I Want to Live: Documentary Film on Kurdish Refugees from Rojava in Kurdistan

Film Diary, Film Review, Update & News
I Want to Live ©Karzan Kardozi

I Want to Live Karzan Kardozi

Here are some still from my documentary feature film on the life of Shndar;  A Kurdish refugees from Rojava in West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) now living in South Kurdistan in a camp. He fled the the recent ISIS attacks upon Rojava, he is 16 years old who has Thalassemia and must have immediate treatment. He live in a camp with his father who is deaf and mute, work as a laborer when there is a job outside the camp, because of his Thalassemia, he has to get blood transfusion every month in order to live.  The film is about him, his daily life on the camp and outside of it, and also the life inside the camp. The film is slow paced, rather Arty, more visual and very little dialogue driven. More than being a film about the life of refugees, it is a meditation on life, death, war, peace, and tolerance.

WATCH IT on VIMEO:

I gave this Interview about the film to Suna Alan on how the films was made:

When and which camp in South Kurdistan did you shoot your documentary ‘’I Want to Live?

For the final project of my Master degree, I was required to make a film, and I went to back to Kurdistan in the Summer of 2014, I shot the film in the span of one week at Arbat Camp outside Sulaimani. I did the producing, directing, cinematography, editing of the film. At a distance of only 40 minutes from the city of Sulaimani is Arbat Camp in the town of Arbat, the camp had more than 700 Kurdish families from Rojava. Despite having the permit, on my visit to the camp I was denied the access to the camp, I was told to meet personally the head of the security of the camp, and it took me two days to meet him, at first; he was against allowing a camera into the camp and giving us access for many days and nights, but after a lengthy talk and my explanation that the film was for a Western audience and part of a Master degree program, he was more than happy to allow me to film, wanting a Western audience to be informed about the life of the Kurdish refugees in the camp, I was giving permission to film for eight days and nights with full access to all the areas inside and outside the camp. On the same days I visited the camp to find a subject and a narrative to follow. I was confident that by walking around the camp and talking to people, I would find many stories and subjects to film, my original plan was to have three different narrative on three different subjects; a young boy, a women and a man. While walking around with a guide, as he was showing us the different area of the camp, in the school, we meet a little boy of 16 by the name of Shndar, right way I knew my film will be about him. Unlike many people in camp who only spoke the Kurmanji dialect of the Kurdish language, Shndar was fluent on both Kurmanji and Sorani dialect, at first he was shy to talk to us, but after talking to him for a while and walking around the camp with him, he became a friend to us and was more than happy to be filmed, on the same day, we visited his tent, talked to his parent and got their permission to film him.

How were the conditions of the Rojavan refugees in the camp in general during your shooting?

I tried to become one of them while shooting the film, and we would go around all over the camp with the camera, so the people got used to us, after a few days, we were like someone who lived inside the camp, just a normal person, they did not look at us as outsiders, and you can see that in the film, they behave naturally in front of the camera. As for life in the camp, you can see it in the film how life is, I don’t need to comment on it, the film does.

What is the main subject of your story?

The story if not mine, it is the story of Shndar, a little boy from Rojava who has Thalassemia, and he must have a surgery very soon, or it is too late. I wanted to see life the way he does, so it is his story, the camera is there to capture it.

Why did you choose to tell the story of a refugee boy instead of the refugees in the camp in general?

Well, for one reason; I do not like to generalize, you see that everyday in the News and Documentaries, in which people become just a mere number or a group, they lose their individual identity, I wanted to show, that among these Refugees that you hear about everyday mentioned, they each have a story and life that is precious to them as it is to everyone, and they are not just a number.

6. What are your messages via your film?

I really do not have any message, I’m not a filmmaker that want to manipulate or sell an idea or ideology, I want to show life as it is, and it happened that in this film, the life is that of a Refugee boy, a Kurdish Refugee boy who has no home, no country, nothing to call his own, not even a healthy life. I let the viewer make up his/her own interpretation of whatever the message of the film might be.

Will you have any other film project on Rojavan refugees in south Kurdistan?

I hope so, this was my last Documentary film, I wish in the future to make Fiction film, and Rojava will always be part of my future plan.

Here are my notes on the Production:

Day One:
I took the task of Director and DP upon myself, for the simple reason that having a crew of more than two meant attracting the attention of the people in the camp, and the people would be uncomfortable in front of the camera seeing the large crew behind it, also upon meeting Shndar, I realized that he was a shy person that did not want attention nor eyes to be looked at him while in front of the camera, and having only a crew of two mean that we melted into the people of the camp as we became friend with many of them, and indeed that happened; within two days of shooting, they treated us as one of them. I decided the narrative of the film to be in the control of Shndar and his daily life. We would visit his tent every morning and would follow his daily plan, but I was not yet sure of what style to follow. The first day of filming took place in the school; I filmed everything in a formal and constructive manner, using long lens for rapid shift between different shot sizes, from extreme close-up to wide shots, I filmed everything in coverage, with the editing in post-production for each scenes and sequence in mind all the time. On the same afternoon, as we took a break, I looked into the footage inside the camera that was shot, and I noticed the realism in the scenes came from those wide shots that I let the camera run and did not force my own personal perspective or coverage style of the film. That is when I decided to film the rest of the scenes using Wide Angle lens, with the camera at a distance, and latter use editing in little manipulative manner. Choosing such style meant shooting lengthy takes and having a film that is slow in pace, but such style was best fitted for the slow life of the camp, I had to use it in order to capture the reality.

The Rest of Filming:
We filmed 4 days and one full night in the life of Shndar and the camp, and spent another 2 days recording his voice-over. Each day we would follow Shndar, he would tell us about his daily plan, and we would arrange shots to be setup as we followed him around, most of the time I filmed him without his knowledge, for I realized that by doing so, he behaved in a normal and realistic manner, same was true with the scenes that were shot with the people in the camp. To give an example; Shndar would tell us that sometime in the morning he would visit the children playground, I would ask him to take us, we would walk to the place, I would setup the camera and let it run, then I would tell Shndar to walk to the playground, at the first two takes, he would act as in a fictional film, swinging his legs and body as he walked, very theatrical, instead of telling him to do it again, I kept the camera running, telling him that we filmed everything and it was all good, let him take a break, then I would ask him to walk to the playground and wait for us to join him, or I would tell him that we had to do one more take just for sound, only then, when he thought that the camera was not filming did he gave a realistic performance. Everything was captured in such realistic manners, not a single shot in the film was staged, there was one shot that I filmed but not used in the film that I staged in a fictional manner; the scene was of Shndar visiting the Doctor in the camp, they both watch a French song on a laptop, I staged that scene and filmed it, but later during editing, I realized that it was rather weak, and I did not use it in the final film. Choosing such style and directing approach for the film with only two of us as a crew meant that we moved fast between places and we encountered many surprises, some of the best scenes in the film is shot in that manner, for example; the scenes in the cucumber field, as we started filming, it rained, the cloud came, and Shndar felt such happiness in being in the field, away from the tents, under the rain, he was laughing from joy. Summer rain in Kurdistan is very rare, and I knew it would not last more than half an hour, so we had to shoot every single second of it, as I ran from one place into another to film each scene.

Editing:
I filmed a total of 20 hours of footage, and it took me almost a month to captured the scenes that I wanted to use in the film, the war with ISIS on the borders of South Kurdistan and the flooding or refugees lead to electricity power shortage which gave me little times use my computer to capture the footage. I captured a total of 6 hours of films and lined them up as a rough cut, then I had to start chopping them to pieces, and it hurt, because not only did I had to eliminate many shots in the film, but I had also to trim the rest of the shots that ended up in the film, despite wanting to have a very slow pace film that made the audience live in the camp for with Shndar and these refugees, to take them and making them experience the life in the camp, into a world far from their comfort zone, but I had no choice than to be realistic to cut down the film to 1 hour and 45 minutes in the end, some scenes in the film suffers because of that, if I had filmed a long take of 4 minutes during filming, it meant that I wanted it to end in the film in such length, but on the editing stage; I had to trim it down to 30 second or 45 second, only then could I have shortened the length of the film. More than wanting to slow down the pace of the film, I also used different pace to shift between sequences; Day One is fast paced, because it fit the narrative, Shndar is in School and visit the Bazaar with his brother, both place are crowded and life in them are fast. Day Two is very slow, because Shndar walk around the camp, watch TV in his tent and goes to picnic, all are less crowded places and the pace was indeed slow as time seemed to slow down. His visit to the cucumber field is edited in a poetic style, and the final scene is the longest, because I wanted the audience to feel every second of Shndar taking the shot and the pain as he is in bed for 6 hours waiting for the medication to end.

Voice-Over and Sound Mixing:
It took us two days to record the voice-over, I recorded all the sound in secret; I ran the camera and we sat in the tent with Shndar asking him different question about life in Rojava, his sickness, the family becoming refugees in Kurdistan, I asked him about everything; from nature of War, to love, to hate, to religion, to music, etc. At times I would ask the same question in different manners as to get his view on a subject, and all the time the camera was recording, the lens away from him, but the microphone right beside him recording the sound, a reason that his voice-over is so realistic and he seem to be talking to a friend rather than to a camera. The total voice-over of Shndar and us asking him questions was more than 6 hours in length, with 2 hours of his VO in the rough cut and I had to trim it down to around 20 to 30 minute in the final film. I did not use any sound effect other than what is captured in the scenes. For my fictional short films, I usually use many different outside sounds and effects, mix it into the film, but for I Want to Live, I only used the sound in the shots and did no manipulation of them for the exception of changing the volume when the VO come into the scene, for my aim was realism.
Color Correction: I used very little Color Correction during editing, I had to bring back the White Balance for a few shot, and I wanted the film to look grainy, I prefer a grainy image to a sharp one, some of the scene had to be grainy for I had no choice; such as the scenes of the camp at night, for it was impossible to light a whole camp, and it is rather more realistic to have a grainy shot than a blurry sharp one that is fixed in the post-production. More than having a grainy film, I also let some of the technical detail stay in the film to give it more realism; in some shots you could see rain falling on the lens, there are spot of rain left on the lens, I did not clean it up until the shooting of that day was over, even one can see a light reflected in one of the shots. I left them all in the film and did not want to remove them or fix them in post-production.

