|My first look at the stack of books... |
Not long ago, before the book was published, I went to see the bullet holes still on the walls of the house where we once lived. The house where I hid under the stairs, in the arms of my mother, listening to gunshots and thinking "dad is gone." After the silence outside, mom lost consciousness and I was on her chest, crying. Moments later, I saw my father with a large Kalashnikov over his shoulder, and then I fell into his arms. This is all I remember from my childhood.
The second I saw my book, My Nest in Kurdistan, at the publishing house, dozens of them stacked on top of each other, that's what I remembered. Could it be, that same girl, who sat in fear under the stairs? That same girl refers to the same place as a Nest? Today, I feel as though my pen is a bullet. A soft bullet. A bullet of hope.
What was the most amazing part of this experience is that when I came home with about 75 of my personal copies of the book, on the way home I began to brainstorm all the people who I had to give a copy to. Back home on the kitchen table I wrote a list, and had to give priority of who are the individuals who I was going to dedicated a copy to.
Only on the kitchen table did I realize how lucky I am. I realized the number of people who have influenced my life. All those names who have inspired me, all those names who have touched my life in the simplest ways, but they have made the greatest difference. All those individuals who have inspired me-- from my little cousins Lava and Haval to Pura Gulizard at the Erbil Retirement Home. From my parents, to some of my Twitter friends. From my cousins, to well known Kurdish personalities. From my next door neighbours to decision makers at the state level.
|(I did try to rotate this picture... [don't laugh] but I just couldn't figure out how to)|
I wished to dedicate copies of the book to so many people, the elderly friends in the Retirement home, the men in the Erbil Retirement Garden, the man who looks after insane individuals in the back room of his Chaykhana, the gardener, the many women who I have met in the villages and on Kurdish mountains. The problem is that all these people can't read in English. These people, the simplest in the world, are those who have inspired me the most.
It is funny, the amount of books I have signed and dedicated to "my second parents" and "my sister..." many of the people who are close to me have adopted me as their daughter, and many others have become sisters over the years.
It was true. This book, an achievement of mine, could not have been possible without these individuals to believe in me, to encourage me with their words, and more importantly to inspire me! I don't think many of them realized how important they were in my life, in fact until I sat on the kitchen table I didn't realize there were this many of them.
Just before I finish off, thank you for all of you, my blog readers* for reading these entries! (By the way, now that the book is published, it doesn't mean you stop following the blog!)
When you're a Kurd, expect the unexpected.
* Zor Supas!!
(this is part of this week's "Memoirs" column in the Globe. It was written on two seperate days)