so funny, I make so many excuses for not having time for this and that, but somehow there is always time for OPRAH.
*Otherwise known as "Northern Iraq" in the international media, but one day this will change!