Budget and Aftermath:
What I’m most proud off is the fact that I made the film with less than $400 spent. Making a feature documentary film in such small budget is not even heard off here in Kurdistan, a local TV station will spend more than $5000 for such a film, I managed to do it, because there was only two of us in the crew, and I shot it in the span of only 6 days, did all the editing, color correction, sound mixing and creating English subtitle by myself, it was physically and mentally a hard challenge to tackle, but we did it and proved for others that they could do it. More important; I became a close friend to Shndar and him family, visiting them many times after the filming was finished, we are still in touch. Spreading awareness about the life in the camp, the struggle of Shndar with thalassemia and life in the camp is a worthy cause to make a film about, if that is what the film comes down too at the end, then, it was worth all the effort that went into the making of the film, because of the film now Shndar got a chance with his family to go to UK in order to have a bone-transplant and his live might be saved.


P.S: The quality of the images are lowered for it to be uploaded.

I Want to Live (Karzan Kardozi, 2014)

I Want to Live (Karzan Kardozi, 2014) Public Domain

I Want to Live ©Karzan Kardozi

I Want to Live ©Karzan Kardozi

 

100 Years of Cinema, 100 Director

Update & News

3

Writing a book is a challenge, but writing it in a language that you have not written much  can be quite a challenge to overcome, take the book I’m writing: Two month ago I took the task of writing a 1 million words book in Kurdish on the past 100 years of cinema, from D.W.Griffith to Richard Linklater, to be finished, given to the publisher and published in the coming Fall. I used my private film diary of the past 10 years as a source for analyzing the films, it consist of more than 20 million words, in 40 volumes. It was a challenge to find away to format the book in a style that inform the reader the historical significant of the major films schools, movements, directors and films that are important in the history of cinema, one way to get around it was to choose 100 Directors that represent the past 100 years of cinema’s history and incorporate all the historical significant of each cinematic movement through them, although the book is more Auteur driven.

What is most challenging writing the book is translating the English, French, German and Italian words that are the building block of film language into Kurdish,which mean: Beside writing the book, I have also to write a dictionary in Kurdish, not to mention translating the sources I use from my film diary from English into Kurdish. Other challenges include finding biographical and historical sources of film directors, those that very little about them have been written in English, to name a few:  Louis Feuillade, Mikio Naruse, Boris Barnet, Yilmaz Guney, Abba Kiarostami, etc, for these, I have to use non-English sources, such as French, Italian, German, Russian and Japanese.

I decided to write the book after many Kurdish friends and academics informed me about the lack of historical and academic resources on Cinema in the Kurdish Libraries, Schools and Universities in Kurdistan, hopefully in the coming years, and in 2nd, 3rd and other editions I could add more filmmakers, especially those that very little have been written about, for now:  I have chosen around 150 directors, once I finished the 100 directors that I consider to be essential, publish the book,  then wait for the 2nd edition print to publish the rest, which mean, in each edition, the book will become larger and larger, a reason, at least for now, for the next few years , I will be way from

The series will consist of 40 Volume.  Each volume will be more than 1000 pages, consist of 5 directors, with detail analysis of their films in a form of a biography from Birth to Death.

………………………….

Update on January 2020

As of January, 2020. Five Volumes already been published by Xazalnus Publication in Sulaimani, South Kurdistan. 35 Volumes to go.

Yilmaz Guney

Special volume on Yilmaz Guney: from birth to death, childhood in North Kurdistan, becoming a movie star, a writer, a director, his times in prison, escape, triumph at Cannes and death in Paris. Guney is one of the 100 directors in the series, “100 Years of Cinema, 100 Directors”,

Yilmaz Guney Book in Kurdish by Karzan KardoziYilmaz Guney Book in Kurdish by Karzan Kardozi2Yilmaz Guney Book in Kurdish by Karzan Kardozi5Yilmaz Guney Book in Kurdish by Karzan Kardozi 4

 

 

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Volume 1: 1100 Pages:

1. Lumière Brothers
2. Georges  Méliès
3. Luis Feuillade
Film Dictionary (Kurdish – English)

 

Volume 2: 1100 Pages:

4. D.W. Griffith
5. Charles Chaplin

 (Thanks to Nicole Brenez for the introduction to the series)

 

100 Years of Cinema, 100 Directors Karzan Kardozi Volume One100 Years of Cinema, 100 Directors Karzan Kardozi Volume One A100 Years of Cinema, 100 Directors Karzan Kardozi Volume OneB100 Years of Cinema, 100 Directors Karzan Kardozi Volume OneC

 

………………………………..

Volume 3: 1250 Pages:

6. Buster Keaton
7. Robert Flaherty
8. Carl Dreyer

 

Volume 4: 1400 Pages:

9. Eric von Stroheim
10: Fritz Lang

 

134

 

 

Yilmaz Guney

Culture, Film Diary, Film Review
Yilmaz Guney : The Ugly King (April 1, 1937 - September 9, 1984)

Yilmaz Guney : The Ugly King (April 1, 1937 – September 9, 1984)

76 years ago, on April 1, 1937, Yilmaz Guney was born: He  was born in the small village of Yenice near Adana in North Kurdistan under occupation of Turkey, to a peasant Kurdish family and went on to become a the most beloved Kurdish/Turkish filmmaker, and if had lived a full life, he could have been 76 years old today, but fate took him away at his peak, he died in 1984, in exile in Paris. He was called “The Ugly King”, labeled as the “People’s Artist”, he was never afraid to stand up to what he considered injustice, and for that, he paid dearly, spent half of his life either in prison or exile, yet, he left us with many cinematic gems. He was and is viewed as a mix of revolutionary of a  pop icon, as someone put it, “Something like Clint Eastwood, James Dean, and Che Guevara combined”.  Looking back at my film diary, here are a few of his film that recently I had a chance to write about:

Seyyit Han (Yilmaz Güney, 1968)

Seyyit Han (Yilmaz Güney, 1968)

Seyyit Han (Yilmaz Güney, 1968) As always, Guney leave you at the end of a film, breathless. Among his early work, Seyit Han is a part folktale, part western and a part revenge/superhero film, full of  lyrical touches. The story of a  tragic love affair between Seyyit Han, whom after seven year hunting down his enemies is back to claim his bride, Keje, but he soon find out that she is getting married to the village Agha, the same day as he get back. Brilliantly scripted, the film soon take a tragic turn as by mistake, the Agha tricks Seyyit Han into shooting Keje, when Han find out, he goes on a revenge spree in a masterful climax, with Guney’s direction, he makes times stop, the last ten minute is a visual tour force that matches any Kurosawa or Leone’s action scenes, one thing is sure, Guney know how to direct actions, the man seems to be a master everything. Beautiful. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE (IN KURDISH)

Umut (Yilmaz Guney, 1970)

Umut (Yilmaz Guney, 1970)

Umut (Yilmaz Guney, 1970) After watching Guney’s Umut, Elia Kazan was so moved by the film, he wrote an article to the Miliyet newspaper; “Umut is a poetic film, completely native, not an imitation of  Hollywood or any of the European masters, it had risen out of a village environment”, he went on to describe how the characters in the film came across as the most realistic portrayal of the working class; “I had not been able to forget the people in Guney’s story. The notion of hope is seemed to these characters a grotesque notion, something to be ridiculed. After I have seen the film, for the rest of that day, I felt anxious about them, “What is going to happen to those people to those people?”, I asked”. My friend, watch Umut, the one film that revolutionized the Turkish cinema, brought the realism to the screen that few other film could match. READ ELIA KAZAN’S VISIT TO GUNEY IN PRISON HERE (IN KURDISH)

Baba (Yilmaz Guney, 1971)

Baba (Yilmaz Guney, 1971)

Baba (Yilmaz Guney, 1971) Baba means Father in Turkish, and the father in the film is Yilmaz Guney himself; the story of a poor country father who end up taking the blame for a murder he has not committed, take the guilt of a rich man upon himself for the sake of his family, as he leave them behind, telling the lie that he travels to Germany to find work, only to come back many a years later from prison, old and grey, he finds he ugly truth; the was betrayed by the rich man, and what has remain of his family is his daughter, force into prostitution to make a living. Heartbreaking tragic story of a common man lead a stray by the greed of a few. The film was an inspiration for Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Three Monkeys (2008)

Umutsuzlar aka The Hopeless One (Yilmaz Guney, 1971)

Umutsuzlar aka The Hopeless One (Yilmaz Guney, 1971)

Umutsuzlar aka The Hopeless One (Yilmaz Guney, 1971) When one think of Yilmaz Guney, one think of him as a great director, but he is also a great actor, just watch Umutsuzlar and notice how he had created a characters that from the first frame of the film to the last has a continuity to him that few could achieves, a characters full of pain and sorrow expressed through gestures rather than dialogues.  Umutsuzlar  is a visual film, there are few dialogues, instead, the visual and music tell the story, it has a slow pace, rather a beautiful pace to it that one could find in Fassbinder’s films. Few could compare Guney to Hitchcock, but there is a similarity between Umutsuzlar and Vertigo and I could even go so far as to make the statement that it is among the fewest film to captures the spirit of Vertigo; both films are about a man’s desire to create a woman in his own vision, past and the memory of the past dominate the film. There are scenes in Umutsuzlar that are as powerful as Vertigo in expressing the desire and the love between the two characters, compare the wedding scene Vertigo‘s hotel scene, even the camera work is similar, they both move in a circle as the two lover embrace each other. Then there is the music, a theme that is played from the beginning of the film over negative images of the character in red, and keep playing the same theme every time the two lover recall the pain of separating, the theme connect the space between them. The power of cinema is to create a feeling, to create a thought in the viewer indirectly and Guney manages to create that with empathy to the character’s pure emotion that we share. Umutsuzlar is a purist film, a visual tour de force from Guney, a forgotten masterpiece. A tragic film about love, grief, pain, memory and longing.

