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Flag On Dorm Room Wall Signifies Resilience Of Kurdish Folks

When does a country become a rustic? Is it when the United Nations deems it so, or is it when an 18-yr-old hangs a flag on his dorm room wall?

His suitcases were nonetheless packed, his bunk was without bedding, and yet the young man stood, in the midst of his new dorm room, smiling at a giant flag on the wall. The flag was purple, white and inexperienced striped with a yellow sun within the center.

I was there for move-in day. The young man was my son’s freshman roommate.

“The place are you from?” I requested.

“Kurdistan.” His voice was proud.

I introduced myself, and he stated his title was Alan. On one other wall, I saw a photograph of younger woman sporting a lace costume.

“Who is the girl?”

“My sister,” he smiled. “She is 8.”

“I bet she misses you.”

“She was unhappy to see me go.”

“What do you plan to study?”

“Electrical engineering,” Alan stated.

Later, I requested my husband, “Is Kurdistan a rustic?”

“That’s a good query,” he mentioned, pulled out a map, and showed me where Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey intersect. “This is where most Kurds reside,” my husband pointed to the region, “and here is Erbil, the town the place Alan is from.”

He and that i began studying concerning the Kurds and realized that the Kurdish language was outlawed in 4 international locations for most of the 20th century. We read about the Peshmarga who spent generations combating for Kurdish freedom, and we wondered what Alan’s story was.

The day earlier than winter break, I acquired a text from our son: “Hey can Alan stay with us for a couple of days?”

“Would love to have him,” I responded.

On Alan’s last night with us, we went to a Christmas tree lot, and Alan helped choose a tree. Back dwelling, we hung ornaments on the tree whereas Alan told us concerning the Peshmarga.

Alan defined that the Peshmerga is any Kurdish fighter who fights for Kurdish independence and rights, no matter their group or parties. “My father joined the Peshmerga when he was 16. In my father’s generation and my grandfather’s technology, everyone has lost someone. One man I do know lost three brothers and his father,” Alan mentioned. “Beforehand, the Peshmerga had no base and lived in mountains and caves, surviving by way of all means. The official army is now called the Peshmerga out of respect to the martyrs.”

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He defined how a lot the town of Erbil has transformed in the last decade. We realized that Alan was in the first graduating class from his high school, and that college students from his faculty had been now attending universities all over the world.

The next morning before Alan left, I made us tea and we talked within the kitchen.

“Honey with your tea?” I requested.

“Sure, please,” Alan said. I took my tea plain.

I asked Alan about Erbil. He instructed me that Erbil is the oldest, constantly inhabited city on the earth.

“Have been you born there?” I requested.

“I used to be born in Iran,” he said. “When I was eight, we fled. My mother and father are journalist and would have been killed if we had stayed in Iran. We rode on horseback throughout the border.”

“Were you scared?” I asked, imagining a family fleeing for their lives on horses.

“It was enjoyable!” Alan mentioned. “I still remember it.” Instantly, I loved his mother for making a terrifying journey enjoyable for her baby.

“What was it like when you first arrived in Erbil?” I asked.

“We had to wake up at 3 a.m. to pump water, or else we did not get any. We had an hour of electricity a day. It has modified a lot. We’ve water and electricity all day now.”

With the ability to fill a teakettle with water and heat it seemed more outstanding than it had an hour earlier.

“What do you miss most?” I asked.

“I miss the picnics.” Alan mentioned. “There are musicians who walk around, and we call them over, and so they play, and we dance,” Alan said. “Oh, it is so much enjoyable. On the winter solstice, we keep up all evening dancing. No one sleeps. Within the spring, we picnic for 3 days. That’s the start of our new 12 months.”

Alan used our laptop to seek for YouTube videos of Kurdish dancing. When he discovered dancers, he mentioned, “These Kurdish dancers are in Europe.” He had a hard time finding different movies.

“Why is it arduous to search out movies of Kurds dancing?” I requested.

“If we publish videos of dancing from the other three components, those in Iran, Syria and Turkey, we’ll get killed,” he stated. “A number of the videos I showed you had been recorded within the autonomous Iraqi region, where I dwell, and it is secure to publish it.”

As I listened to Alan discuss, I observed how simply he mentioned the phrase, “If we do such and such, we will be killed.”

We watched a couple of more videos of Kurds dancing. I noticed three musicians taking part in what appeared like a flute and a drum. Alan told me the flute-like instrument is made from wooden and is named a Zoorna, a doozala or a joozala (depending on the region), and the drum 1 dad shirt seinfeld known as a dahol.

The men dancing wore matching coats, crisp, white shirts and billowy pants, and the ladies dancing wore brightly colored pantsuits. Their synchronized movements consisted of intricate footwork and shoulders transferring back and forth in time to the music. The men and women had been in a line, smiling with arms locked.

“The musicians play and we dance,” he stated, “but when there aren’t any musicians, we clap our hands, and we nonetheless dance. We keep our traditions. There has been so much change, but we keep dancing.”

“You retain the joy alive,” I mentioned.

“Sure,” he mentioned and smiled. “Yes.”

I packed Alan a meal for the plane, and drove him to the bus stop. His plan was to take the bus to the airport, fly to New York, to Jordan and then to Erbil. The morning I took him to the bus was Tuesday.

“What time will or not it’s once you arrive residence?” I requested.

“Three in the morning on Thursday,” Alan mentioned.

“You might be forward of us?” I asked.

“A half a day.”

“Who will meet you on the airport?” I requested.

“My mother, my father and my sister,” he said.

“Even in the midst of the evening, your sister will be there?” I requested.

“Yes,” he laughed. “She is not going to be capable to sleep, she can be so excited.”

I drove home and started to scrub Women’s Sassy Summer Print Long Sleeve T Shirts breakfast dishes. I sipped the last bit of tea and tasted honey. The cup of tea I drank from was not mine. I realized I had tasted the sweetness from Alan’s cup. I pictured him arriving residence in time to have fun the winter solstice, and i noticed him dancing by way of the evening with family and associates.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness: The beginnings of an awesome country start with protecting what issues.

Kathleen Buckstaff is the creator of The Tiffany Box: A Memoir, a USA Greatest Ebook Awards Finalist. The Tiffany Box is filled with love, humor, heartache, and perception. A gathering of e-mails and letters to her closest mates comprise Kathleen Buckstaff’s candid, funny, and recognizably true chronicle of a generation “in-between”: nurturing its younger while nursing its aged, and coming to terms with the bitter realities that temper life’s 1 dad shirt seinfeld candy rewards.