|This is how most of my articles were written (above is me)|
About a year ago, I found out that a Kurdish prisoner in the US was reading my articles in the Globe, so every now and then I attached pdf files of the paper to one of the staff members and asked her to print it off and pass it to the prisoner. I didn't know what his crime was. All I knew was this prisoner enjoyed my articles and had a family. A few weeks back I resigned from the Kurdish Globe and wrote my last Memoirs weekly column titled "Good Bye" little did I know that the prisoner had a subscription to the Globe and was not missing a single piece of my article every week. I hadn't been sending any pdf files through for few months, I was carried away with deadline and research (I know, no excuse... but loyal readers are just so great at being loyal).
Tonight. I finished one of my final papers and returned from the library under the rain in a good mood (in fact a rather brilliant mood for a person who had spent the past 15 hours behind a computer in a library. I returned singing yaran wasyatm under the rain) Little did I know I will read an email that will influence me so deeply as soon as I get to my humble little room. I am going to share the email with you (but please respect the fact that I won't include any names to preserve the anonymity).
I was writing about Kurds, Kurdistan and my life as a young girl who returned home after years abroad. I wrote and often had no idea who was reading my words. Sometimes I wrote as if no one would read what I was feeling and what went through my mind. Little did I know, someone, somewhere, behind bars was reading my words. I don't know who this person is, or what his crime is, but what I do know is that a Kurd, even in a prison cell, felt free in the few minutes each week spent reading an article that I happen to have written somewhere outside, in the open.
Unimaginable, how I spoke of freedom and flying, and my reader was in a prison cell. Unimaginable, how I wrote of returning back to Kurdistan, serving our nation and my reader was locked unable to even walk to the place I call home. Just Unimaginable.
If after three years of writing every single week, I managed to make a single Kurd in a prison cell, continents away from home smile, and think positive thoughts then my dearest reader, for me that is the greatest success I could ever ask for.
"Dear Mastawchi (my too optimistic, too dreamy and beloved sister),
I am very sorry that you left your Kurdish Globe readers. Your goodbye was very sad news to me, when I read it it brought tears to my eyes. I am a Kurd spending time in a U.S. prison for a crime I never committed. For the last two years (since I’ve received Kurdish Globe) your memories many times made me smile, other times brought tears to my eyes, but were always inspiration. Most of the time I had feelings and thoughts similar to yours. Whenever I received Kurdish Globe I always ran to the last page to read your memories, I never started from the first page! And I am positive many other readers did the same. You educated many people about our culture and showed them the bright part of Kurdish life and customs. You taught Kurdish children and youth abroad to love their nation and belong to it proudly, you helped them learn many Kurdish words and celebrate all the Kurdish occasions. Being optimistic and dreaming for a bright future is not a crime! But I am sorry there are people who never learned from decades, even a century of conflict, to overcome that past and forget those bitter memories, so they still push our nation toward another war. They teach hate and racism and think that is being a "patriot." I am very sorry they accused you of being mastawchi, "too dreamy" and "too optimistic." But please do not allow that to slow you down. I beg you, please print and publish your memories as soon as possible, and let our children see the bright part of our culture, to love Kurdish life and people, to stay optimistic and dream big, to live and grow in peace. I am sure they will benefit and learn from it, and it will help the entire world to know more about our culture.
For sure, many Kurdish Globe readers, and myself, are going to miss your memories, but as you said, "This is life," and sometimes we are forced to say goodbye to those we love. No one has shed more tears than a Kurd for saying such goodbyes.
Please keep writing. Mastaw is our national Kurdish drink, all Kurds love mastaw, and your memories were our mastaw. Many Kurds like myself who live in handaran, far away from our beloved land, love it and drink it. That is the mastaw you made, and that is why I call you mastawchi. But the way they meant it is not fair, because whoever reads your memories knows you are not that kind of mastawchi!
Please always be optimistic and show the beauty of life to the world, keep dreaming, and dream too much! If that is mastawchi, then I am just another mastawchi like you.
the email that came with it was this:
I hope you remember me, I'm the one to whom you were sending issues of Kurdish Globe, so I could then send them to (a Kurdish prisoner here in the U.S., and to his wife, who still lives in . A few weeks ago (April 13), wrote me and said that he knew, from reading Kurdish Globe, that you were leaving your job there. He was very sorry to hear that, and he attached the following letter just for you. He is a fan of yours! (I fixed up his English grammar a little bit, but I didn't touch any of the Kurdish words, as per his instructions!) I guess he has a subscription to Kurdish Globe, but I gave copies of all the issues you sent to 's wife, and now he says he's going to send his issues to his daughter, who will enjoy them (she's 16). I am very sorry that you've left your job, but I know you're involved in many, many other activities, and I'm sure you are spending your time with them! Thank you so much for your kindness in sending the issues of Kurdish Globe to me, and on behalf of and his family I wish you much success in the future.
My best to you,