Sulaimani Protest: 2 Years Later……..

Politic, Sulaimany Protest, Update & News

©Karzan Kardozi

Today mark two year anniversary of the protest in Sulaimani, it was  ignited on February 17th, alongside the so called “Arab Spring”, it was supposed to be a “Kurdish Spring”, and two years on, many still talk about “What could have been”, glorifying the failed little revolution that were never to be, and two years on, I still get e-mail asking me if I would participate/write again if there were protest again. My respond is always the same; Firstly, I refer them to my last post on this blog on the Protest (BELOW IT IS RE-BLOGGED). Secondly, I simply tell them that learned my lesson (when it comes to Politic) the hard way; the only change that is possible when it come to power shifting in this region called “The Middle East”, under the banner of any ideological school, is for the worse, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria are examples. Thirdly; Nihilism is the only principle that one should follow when it comes to politic, or involvement in politic, if not, be a passive observer in pessimism, something that wise Aesop came to the conclusion more than 2600 years ago:

The Oxen once upon a time sought to destroy the Butchers, who practiced a trade destructive to their race. They assembled on a certain day to carry out their purpose, and sharpened their horns for the contest. But one of them who was exceedingly old (for many a field had he plowed) thus spoke: “These Butchers, it is true, slaughter us, but they do so with skillful hands, and with no unnecessary pain. If we get rid of them, we shall fall into the hands of unskillful operators, and thus suffer a double death: for you may be assured, that though all the Butchers should perish, yet will men never want beef”

Do not be in a hurry to change one evil for another

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WRITTEN ON: Apr 3, 2011

Let Us Cultivate Our Garden

Protesting a Mafia State

As I write this, there is sound of heavy gunfire all around our neighborhoods, once more the Protesters at Sarai Azadi are clashing with the Militias. The Militias are shooting at them, they answer back by throwing rocks. The event has become so normal that right in front of the house there are children playing Football and don’t even stop for a second to listen to the sounds, it has become part of daily life, and life goes on.

We are Angry

It has been more than 45 days since I started to write about the Protest in Sulaimany, from that bloody day on February 17th to now, nothing has changed in term of the politic in Kurdistan, the only change is in the people’s emotion and thinking. Nothing but disappointment and anger, nothing but pessimism and hopelessness, the hardest hit is the Young people, they have lost a game in which they played as pawn, in a game of chess dictated by rules between politicians and political parities. Everyone lost, everyone. This shall be my final post on the protest that is why it is a lengthy one.

Where is your Gun?

As many of you noticed, I have been absent from writing for more than a week. As a I checked my accounts today at my Blog, my e-mail and Facebook, I had many messages from you guys asking if I was alright and worrying that something may had happened to me (I apologize if I have not answered your messages). I thank you all for that, I’m fine and I’m writing this in order to prove that. There are many reasons for my absents, I had changed places, renovating our house, which meant no internet in my new place, but the main reason is to keep away from everything, from protest, no TV, from phone calls and from internet, and it felt good, you should try it for once. Live without technology for a few days if not a week.

He Was hit…………

As for safety, I’m safe, I have always writing from a neutral perspective, something that the Establishment nor the Opposition likes, to me, they are both the face of the same coin, one worse than the other, but generally speaking, no one is safe here. On the third days of the protest I wrote that Kurdistan is now a police state, I should have wrote that Kurdistan now is a Mafia State, for that hold more truth, few rule the many by deception, treachery, and the barrel of the gun . No one is safe here, if the established power desired you unwanted, to have you in their black list, and they eliminate them brilliantly,  it is right of a script in a Mob film; You could take a walk and you try to cross the street, a car can run you over, they call that an “incident”, or a car can drive by and shoot you down in cold blood,  “he was killed because of blood feud”. You could be walking in a busy market and with a silencer from behind you meet your end as it happened to Omed who was killed on day eleven of the Protest. Then again you could be walking and a car with dark window would stop, a few masked men jump out, beat you up right in front of the police, they pretend not to see you, and they drag you into the car and a day later they find your body in a town called Mosul, an investigation is held and your family is told that a terrorist group has done the job, but why? They don’t know, for terrorist are always the scapegoats for everything. So as you see, no one is safe in a Mafia State. A Photographer friend has been getting phone calls daily, they threatening to kill him, “Dig your own grave, an if you can’t dig, buy one for yourself, and if you don’t have money to buy a grave, we could lend you some”, so far he told me that since the start of the protest “I have gotten more than 72 death threats”, and “The funny thing is that nobody care about it”. I may be seeing as exaggerating, but there is no exaggeration when the elite loses their power, or seem to be losing it, they will take every measure to stabilize the situation even if it mean killing innocent civilians, as it happened many times in that past two month.

Burn

Back to the Sarai Azadi, the protest goes on, but it has already lost its momentum and by days the numbers of Protesters are declining, a few more weeks, it will be no more, for many has lost faith, but there are still those die-hard Youngsters that keep going. The reason of lack of faith is many, to name a few:

The Government Don’t Care……..

The Government Don’t Care

They have been protesting for 45 days now and so far the KRG government has not meet a single demand of the Temporary Group of Maidani Azadi and there is no sign that they will do so. The KRG Government’s tactic is time; let them protest until they get tired and they will soon go away. The tactic seemed to have worked for a while, as the number of protesters declined and many former Protesters soon turned against the protest. On Friday, before the shooting started I went to a DVD shop, it is in a building with many other shops, the whole building was closed, every single entrance. There was an Old Man, he was guarding the place, “Why is the whole building closed?”, “They told us a fight will break out and to lock the place”, he went on, “How long can they go on protesting? it is becoming a farce. The Government don’t give a damn if they go on shouting for thousands of years”. I asked him if he was for the Protest “Everyone is for the protest, I was with them from beginning, but this is no life, to go on protesting everyday, the Government will not answer. Did you hear that Masud Barzani is planning to arrest everyone who protested?”, “How can he arrest all those people?” “Oh, you don’t know them, they can arrest everyone if they want too.”, “So what is the solution?”, “There is no solution, this is no Egypt, we don’t have an army, only Militias, they came to power by force and they will go only with force, even if the Opposition to come to power, they will be worse”, “But that will mean another civil war?”, “That is why this is useless, unless you fight them with guns they won’t go, no matter how much you shout and throw rocks at them”. Everyone here, from a little kid to the oldest man know about politic and what goes on in the world, they can name you the President and Prime Ministers of any country, he went on to tell me that sometime there is no solution to problems, “Look at Libya, they are having a civil war. Gaddafi will never go, why should he go? Leave the country for who? The same is true here, they won’t go, they will rule forever and the only people who suffer is the poor, the rich is friend with all of them, it is only the poor that does all the fighting, brothers against brother”. That was Friday, as I walked in the market area it felt like a ghost town, anger on people’s face, very few shops were open. It took me two hours to find a small adapter for a TV antenna that I was looking for, everyone knew that a clash would erupt and it was only a matter of time before it did, those who had opened their shops were now taking their stuff inside and closing it. This Friday was called “Friday of Anger”.

Feel like Diyarbakir

Then it started, clashes erupted. Burning tires in the middle of the street, gun fire, throwing rocks, teasers, the same old stuff. Despite a warm weather, many had their scarfs with them, time to put it on and avoid their spy cameras. Now the Protesters had a new tool, marbles, there is a shortage of marbles in the market, it is better than rock when thrown at the the cockroaches (they call the anti-riot squad Cockroaches). Unlike rocks which is heavy when carrying, and when it is thrown, it does not travels at distance, the marbles is light and travels at a great distance with fast speed. Some of the marbles smashed to pieces the safety helmet that is worn by the cockroaches, hitting them right in the face, and it hurt worse than rocks. One of the cockroaches got hit, his helmet shattered, he took it off to get a better look and breath a cool air, but guess what? The second he took of the helmet, he was hit with a big rock right on the head, bleeding and scared, he started to run as the Protesters started to shout and chase him away. The marbles was so effective Friday that it forced the cockroaches back a great distance into the Salim street and there were fear that the Protesters will take over the KDP’ section 4 headquarter and burn it down, that is when they called in the Militias again, they came and started to shoot again into the air, but nothing. The people are so used to the tactics that nobody even care about bullets.

Smoke was the Peacemaker for a While……..

More marble thrown into them, the Militias did not have any equipment to protect themselves and it seemed they were told not to shoot into the people, with bloody head and half broken leg they started to shoot more into the air, nothing again. Now, they drove heavy cars into the crowd, tried to chase the Protesters away by driving right into them, then walk behind the car, you have seen those old WWII films, the first ground offensive after bombing is for the soldier to advance, they walk behind the tanks to avoid bullets raining down on them. Well, this was no fictional film and that didn’t work. The Protesters were more organized now, they burned tires, woods, packages and trashes in the middle of the street, fire everywhere, some dragged chairs and sofas that were outside the shops for the shop owners to relax when there were no customers, and they set them on fire, as it started to burn and the fire rose, they would run and jump over it, making faces and gestures at the Militias, all fun and game. For a while peace, for you could not see the Militias because of the black smoke nor could they see you, a short break, helping others patch up their wounds, stop the bleeding, more organization, then back to clashes. They now brought in heavy armor cars, many expected to throw water, a Young Man with his face wrapped in a scarf “They got those armor cars from Turkey, they will spray us with red paints”, he was right, they started to spray the people with a red liquid (a tactic that the Turks uses against Kurdish protesters, so later they could identity and arrest them”, the street started turning red, at a distance it seemed like a bloody river. The opposition media were behind the Protesters while the Government media were behind the Militias, running back and forth. As places changed hands, and a reporter could not change its place, a beating would take place. The Protesters would start to beat the Government media reporter while the Militias would beat the opposition media reporters. The protesters captured a reporter from Gali Kurdistan TV and he got a beating, what a beating. The fight went on into the night. The streets filled with marbles and rocks here, burned out tires in the middle and bullets shells there. The official report is claiming that as many as 55 were wounded, that were the heavy wounds, there must have been hundreds who were wounded, for many went home and avoided going to hospital as not to have their names registered.

