The Resilience of a Kurd


Life is made up of moments that become memories.
Good memories are remembered fondly. Bad memories tend to become lessons.
The up side of bad memories, they are like fire and hammer to steel pounded by a blacksmith.
The blacksmith shapes the steel and becomes strong.
People are like steel. They become resilient in the face of challenges and adversity. The resilience of the Kurds is like steel. They are determined to build from nothing, to create their own identity and show the world that they are their own people.
I came to Erbil in 2009 as an expat working for a construction company.
It was my first experience to work abroad and I was plagued with home sickness.
Kurdistan has proved to be a place where I would grow to appreciate their people, culture and the history.
I am amazed of their resilience as I hear several stories of how they suffered during war.
I’ve met a lot of people who would tell me stories that would show their tenacity and positivity.
Let me tell you a story about this one person I came across with, he was “The Man Who Hated Apples”.
Apples for him were reminiscent of his days in Iran in the year 1991.
It was the time when almost all people of Erbil left. They had to flee in order to live.
This young boy cannot process in his mind why they had to walk all the way to Iran for three days.
While living in Iran, he couldn’t understand why he had to eat apples for a month.
But he had to live because he has this hope in his heart that he will unite with his family soon.
At a time when all he had was his pride as Kurdish, together with his family he longed for a time of peace.
Indeed, after several months peace came.
Years passed by peace and prosperity slowly became a reality for the Kurds.
They rebuilt their homes and aimed for a better future.
Resilience fueled their hopes and dreams.
The memories that were created during a time of war and atrocity
has deepened in each and every Kurd the resolve to protect the peace that was achieved in the past.
Even now, peace has been threatened but a young boy’s wish to have a peaceful Kurdistan will always fuel the heart of a Kurd to protect his land.
That young boy will protect the smile his sister makes when they talk about Nawroz.
The beautiful path in the mountains of Kurdistan where a young climber has just conquered.
The scent of the Nergis flowers in the early signs of Spring.
The cold waters of the snowy mountains,
The smell of Dolma that Daya (mother) makes on a Friday.
The peace and freedom that was elusive to them for a long time.
Their will to protect all of this is what makes Kurdish people resilient.
Kurdish resilience is to unite against all odds.
I am proud to have lived and worked in this place.
It is an honor to learn and understand their resilience as this also
has become an inspiration to me on how to live my life.
We have to rise from the ashes and be proud of who we are.
It can never be achieved if there is no resilience.
Resilience is what fuels the heart to go on and live a full life.

-END-



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