Friday, January 4, 2013

A Kurd on her way to Harvard


Dr. Kanya Said, Harvard student
Dear Loyal Blog Follower, 

The success of my friends is my success, and their dreams coming true is my dream coming true. Kanya is a young Kurd, she is an amazingly Loyal friend and a great individual who is on her way to Harvard for her Masters. Since she is a true inspiration I asked her to write to you this week. So here is what she sent me:

"Where there is a will there is a way to reach your dreams"
I want to start by saying that this is unlike anything I have written before. This is an insight to who I am, Kanya Said, and my dreams and hopes for the future.
I was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden but I have a Kurdish soul. My parents came to Sweden from Slemani because they had to leave, but they were dedicated to bring our homeland to our home. The language at home has always been Kurdish and the bedtime stories were all about the beauty of Kurdistan's nature, our people's generosity, brave hearts, and sacrifices. The older I got the more I learned and understood about my people's unhealed wounds from the past and their constant struggle to defend their rights to live.
Today I am a proud Kurd from Kurdistan. I have always loved school and knew that Medicine was my future. I started my educational journey by studying Dentistry for 3 years and then I changed to Medicine. I plan to finish both educations. Besides my basic education I write medical articles to corporate what I find important into the Health Care system in Kurdistan.
I am also writing a book "Manual of Medicine" in Kurdish that will help Kurds to increase their common medical knowledge; I work as a volunteer at Rosengrenska stiftelsen in Gothenburg with doctors giving medical care to immigrants that don't have legal access to it. It's worth mentioning that a lot of these patients are from our homeland.
On top of all of this I am working on my Master's Degree, and it's research, which I will be doing at Harvard University in Boston. I am the first Medical student from Gothenburg University who's going there.
I try to go back to Kurdistan as often as possible but due to my studies it's difficult to find an opportunity to do so. However when I do I try to be active as a volunteer in as many organizations as possible. The summer of 2012 for example I had the benefit to visit a school in Kanakawa, Slemani, where they were teaching English for free, with the famous journalist and photographer Donald Boström. There we were lead by the amazing TedxErbil speaker Sabah Ahmed and our group was also invited to his home where he told us about his successful inventions and future plans.
It's hard for me to travel often but like Cale Salih said: "You can travel through the internet and books"  and that's exactly what I am doing now. Pages like Facebook and Twitter makes it easy to get the latest news on the situation in our homeland and for people around the world to make their voice heard by those who should hear it. It's like a virtual diaspora but at the same time we can show the world what Kurdistan is through different pages online and worldwide events where we step up and show who we are. This new generation is, in my eyes, different from the previous one because most of us see Kurdistan and all its parts as one while the old minds are still limited in thinking of political parties.
The people I have met online have affected my life the most. I have learned that there are successful Kurds all around the world who are following their dreams and it makes me proud. It gives me hope that together we can fulfill the ultimate dream of mine, that I share with many others-- an independent Kurdistan.
Going to Harvard for my MD is a dream of mine coming true and I can't wait to go there and raise my beautiful Kurdish Flag to show everyone that I am from Kurdistan and to let some of those in the academic world know who we are and that we can make it here as well if we want to. 
As Sazan Mandalawi says "Be the change you want to see in Kurdistan." And that is what I'm trying to do. Medicine is my field but everyone has a dream of their own. I'm telling you my story because I want you to know that it is possible to be who you want to be. It's not easy at all but "where there is a will there is a way." If I can do it so can you. I have many more plans and dreams for the future. Most of them I have to fulfill myself but to reach the higher ones I need my Kurdish brothers and sisters.
Kanya Said,