He must get paid good to do that for his Government

The Opposition is worse than the Government

Let me get this point across from the perspective of my friend. You may call him an anarchist or just A, he does not believe in anything when it comes to politic, he is more angry at the opposition than the Government. He was not always an anarchist, he told me that he had voted twice for the Goran Movement Party and that he would rather cut off his hands than to vote for any political party again. I meet him during the first day of the protest, I did not had a camera with me and he had one, he was taking pictures, we became friend after I asked him to send me some of pictures to publish it on my blog. He was the die-hard protester that I kept mentioning on my previous post. From shouting, to marching, to throwing rocks, to facing gun, he was in front of KDP’s section 4 headquarter on February 17 and the days afterward when they shot at the protesters. He still got scars from the wound on him from that day, he went on protesting everyday until day thirty four, a day after Newroz he gave it up all of the sudden and now as we pass by Sarai Azadi, he stand at a distance and shake his head “You got to feel sorry for those sheep, look how they scream, and for who? For Goran and the Islamic party to steal it from them?”. He is a big fan of George Orwell and always talk about Animal Farm, that is why he refer to the protesters as “Sheep”. “You yourself were there only a week ago, I saw you chanting and applauding” I asked him, “I was a fool like them and now I know better, I feel like Orwell after the Spanish Civil war. You know after they lost the Spanish Civil War and the outcome was worse than before, he became a pessimist of a write. You have to know the outcome of anything before you do it, I did not think like that. These people are honest, and like me, they are against this corrupt Government, but they don’t know that they have been fooled by the Opposition Parties and the Government for their own political aim”. His anger is not at the protesters as he told me but at the Political Establishment. He is pessimist when it comes to politic. “Do you know who called the Protesters troublemakers on the first day?” he must have asked that question at least ten times, to amuse him I answered “The Government media; Kurdistan TV and Gali Kurdistan TV did, right?”, “No, it was KNN and Speda TV, the opposition, Goran and the Islamic parties called us troublemakers on February 17. That night after the shooting when I got home, when they called us troublemakers, I was mad and I should have learned my lesson that day”, “But they were afraid, there were news that KDP had sent force to attack KNN TV and eliminate Goran, they had to distance themselves, it is part of the game of Politic”, “What politic? If the Opposition does not have enough guts to stand up with what is right, then they are worse that KDP and PUK. But then, when they knew that we were many of us, then they changed their tone and claimed the ownership of the Protesters”. His claim his right, I remember the evening of February 17, after the shooting when I got home, I turned the TV on and changed the channels, all the TV channels, including the oppositions (KNN TV, Speda TV and Payam TV) called the protesters as “troublemakers”, few protesters have forgotten that.

To Hell and Back

I know many of the Protester who started the protest on February 16 and were on the front line facing bullets and beating brutality on 17th and the many following days, they  now feel betrayed, they feel that the protest is been hijacked by Goran and the Islamic Political Parties (Komal and Yakgru) for the sake of their own political agenda. “Where were the Members of Parliament from Goran, Komal and Yakgrtu on the first days of the protest? All they do is talk, if they are right and claim that Government is corrupt, then they should stop receiving their monthly salary from the Government and join the protesters, throw some rock instead of shooting their mouth in Parliament”, “But they are members of Parliament, they are politicians and all they have is speaking, dialect and argument, they are no rock throwers” , “Why speak in a place in which they claim it has no power and no authority?”, “What they should do then?”, “They should quit, join the Protesters and march with them. I tell you, the Opposition is worse than the Government, they claim to be with the Protesters, yet, they meet with KDP and PUK on daily bases and ask for more money, they don’t care about the people, only about themselves”. He is also right about the meeting, for the past week, the Goran and the two Islamic Political parties have been meeting with KDP and PUK in Hawler without telling the Protesters, that angered many Protesters who think that they are been stabbed on the back, “While the opposition claim to be with the Protester they are trying to make a deal for themselves behind their back, it is matter of time before they sell them for a suitcase of money” so claimed my friend A.

Get as many Rock as you Want, They Got Marbels

The Media is Worse of Them All

What is worse and hurt most more than the killing of the protesters and the Government’s silence is the Media in Kurdistan. Hardly you could find any truth in the media here, be it of the Government or the Opposition. The Opposition TVs (KNN, Speda and Payam) beat the drum daily about the Protest and claim that the protest is spreading, the numbers of Protesters are getting bigger by day, they show their own members making speeches to the Protesters and rallying them, everything is shown when thing is fine but when it turn violent and Young people who have been protesting forever has enough and clashes with the Militias, they keep silence. KNN, Payam and Speda love to create photo-montage with simulating music and do lengthy coverage of the protesters at Maidani Azadi when everything is fine but when the clashes occur, nothing. On Friday as heavy gun fires could be heard all over the city,  many were wounded, the Opposition media distanced themselves from the Protesters. After Friday clashes, they went back to February 17 and KNN TV claimed that those were troublemakers and not the Protesters from Sarai Azadi, Speda TV and Payam TV joined in, they call it a scenario and that “those who were throwing rocks were not part of the Protesters, but hired by the Government to give bad image to the protest”, to make it worse, Faroq Rafiq and his wife who are the leaders of the Temporary Group of Maidani Azadi, self appointed civilian leader of the protesters also claimed that it was a scenario and that the Protesters at Maidani Azadi joined in only after they were provoked by the Militias.

Come and Get Us

During the clashes on the streets, many went into the few shops that were open to watch the opposition media, and see if they talked about the clashes, nothing, they had live program about the protest in Syria and Libya, and nothing about Sulaimani, change it to other channels, nothing also. My anarchist friend again “Look at mighty KNN, they city is worse than Libya now and they don’t even talk about it”. The gunfire and rock throwing went on into the night, and no news from KNN or Payam and Speda, later they called the clashes as “scenario” by the government. Do I have to talk about the Government’s media? I don’t think so, they are nothing but propaganda machines and I have covered them on my previous posts. The reader may think that the opposition media and the Government media may not have anything similar with each other, but they do. They both love to make short documentaries about those who were killed in the protest and call them ‘martyrs”. The Government media show the family of the Militias who were killed and the Opposition shows the families of the Protesters. They go into their houses, show their mothers, fathers and wives, but the most footage that is shown is of their little kids or brothers and sister, show how the grieving families mourn the dead, show the clothes he used to wear, how he left his new shirt still wrapped, never had a chance to wear it, they show the families kissing his pictures and crying, his little children asking where his daddy is, etc, pure melodrama that target the lacrimal tear glands in the eye. Then later they make short photo-montage of them with drumbeat music, showing it between the news clips. Each media is trying to encourage and rally their followers. The only different is one is opposition and the other is the Government. Make your pick.

Everything is for them, everything

What about the Future?

While I was away from the internet, I worked on assembling and translating clips for a documentary that a French friend is working on about the protest for ARTE television. One short clip got me; it is of a Young man during they Newroz celebration, everyone is cheerful and celebrating, he seems like a worker after a long day hard work, trying to get home, he is walking away, they stop him and ask him “ What Do You think of the Future?”, they ask the same question to the Protesters and many have optimism, answer back with bright words, but not him, he try to walk away, not to answer the question, but he stops, he look straight at the camera and angrily says “What Future? There is no Future?”, then walk away. I’m afraid that answer is now slowly sneaking into the minds of many Young people here, they are losing all hopes. The hope that many had, participated in the protest for, a hope that a change could take place, that their future might get better, that hope is now slowly fading away. Many who started this protest are now feel betrayed, and it is only matter of times for others to share their fate. The Government and the Opposition by their action has made it worse for themselves, they have alienated a Generation that will take years to get their trust back. Everyone has lost. The protest will continue but nothing in long term will change that  many had hopped for. Many of the Protester will go on protesting until they think, or pretend to have gotten some of their demands fulfilled, and they will go home hoping for the best. Few die-hard Youngsters will soon realize that nothing decisive will come out of the Protest, they will only get more angry, and more clashes will erupt like the one we saw on Friday. Government’s silence to the demand of the Protesters will only make many of them more radical, many will go back to their homes, will only have pessimism toward a Government that is regarded even by many of its supporters as one riddled with corruptions, and it will take an earths-shattering event from the Opposition to have them back on the street again to protest, they will be called the Lost Generation. The only thing that will satisfy their anger is when they clash with the Security Forces, that is the time when they show their inner most rage, you may say that throwing rocks and marbles, hitting the Militias, the buildings that belong to Government is the only way of expression left for these Youngsters, standing at Sarai Azadi and shouting “In Peace, In Peace” day after day, giving flowers to Militias, standing all days and listening to bunch of intellectual saying mumbo-jumbos no longer make any sense. They had heard it a million time, and repeating it another million times won’t make any different.

Even the Future belong to Them………..

Back to my Anarchist friend, he took part in the clashes on Friday. I saw him today, “Did you get home safely on Friday?”, “Yeah, it was nothing”, “I though you told me you won’t protest anymore?” “I did not protest, I only showed my anger at those Cockroaches, trying to get some revenge”, he was more angry than any other times that I had seen him before, “The only way now is Anarchism, that is the only way to bend the knee of this corrupt Government, the answer to their bullets is not protesting at Sarai Azadi, nor throwing rocks, it is by smashing and destroying everything they represent, time for Molotov Cocktail”. I’m afraid, with that view, he is going too fast, but not far.

