Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's my time

My dear reader…

This is probably the only entry that is made at the most absurd timing (12:12 am right now!) I couldn't get to sleep, tossing and turning; thinking, imaging, brainstorming, and imagining again…*

Why you may ask. Well…I wrote a small project a few weeks back and I was so pleased when it was accepted recently. When I was writing the proposal I had Kurdish girls in mind. Not the Kurdish girl who has a coffee at Costa and shops at Family Mall before going to the J&K or Harveen fitness centers. But the Kurdish girl who is full of potential, dreams and ambition, but sadly she is held back by social forces or opportunities surrounding her. The girl who probably can’t afford to have the luxuries that others have, but her mind and thoughts goes well beyond many others.

It is a project not just of empowerment (which has been my main focus with male and female youth previously), but also self esteem, the spirit of volunteering, hygiene, lifestyle, future plans, social relations; confronting family and community, making decisions, planning their daily lives and so on- in one short word it is life skills for young Kurdish girls, all through games, activities and group discussions. The aim is to do this four-hour workshop in as many high schools as possible throughout Erbil and its surrounding areas. And we are going to start with the high school I visited today (well now that it is past 12, technically it was yesterday).

Above: I definately believe healthy girls will lead to a healthy community, even in Kurdistan

This afternoon I went to one of the oldest girls schools in Erbil. Despite everything I saw, I would like to refer to the experience as a positive one. I met the girls; we spoke in each of their class rooms. Initially I wanted 20 students, but I realized there will be over 200 who I will have to take. They were all interested! Most of them wanted to take part! And we weren't going to refuse anyone!

I had a plan for the workshop "Girl and Proud!" But here I am, past midnight and my mind is being bombarded with many ideas and thoughts. I am making alterations to the initial plan, as a result of today's observations.

For the first time I feel nervous. I want the four hours to have as much as a positive impact on the life of as many of the students as possible. I want to provide them with the atmosphere to speak out their silent thoughts, their fears and also give them a chance to believe in their dreams. I have the chance to do this, a few weeks back I felt shattered that for certain reasons I couldn’t do my masters-and had to postpone- but right now I feel like if this is successful, it will be a master's of its own. It has been my dream to be able to do something like this. I am going to do my best, because I want the best, and I know they deserve only the best.


* So I decided to listen to some Kurdish songs (this one is Karim Kaban- don't ask!!! I like it, the one before was Hama Jaza), grab the lap top and make this entry- in the hope that someone will read it, and if no one does (there is always mum!!) it is okay.

** Picture from girlsinc.org

6 comments:

KULKA said...

i am sure you will do great job. kurdish girls and women should take an active part in all aspects of country, society and privat life. so - our dear boys - make the space, please, coz its our turn now :)

Tabouleh said...

You are simply inspirational and if we had many of your kind in our Middle Eastern region, I believe our world would be a better place.
Way to go... plant those seeds of change... You are an amazing young woman!

Sazan said...

Maha El-Farisi is my colleague at work. She gave me the link to your blog and I spent the morning reading many of your entries. You are an inspiration in many ways. Many many thanks for your lovely words!! you keep writing too!! xox

Tabouleh said...

Ahhh... so Mahawi gave you the link... I was wondering how you got to view my blog... not many do...
So glad that you took the time to read some of my entries... you are very sweet to compliment me like that... Please give my love to Mahawi... I would so love to visit Erbil... from your stories and pictures it definitely looks like an interesting and warm place to visit...
Keep on writing...

Parween said...

This is an amazing project Sazan. I got a little emotional reading this! You are right, there are MANY talented and gifted girls in Kurdistan, full of life and dreams, however, facing many challenges and barriers (social/environmental, financial etc). It would be a great opportunity for them to participate in such event, a real eye-opening experience for them which will guide them, open up their options and allow them to break the fear and taste the sense of achievement and self satisfaction (even if it's just for a few hours). I'm confident an event like this will have a positive effect on them and will make them re-think what they want to make out of their lives. Many of the talented girls are not even aware of their potentials, doubt they have abilities or even hide their talents, such event will give them a chance to open up and recognise their potentials.

Please Sazan give us a feedback on the outcomes of this event! I'm eager to know what your experiences and feelings were while implementing this event!

PS- I LOVE the slogan 'Healthy girls, healthy communities'. Damn right!

Sazan said...

@Parween you're one great, loyal, loved reader!! :)
We've started it, words can't explain the feelings. There are many success stories. I will make sure to blog about my girls soon!! I have come to realize that these girls are filled with potential and amazing talents but some of them have not been given the opportunity, and others are still inside their box... reluctant to come out!!! But they are amazing!!!!