Long way from Victory……………

As we watched the protest end for today, many left the square walking home and getting ready for tomorrow’s protest, we started to walk away with them, as we began to depart, he asked me if I had read Voltaire’s Candide, “ I have read it. You know what, Candide does remind me of you. He goes through hell only at the end to realize that it was all for nothing”, “Do you remember the last line of the novel?”, I thought for a while, “Not exactly, but I think he start to settle down and live a peaceful life as a farmer”, “No, as a Gardener, he have a small garden in his home. After; after all his travels, after all the trouble he gets into, after all his search for meaning of life, for fame, for glory, for truth and justice, after all his search for an answer to the cruelty of men, after all his search for finding a better world, he comes to a conclusion that nothing is as important in life, nothing has meaning, and nothing will bring you happiness, for the exception of  one thing, what you do in life in order to benefit others by the use of your hand and brain, what you do in life is what matter, but first, you must cultivate your own garden, then others, for Candide said at the end of the book, “but let us cultivate our garden”, I will go back to my photography and you go back to your films”. “You say that, but tomorrow when clashes occur you will be the first in line”, “I’m sure that I will be the first, but what else is there to do? I fell sorry for these oppressed, these poor people, everyone is robbing them and they can’t tell their enemies from their friends!”As he started to walk away I shouted to him, “I saw a film last night and the best quote was not even said, it was writing on the wall of a ghetto in a poor neighborhood”, “What was the quote?”, the writing on the wall read “Revolution is the Opium of the Intellectuals“, laughing, he shouted back “It is so true that it hurt, but who care?”. It is indeed, so true that it hurt.

“but let us cultivate our garden”

Thalassemia: Shadow of Death

Culture, Update & News

©KarzanKardoziI have seen many houses in my time, traveled many places, many cities, towns and villages since my childhood, and each time revisiting the places, I had noticed many changes in them, from tragic to that of joy, but one of the houses that had always kept a vivid memory in me, the changes in that  house, of the people in the house, has been so tragic, that just thinking of it make my heart heavy.

The house, or rather, the mud house that once were, is located in the upper northern part of the Shadala village, a 45 minute care ride from the city of Suliaimani now, but in the old days, it took half a day to reach it; the house with its mud roof, gray walls and big rooms looks upon the whole village as towering figure. The first time I visited the house was many years ago, I was a little kid of seven, I remember vividly playing Football on the roof of the house with other kids, every few minutes the ball would roll down into the ground, down into the village, across the streets, one of the us had to make the long journey of bringing the ball back.

Every summer, with my father, we would make a journey to Shadala village, for my grandmother was from the village, and most of my Father’s distance relative reside there. The house belonged to kak Ahmed, he was a distance cousin of my father. It was my first visit to the house, and I remembers it very distinctly.

©KarzanKardoziWhen we got to the house, my Father left me alone in a little room, as he went with kak Ahmed to visit the village, I sat in a corner, shy, not knowing what to do, until a little woman of forty, the wife of kaka Ahmed walked into the room, seeing me sitting alone, she shouted to his little son, who was playing outside, “Come and play with Haji Sharif’s son”. Everyone in the village, then, and even know, referred to me as “Haji Sharif’s Son”, for my father is almost like a cult figure among the people of the village.

Her son, Rejan, was of the same age as me, skinny with green eyes, he seemed fragile and pale, we became friend right away. He told me about a beehive they had, and being mischief of a boy, I wanted to see the hive, he took me to it, all the time telling me on the way not to touch it. I picked up a stick, into the hive, suddenly, bees everywhere, attacking, a few bite here and there, I started to cry as loud as possible, all the time, Rejan trying his best to comfort me, “It is nothing, look, I got bitten many times”, he took a handful of mud and put it on the places where I was bitten, comforting me, “It is nothing”

Five minute later I was sitting on a big soft carpet, eating lunch with the family. There were smell of freshly baked bread, goat milk and chess, sweet honey and hot tea. On the mud walls, hang three portraits; two young boys and a little girl, on the corner of the room, the mother was sewing little socks for Rejan, now and them, she would look at us with a smile.

After dinner, I could not help but whisper to my Father; as to whom the people in the pictures were? “They were the children of kaka Ahmed”, but as I looked across the room, there were only Rejan, his older brother, Ibrahim and younger sister, Sazan, and the pictures on the wall were not of them, “Where are they now”?, I whispered again to my father, “They are dead”, he whispered back to me.

On the way back home, my Father explained to me the tragic story of kak Ahmed; As a young man, he had married his cousin, and living in the countryside, the place lacked medical facility, and even in the cities back then, there were no such things as “screening tests” or “blood testing” nor “genetic testing” for newly weeded couple. The tragedy is that their blood did not match, whenever they had children, they’ll have thalassemia, an inherited disease occurring primarily among people of Mediterranean descent, that is caused by defective formation of part of the hemoglobin molecule, it cause in increasing numbers of red blood cells, the only cure is to have blood transfusions every month in order to keep the children alive. They had three children, and each of them died when they reached the age of 18, a painful slow death, for the multiple transfusions needed to sustain life lead to an iron overload throughout the tissues of the body and eventual destruction of the heart and other organs. But, they kept having children, hoping; at least one of them would be born healthy, but none were. Each month they had to have blood transfusion for the children, but even that was helpless, for by the time they reach the age of 18, they would die a slow painful death. “Will Rejan die when he is 18?”, I asked my father, he was silent for a while, then in a whisper, “God only knows”.  I felt desperate and sad, knowing that the young boy whom I had just become friend, so full of life, will die when he is 18, and no one could do anything about it.

Shadala in 2005

Shadala in 2005

I left for America few years later, forgetting all about Rejan. 11 years later after my first visit, I returned to the house again with my father, the same mud house, with the roof looking down on the village, as I entered the house I heard the same “Haji Sharif’s Son” echo through it, they recognized me at once, the mother kept looking at me, “You are grown so tall”, sadness in her voice, her green eyes full of sorrow, her hair was already getting grey. There was the same smell of freshly baked bread, goat milk and chess, sweet honey and hot tea, but yet, there was a change; beside the portrait of three children, hung a portrait of little Rejan, his death had occurred a year before. Reminiscences began, as I looked at the portrait; I recalled Rejan’s smiling face, and his ringing voice, comforting me when I was bitten by the bees, “It is nothing”. I had to walk out of the room, as I knew if I had stayed any longer, I would burst into tears. Maybe I reminded the mother of Rojan, or maybe she knew about my grief, for as I left the room, she began to shed tears, I could hear her crying.

At dinner, I sat beside Ibrahim, despite being older than Rojan, he had outlived him, he was 23, but he already looked like an old man; his face wrinkled, yellowish, with no color in his skin, yet, he was as cheerful as Rojan, laughing all the time in a ringing voice that reminded me of Rejan. His younger sister, Sazan also looked much older than her age; she also had beautiful green eyes, just like Rejan and her mother. Each month, they both needed new blood transfusion.  I looked at the mother on the corner, she was breast feeding a new baby, a new girl, kaka Ahmed kept saying that the Doctor had told them that his new girl needed no blood transfusion, was healthy to live a long life, but the doctor was not sure nor was kak Ahmed. When we drove home this time, I did not ask my father any question, we both kept silent.

Shadala in 2012

Shadala in 2012

A few days ago, once again, I visited the little house, alone this time; it was for the wedding of kaka Ahmed’s nephew, I had promised the groom to take picture at his wedding, and as I was busy taking pictures, a beautiful, green eyed little girl of 7 ran up to me, with her ringing voice, she shouted to me, “Are you Haji Sharif’s son?”, “Yes, I’m, and who you might be?”, “I’m Suzan”, “Well, Suzan khan, who is your father?”, “My Father is Ahmed?”. There it was, little Suzan, she had the same green eyes as that of Rejan, the same cheerful smile. “Can you take some picture of me? Please”. I took more than a dozen pictures of little Suzan, all the time a dreadful though in me kept growing, is she also sick? That evening, I went back to the house, no longer a mud house; a two story modern brick house, with all the modern convenience furniture decorating the place. Walking to the room, I saw the mother, she was sitting on a sofa sewing, the television was on, little Suzan was watching a cartoon of Tom and Jerry, on seeing me, the mother stood, “Haji Sharif’s Son”, her hairs all gray now, she was already an old woman.

©KarzaKardoziI sat beside kaka Ahmed at dinner, the room was crowded, many people from the wedding party coming in and going out of the room, laughter and cheerful smiles. I had the burning desire to ask kak Ahmed about little Suzan, was she was sick or not? but I dared not too. Looking at the portraits on the wall, there were now seven pictures, beside Rejan, there were also Ibrahim and Sazan and another little girl that I did not recognize. Seeing me observing the pictures, kaka Ahmed asked, “You were friend with Rejan and Ibrahim?”, “Yes, I was”

 I felt uncomfortable, and trying to change the subject, I asked him, “I didn’t know Suzan was your daughter, I took some great pictures of her at the weeding, from whom did she get such beautiful eyes?”, “From her Mother’s side of the family”, kaka Ahmed said with a smile, looking at her wife.

©KarzanKardoziI found him a cheerful man, always smiling, despite the fact that he had to live with  the agony of losing seven children. “You know, my little Rejan had the same eyes as hers, he was beautiful like her, and he was so smart, he had the brain of a grownup man. One time I took him to the city to get a blood transfusion, it was during the time of Iraq-Iran war, we went to all the civilian hospital in the city, none had any blood, and my little Rejan was already weak, he couldn’t walk, I had to carry him on my back, I feared for his life, and I became desperate, searching from one hospital to another, but he kept comforting me, ‘”we will find it daddy”’, he kept saying. I managed to get a piece of paper from a Doctor, allowing me to get blood from the military hospital in the city, back them, the Azadi park was an Iraqi military hospital. We had to walk an hour to get there, all the time carrying Rejan on my back, and he kept kissing me on the neck, ‘”we will find it daddy’”. When we got to the hospital, the place was like hell on earth, Iraqi choppers flying in and out, brining in the wounded and carrying out the dead, the road leading to the hospital was like a bloody river, red from blood of wounded and dead soldiers laying around. When I saw that, my knee gave in, I told Rejan that they will never give us blood with all the  wounded soldiers laying around, but he kept saying with a smile, ‘”we will find it daddy”’. I went to the head doctor in the hospital, at first he refused to give us the blood, but when he saw Rejan, his heart got soften, he took us to a refrigerated room, and gave us two bags of blood. When he gave me the bags, I shed tears of joy, knowing my little Rejan will live another month. He was so full of life, always happy and smiling. He liked chocolate candies, and there was a shop in the village that sold it. One day he told me to buy him some chocolate candies, I took him to the shop, there were a group of Iranian Peshmerga forces stationed around the village back then, one of them was in the shop, when he saw Rejan, he started to hug him and kiss him, “I have a little son just like him in Iran”, Rejan reminded him of his son, he took him to the shop and told him to get anything he wanted, “I will pay for it”, but Rejan would not pick anything, he did not want him to pay, when he left the shop, then he picked the chocolate candies, and I paid for it. That is how he was; he always cared for others more than himself. A week after he died, when the same Peshmerga heard about his death, he came to our house, before he reached the front door, he went down on his knee, in the mud, shouting and crying, hitting his fist to the ground, I had to go and comfort him, “Come on now, you should be comforting me, I’m the one who have lost a son, but instead, I’m comforting you.” He was crying all day, telling me that he had seen many of his friend die in battle, but never cried like he did for Rejan, “Why did God take him away, he was so innocent, so full of life”, but God’s will is God’s will. Every Friday until the day he left back to Iran he visited his grave, I wish to know where he is now, he was a gentleman, Rejan reminded him of his son, that is why he was so taken by his death”

As I looked at Suzan, with her beautiful green eyes watching the television, I could not help but ask kak Ahmed the burning question, “Does Suzan also needs blood transfusion every month?”, “No, thanks God, she is healthy. God gave her to us healthy”. Just then, little Suzan, knowing we were talking about her, ran to his father, gave him a big hug, her little arms around his nick, I could see kak Ahmed’s eyes smiling with joy, “Do you know who this young man is who has come to our house?”, he asked her, pointing to me, “Yes, he is Haji Sharif’s son”, she whispered into his ear, they both laughed.

I could not bear it anymore, at that second, the tragedy and the joy of life combined were too much to bear, I picked up my camera and walked out of the room; into the cold, windy, dark night, and my heart was heavy.

Thalassemia: Shadow of Death

Culture, Update & News

©KarzanKardoziI have seen many houses in my time, traveled many places, many cities, towns and villages since my childhood, and each time revisiting the places, I had noticed many changes in them, from tragic to that of joy, but one of the houses that had always kept a vivid memory in me, the changes in that  house, of the people in the house, has been so tragic, that just thinking of it make my heart heavy.

The house, or rather, the mud house that once were, is located in the upper northern part of the Shadala village, a 45 minute care ride from the city of Suliaimani now, but in the old days, it took half a day to reach it; the house with its mud roof, gray walls and big rooms looks upon the whole village as towering figure. The first time I visited the house was many years ago, I was a little kid of seven, I remember vividly playing Football on the roof of the house with other kids, every few minutes the ball would roll down into the ground, down into the village, across the streets, one of the us had to make the long journey of bringing the ball back.

Every summer, with my father, we would make a journey to Shadala village, for my grandmother was from the village, and most of my Father’s distance relative reside there. The house belonged to kak Ahmed, he was a distance cousin of my father. It was my first visit to the house, and I remembers it very distinctly.

©KarzanKardoziWhen we got to the house, my Father left me alone in a little room, as he went with kak Ahmed to visit the village, I sat in a corner, shy, not knowing what to do, until a little woman of forty, the wife of kaka Ahmed walked into the room, seeing me sitting alone, she shouted to his little son, who was playing outside, “Come and play with Haji Sharif’s son”. Everyone in the village, then, and even know, referred to me as “Haji Sharif’s Son”, for my father is almost like a cult figure among the people of the village.

Her son, Rejan, was of the same age as me, skinny with green eyes, he seemed fragile and pale, we became friend right away. He told me about a beehive they had, and being mischief of a boy, I wanted to see the hive, he took me to it, all the time telling me on the way not to touch it. I picked up a stick, into the hive, suddenly, bees everywhere, attacking, a few bite here and there, I started to cry as loud as possible, all the time, Rejan trying his best to comfort me, “It is nothing, look, I got bitten many times”, he took a handful of mud and put it on the places where I was bitten, comforting me, “It is nothing”

Five minute later I was sitting on a big soft carpet, eating lunch with the family. There were smell of freshly baked bread, goat milk and chess, sweet honey and hot tea. On the mud walls, hang three portraits; two young boys and a little girl, on the corner of the room, the mother was sewing little socks for Rejan, now and them, she would look at us with a smile.

After dinner, I could not help but whisper to my Father; as to whom the people in the pictures were? “They were the children of kaka Ahmed”, but as I looked across the room, there were only Rejan, his older brother, Ibrahim and younger sister, Sazan, and the pictures on the wall were not of them, “Where are they now”?, I whispered again to my father, “They are dead”, he whispered back to me.

On the way back home, my Father explained to me the tragic story of kak Ahmed; As a young man, he had married his cousin, and living in the countryside, the place lacked medical facility, and even in the cities back then, there were no such things as “screening tests” or “blood testing” nor “genetic testing” for newly weeded couple. The tragedy is that their blood did not match, whenever they had children, they’ll have thalassemia, an inherited disease occurring primarily among people of Mediterranean descent, that is caused by defective formation of part of the hemoglobin molecule, it cause in increasing numbers of red blood cells, the only cure is to have blood transfusions every month in order to keep the children alive. They had three children, and each of them died when they reached the age of 18, a painful slow death, for the multiple transfusions needed to sustain life lead to an iron overload throughout the tissues of the body and eventual destruction of the heart and other organs. But, they kept having children, hoping; at least one of them would be born healthy, but none were. Each month they had to have blood transfusion for the children, but even that was helpless, for by the time they reach the age of 18, they would die a slow painful death. “Will Rejan die when he is 18?”, I asked my father, he was silent for a while, then in a whisper, “God only knows”.  I felt desperate and sad, knowing that the young boy whom I had just become friend, so full of life, will die when he is 18, and no one could do anything about it.

Shadala in 2005

Shadala in 2005

I left for America few years later, forgetting all about Rejan. 11 years later after my first visit, I returned to the house again with my father, the same mud house, with the roof looking down on the village, as I entered the house I heard the same “Haji Sharif’s Son” echo through it, they recognized me at once, the mother kept looking at me, “You are grown so tall”, sadness in her voice, her green eyes full of sorrow, her hair was already getting grey. There was the same smell of freshly baked bread, goat milk and chess, sweet honey and hot tea, but yet, there was a change; beside the portrait of three children, hung a portrait of little Rejan, his death had occurred a year before. Reminiscences began, as I looked at the portrait; I recalled Rejan’s smiling face, and his ringing voice, comforting me when I was bitten by the bees, “It is nothing”. I had to walk out of the room, as I knew if I had stayed any longer, I would burst into tears. Maybe I reminded the mother of Rojan, or maybe she knew about my grief, for as I left the room, she began to shed tears, I could hear her crying.

At dinner, I sat beside Ibrahim, despite being older than Rojan, he had outlived him, he was 23, but he already looked like an old man; his face wrinkled, yellowish, with no color in his skin, yet, he was as cheerful as Rojan, laughing all the time in a ringing voice that reminded me of Rejan. His younger sister, Sazan also looked much older than her age; she also had beautiful green eyes, just like Rejan and her mother. Each month, they both needed new blood transfusion.  I looked at the mother on the corner, she was breast feeding a new baby, a new girl, kaka Ahmed kept saying that the Doctor had told them that his new girl needed no blood transfusion, was healthy to live a long life, but the doctor was not sure nor was kak Ahmed. When we drove home this time, I did not ask my father any question, we both kept silent.

Shadala in 2012

Shadala in 2012

A few days ago, once again, I visited the little house, alone this time; it was for the wedding of kaka Ahmed’s nephew, I had promised the groom to take picture at his wedding, and as I was busy taking pictures, a beautiful, green eyed little girl of 7 ran up to me, with her ringing voice, she shouted to me, “Are you Haji Sharif’s son?”, “Yes, I’m, and who you might be?”, “I’m Suzan”, “Well, Suzan khan, who is your father?”, “My Father is Ahmed?”. There it was, little Suzan, she had the same green eyes as that of Rejan, the same cheerful smile. “Can you take some picture of me? Please”. I took more than a dozen pictures of little Suzan, all the time a dreadful though in me kept growing, is she also sick? That evening, I went back to the house, no longer a mud house; a two story modern brick house, with all the modern convenience furniture decorating the place. Walking to the room, I saw the mother, she was sitting on a sofa sewing, the television was on, little Suzan was watching a cartoon of Tom and Jerry, on seeing me, the mother stood, “Haji Sharif’s Son”, her hairs all gray now, she was already an old woman.

©KarzaKardoziI sat beside kaka Ahmed at dinner, the room was crowded, many people from the wedding party coming in and going out of the room, laughter and cheerful smiles. I had the burning desire to ask kak Ahmed about little Suzan, was she was sick or not? but I dared not too. Looking at the portraits on the wall, there were now seven pictures, beside Rejan, there were also Ibrahim and Sazan and another little girl that I did not recognize. Seeing me observing the pictures, kaka Ahmed asked, “You were friend with Rejan and Ibrahim?”, “Yes, I was”

 I felt uncomfortable, and trying to change the subject, I asked him, “I didn’t know Suzan was your daughter, I took some great pictures of her at the weeding, from whom did she get such beautiful eyes?”, “From her Mother’s side of the family”, kaka Ahmed said with a smile, looking at her wife.

©KarzanKardoziI found him a cheerful man, always smiling, despite the fact that he had to live with  the agony of losing seven children. “You know, my little Rejan had the same eyes as hers, he was beautiful like her, and he was so smart, he had the brain of a grownup man. One time I took him to the city to get a blood transfusion, it was during the time of Iraq-Iran war, we went to all the civilian hospital in the city, none had any blood, and my little Rejan was already weak, he couldn’t walk, I had to carry him on my back, I feared for his life, and I became desperate, searching from one hospital to another, but he kept comforting me, ‘”we will find it daddy”’, he kept saying. I managed to get a piece of paper from a Doctor, allowing me to get blood from the military hospital in the city, back them, the Azadi park was an Iraqi military hospital. We had to walk an hour to get there, all the time carrying Rejan on my back, and he kept kissing me on the neck, ‘”we will find it daddy’”. When we got to the hospital, the place was like hell on earth, Iraqi choppers flying in and out, brining in the wounded and carrying out the dead, the road leading to the hospital was like a bloody river, red from blood of wounded and dead soldiers laying around. When I saw that, my knee gave in, I told Rejan that they will never give us blood with all the  wounded soldiers laying around, but he kept saying with a smile, ‘”we will find it daddy”’. I went to the head doctor in the hospital, at first he refused to give us the blood, but when he saw Rejan, his heart got soften, he took us to a refrigerated room, and gave us two bags of blood. When he gave me the bags, I shed tears of joy, knowing my little Rejan will live another month. He was so full of life, always happy and smiling. He liked chocolate candies, and there was a shop in the village that sold it. One day he told me to buy him some chocolate candies, I took him to the shop, there were a group of Iranian Peshmerga forces stationed around the village back then, one of them was in the shop, when he saw Rejan, he started to hug him and kiss him, “I have a little son just like him in Iran”, Rejan reminded him of his son, he took him to the shop and told him to get anything he wanted, “I will pay for it”, but Rejan would not pick anything, he did not want him to pay, when he left the shop, then he picked the chocolate candies, and I paid for it. That is how he was; he always cared for others more than himself. A week after he died, when the same Peshmerga heard about his death, he came to our house, before he reached the front door, he went down on his knee, in the mud, shouting and crying, hitting his fist to the ground, I had to go and comfort him, “Come on now, you should be comforting me, I’m the one who have lost a son, but instead, I’m comforting you.” He was crying all day, telling me that he had seen many of his friend die in battle, but never cried like he did for Rejan, “Why did God take him away, he was so innocent, so full of life”, but God’s will is God’s will. Every Friday until the day he left back to Iran he visited his grave, I wish to know where he is now, he was a gentleman, Rejan reminded him of his son, that is why he was so taken by his death”

As I looked at Suzan, with her beautiful green eyes watching the television, I could not help but ask kak Ahmed the burning question, “Does Suzan also needs blood transfusion every month?”, “No, thanks God, she is healthy. God gave her to us healthy”. Just then, little Suzan, knowing we were talking about her, ran to his father, gave him a big hug, her little arms around his nick, I could see kak Ahmed’s eyes smiling with joy, “Do you know who this young man is who has come to our house?”, he asked her, pointing to me, “Yes, he is Haji Sharif’s son”, she whispered into his ear, they both laughed.

I could not bear it anymore, at that second, the tragedy and the joy of life combined were too much to bear, I picked up my camera and walked out of the room; into the cold, windy, dark night, and my heart was heavy.

Halabja Documentary: Nasrin’s Story

Culture, Politic, Recommended Reading

Nasrin and John Simpson

I’m currently working on a documentary with John Simpson for the BBC on the 25th anniversary of the chemical attack of Halabja in 1988. John was the first Western journalist to report on the attack, ignored by many in other Western media outlet, he flew on his own in an Iranian chopper from Tehran to Halabja.

Listen to BBC Radio 4 program below

Yesterday, we met Nasrin, one of the survivors the attack. She was 16 years old when it happened, she lost 17 relatives, including her  Mother, Father, two Brothers and two Sisters. She told us a tragic story of how she managed to escape the city, carrying with her three little children, two of them on her back, carrying the third one on her arms, by the time she managed to get to safety outside the town, the children and herself went blind from the effect of the mustard gas that was used.

She told us that she did not know that Sarin gas was also used, which made many of the victim lose their mind and consciousness, becoming delirious before they died, “I thought the children were sleeping on my shoulder and dreaming,  for the kept calling their mothers, one of them was repeating, ‘I haven’t done my homework, I have to finish my homework’, before they died, they keep saying that they can’t see anything, that everything was dark, and I thought they were talking in their sleep, I keep telling them to go back to sleep, “You will see when you wake up from the sleep, it won’t be dark anymore”

We interviewed her by the same cellar that many of the victims had died. She told us that the effect of the gas could still be felt, John and the cameraman, Duncan, went into the cellar, they stayed for a few minute, when they came out, with eyes red, running nose, they told us that there was a cat hanging on the wall, seem to have died recently from the effect of the gas. I myself felt the effect later, as I was standing by the entrance to the cellar, doing the interview. After 25 years of the attack, you could still feel it. Nasrin told us that once they put chickens into the cellar, in less than a week, all of them were dead. They no longer used the cellar,  for it was too dangerous. Later, when we asked an export about our running nose, red eyes and that tickle in our throat, he told us that were were exposed to a very light dose of mustard gas, and it was of no danger. He examined another cellar at a short distance from Nasrin’s house, and indeed found small dosage of mustard gas, he had a detecting devise with him. The effect lasted for about two hours, we were advised to wash our face, we went into a mosque and washed our faces, still, the headache lasted for another six hours.

Nasrin

This is Nasrin’s story, the way she told us, in her language ….

I was 16 years old when Halabja was attacked. All that day, on March 16, 1988, the town was under heavy artillery bombardment from the Iraqi army. Many people had taken shelters in basement and cellars. Like the days before, a war between Iraq and Iran was raging. Daily bombardment was taking place between the two countries. Halabja was a border town, close to the Iranian border. To shelter ourselves from the bombs, daily, we would take refuge in cellars and basements. On that day, we thought it would be a usual day of bombing, we had no knowledge that a catastrophe would take place. We came down to this cellar, which belong to my family. My own house was at a distance from here. I was not the only one to take refuge here, I could say that there were more than 300 people who where gathered in the cellar; relative, neighbors and strangers. We took shelter here waiting to see what would happen. The place was crowded, my mother told us to get some food prepared for those who were staying.

Earlier that day, in the morning, Iraqi choppers were flying over Halabja. I saw the choppers flying overhead. I was here in the garden. One of the chopper was flying very low overhead. I knew it was Iraqi chopper, because one of the door had an Iraqi flag on it. One of the crew by the door was taking pictures of us. This cellar was crowded, and the children didn’t realize the danger, I remember, the children waved at the choppers, waved to the pilot. The chopper kept going around, taking pictures, the flash of the camera was hitting us. Some of the people told us that we should take shelter, it was not normal that something like that was happening, we should be scared. We should all go down to the cellar, but the house was crowded and we could not fit everyone into the cellar.

Some had to stay up here to prepare the food and what was needed. I, myself, with two of my sisters were preparing the food for the people. It was around 11 AM, toward afternoon,we were ready to serve the food, ready to eat.  My uncle’s family came to our house and told us that it was very dangerous, we heard unfamiliar sound of bombs falling.  They told us that in the northern part of the city, around Sarai Halabja, heavy bombs were falling, we could hear the sound, and the grounds was shaking under our feet.


Then, I heard a sound that was unfamiliar to me, I never had heard such a sound before, sound of a bomb falling to the ground near our house. Suddenly, the cellar became dusty,  heavy smoke filled the place.  I ran out of the cellar. Because there was no water and no electricity, we had brought up the water from the well  to use it. When I came up, I saw the water, it was black, what look liked black powder covered the water. The food plates that were prepared for lunch was covered with what looked like black ashes. We had birds, partridges in our  garden, they were jumping up and down. I picked one of them from under the trees. They were dying, trying to take their last flight, taking their last breath. I didn’t know what was happening, I told my brother about it, he told me, “Nasrin, leave them, come down to the cellar”. I went down to the cellar, everyone in the cellar had red eyes, they were vomiting.

Before the bombs had fallen, some of the people from the cellar went outside to a field across from the house. When they had seen the smoke and the bomb falling, some of them came back to help us, one of them was my husband. When he came to the cellar, he shouted , “For God sake, come outside, we have been attacked by chemical weapons”. At that time, he was a doctor at the military hospital. He was trained on chemical warfare and the use of gas masks. He was aware of what precaution to take.  He told us that Halabja is under Chemical attack, that the smoke was that of a chemical weapon. When we came up from the cellar, we notice that our place had a different smell from the one across the street. The wind was coming upward, bringing the smell here, you could notice by the smell that the air was poisonous.

As I mentioned, because of the daily artillery attacks, we never predicted a chemical attack. When we came out, we tried to escape, to get way from Halabja. The gas smelled like that of a rotten eggs, apples, from times to times, the smell would change. Apple, other time a rotten smell. We looked for a car, we didn’t have one ourselves, we tried to find one and take the people away. We couldn’t find any car. One of the man who was in the cellar had a tractor. He told us that he would bring his tractor and take away the children, old people and those who were severely wounded.

We put the old people and the children into the tractor. Some of us went with them to help, myself, my brother, Luqman, the wife of the driver of the tractor and a few others, we went along, the tractor was crowded. It was getting late, toward evening when we started to leave. We had plan to go outside Halabja, to Sarkani Tawera, to stay there and see what would happen to Halabja. We never expected to leave Halabja, we had plan  to go to the edge of the town, hoping to return once the attack was over. When we went up toward the northern part of the town, a bomb hit the road, the driver had to make a turn. I saw that many people were laying on the roads, I couldn’t believe that they were all dead. I thought they were asleep, or had walked in their sleep to that place. It was not just one or two person, there were so many, they all looked asleep, no wounds or blood on them. At first when we saw few of the bodies, you could imagine they were dead, but when you saw so many of them, on the road, laying down there, you couldn’t believe they were all dead, it was hard to believe.


When we escaped, just outside of the town, the driver of the tractor, because of the effect of the gas could not drive anymore, he could not concentrate, as if losing his mind, he told us that he could not drive anymore, the engine of the tractor turned off, he tried hard to start it again, but he could not. We had no choice but to get off. By now it was dark, it was nighttime. At that place where the tractor broke down, we had an Old Man with us by the name of Hama Khan, to this day, we don’t know what happened to him, he was lost. We had a plan to meet my Mom, my Dad, my brothers, sisters and my cousins in Sarkani Tawera, because of that, everyone in the tractor wanted to go to that place to meet our relative again.  We were not familiar as to where we were at, because it was dark and we were in a desperate situation. We had planned to save the children in the tractor, each person would carry two children, one on the back, and holding the other in our arms. Then, we took on the road, to escape, but we we could not find the place, we couldn’t. Someone came and asked us as to where we were heading? We told him that we were heading to Sarakani Tawera. He told us that we would not make it to Sarkani Tawera. He told us to go toward the lights that we could see in the dark, a place called Ababaili.


We took the road toward the light, a village called Ababaili. Once we got there, we saw that the place was deserted, it was also attacked. Because we were in a desperate situation, and on the road the children kept vomiting, and they were walking in their sleeps. I didn’t know what was happening, on the road, some of them kept saying, “Sister, I have to do my homework”. I didn’t know that the nerve gas had made the children lose their mind. I thought that they were asleep and were dreaming, talking in their sleep. No matter what, we had to carry them with us. We arrived in Ababaili, there was a house, half destroyed. We tried to get inside, on the other side, a door was open. We called out to the owner to come out, we didn’t know it was empty. There was nobody in the house, I told the other that we have no choice but to go inside and take refuge until next day.

When went inside the house, you could tell the place was crowded before, there were signs of life. We went into a room, all tired, wounded and in pain. We had come by the road, with the children, as if walking in a sleep, vomiting all the way, tired and confused. We put down the children in a room, they crawled to a corner. I went searching to get the children something to eat. I looked around, I could not find any food ready to eat. I opened a top of a container, it had milk in it. I tried to get the milk ready for the children. I could hear one of them shouting, “My eyes, I can’t  see, I’m blind”, I thought that she was exhausted and wanted to sleep, that is why she was saying, “I’m blind”. Another one shouted that he was also blind, then, everyone kept shouting that they were blind. They kept asking me how I could see? I told them, trying to comfort them; “No, you all are tired and sleepy, you are not blind”, I didn’t know what was happening. When I was about to warm up the milk, it didn’t take long, I went blind also. I sat down on, crawled into the room, joined the others, and from that moment on, I lost consciences.

Hawraman, Ashna and Awesar

There were nobody around to help us. Next morning, when my family had arrived at the place that we were supposed to meet, they could not find us. My husband started to search for us, he had looked everywhere, asked around. He had visited the Mosque in the town, and they had told him that there were some people in that house. When he found us, he thought that we were all dead, he came into the room crying. My brother, Luqman shouted to him that we were not dead, that we were alive, but all blind, we could not see anything. He took our hand, took each of us to the Mosque. He washed our eyes and face. Told us that this had happened to all the people in Halabja, we were not the only ones, that we had no choice but to escape to Iran.

After all the suffering in the hospital, and living in Iranian refugee camps, we always had a dream of coming back to our homeland, to return to our homes. After the death of all our relatives, all the suffering, we had no choice but to return to Iraqi Kurdistan again. We returned, the story of our return is as tragic as the attack on Halabja, it will take along time to tell it.

This is Halabja. This house is not the only example, in many places of Halabja, the same weapon was used. You see  all over Halabja, houses like this. We lived here for many years, now it is empty, it is empty because nobody want to come and live here. If you look closely into my eyes, you could see that I’m still wounded in the eyes. The wound that I have in my eyes is under constant doctor’s watch. I have lost my lungs, they no longer function. I have to get a surgery for my eyes in the future or I will go blind, there are many victims who had to get eye transplant because they were going blind.

Hawraman, Ashna and Awesar

Among the many who died in the cellar, from my family, I lost four of my sibling, two brothers and two sisters. Hawraman who was 8 years old, Ashna who was 10 years old, Wazera, who was 11 years old and Awesar who was 9 years old. I lost my Mom, my dad, and 17 other relatives. The final result that we got from hospitals,  22  victims from the cellar died in Iranian hospitals.

Every one want to live, to continue on living. But, what kind of life? A life without pain. We, in Halabja, after all that had happened to us, 25 years later, our suffering and pain still goes on. Everyday we live the day of the attack, because we are wounded, psychologically and physically, there are scars all over our bodies. The pain is still in our hearts, deep down, I suffer each second, remember that day on March 16, 1988, the day I lost everything that I cherished in life.

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Here is also links to a few documentaries that I worked on in the past year:

Survivors of Iraqi Mass Graves aka One Thousand and One Apples (Taha Karimi) POST-PRODUCTION

Dress in Iraqi Kurdistan (Fulvia Alberti)
WATCH HERE

The Dark Side of Democracy in Iraqi Kurdistan (BBC)
WATCH HERE

Sulaimany Protest (Baudouin Koenig)
WATCH HERE

Making of 1001 Apples (Taha Karimi, 2013)

Culture, Politic, Recommended Reading, Update & News

One Thousand and One Apples. Hashem: second from left.. ©Avin Sharifi

For the past few weeks, I had a chance to work as an AD on a docu-fiction film, One Thousand and One Apples by Taha Karimi. The story of the film is about ten men, the only survivors alive today escaping from the mass executions during the Anfal Campaign of 1988. Out of estimated 182.000 civilian mass murdered, some buried alive under the sands of Southern Iraq, only these 10 men are alive today to tell their stories as a witness to such a crime. The film is a love poem in tolerance, hope and reconciliation.

I had the honor to meet them, talk to them. In the next few posts, I will try to post each person’s unique story with documents and photos that are all part of the archives of kak Omer Muhamad and his one man effort to gather data Anfal many published in his magazine, Anfalistan.

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                                           The Kurimi Massacre: 28/8/1988

The Kurimi Massacre took place during the 8th stage of the Anfal Campaign, on 28/8/1988.

On August 8, 1988, a truce was announced between Iraq and Iran to end the long eight year bloody war between the two country. Ali Hasan Majid (Chemical Ali) took a chance to once and for all clear the border areas between Turkey and Iraq from the KDP’s militias, in a military campaign which is now known as the 8th stage of the Anfal Campaign.

The first stage of this campaign took place on 25/8/1988, attacking the villages in Badinan region and the border area with Turkey with Chemical weapons. The aim was to scare the population into submission, leaving their villages and livelihood into the various camps that were setup as a part of removing and re-populating the area.

After the Chemical attacks on 25th, on 28/8/1988, the ground forces moved into the area. Many of the villagers tired from moving and living in caves and hideout waved the white flag, surrendering to the Iraqi forces. The women and children were separated from the men, they were taking to the notorious Nzarki Qala (a concentration camp) and Mangesh Camp (re-populating camp). The men, 33 of them were told to take a walk outside the village, about 200 meter away from the village, within an hour, the massacre took place. Miraculously, out of the 33 men, 6 of them survived, one of them is Hashem Muhamad Rashed, and this is his story:

Survivers from Kurimi: Karim Naif. AbaBaker. Abduqahar. Hashem. ©Anfalistan/Omer Muhamad

My name is Hashem Muhamad Rashed, I was born in 1963 in Sulaimani, dropped out of high school during the 9th grade. I was recruited into the Iraqi army, and not wanting to serve in an army fighting a useless war, I deserted the army and went to stay at my relative in Kurimi Village near Duhok.

In 1988, Kurimi village had 150 families living in it, located in Duhok province, it is only two miles from Mangesh Camp. After the chemical attacks on 25/8/1988, the villagers decided to leave the area for safety, into Turkey. Unfortunately it was too late, the road leading to the borders were closed by Iraqi soldiers. With the inhabitants of another village, that of Chalke, now numbering around 200 people, confused and tired, we decided to head back home into Kurimi and surrender to the Iraqi army and the Kurdish collaborators with them (Jash), that was the day of 28/8/1988.

It was around 7:30 am when we decided to surrender. At first, we all stayed together, Women, Children and Men. After searching us for weapons, they separated us into two groups, Women and Children on one side and the Men on the other. They separated us three times, creating various groups. Khala, who is my uncle but much younger than me ended up with the Children and Women, he was a young boy, two time he ended up with the Men, on the third time, we forced him to stay with the Women and Children, that is how he survived and is still alive today. They took the Women and the Children away, there were 33 of us left in the village, only the men. They told us to walk, taking us to the south of the village, in one line we walked one after another for about 200 meters. Looking into the line from right to left, I was the second one from the right, but coming from left to right, I was the last two on the line. We walked by a vineyard, while walking and seeing the grapes, I thought to myself “This is the end of us, we are going to be killed”. My cousin, Abduqahar, he was beside me, I told him that we were gonna be killed any minuets. The treatment we got from the officer and by the look in their eyes suggested they were gonna shoot us. Lots of movement, they keep coming and going, talking on their radios all the times, with a large army of Soldiers and Collaborators surrounding us on all side. We stayed by the vineyard for a while, they brought us water to drink, we were sitting on the ground all the time, waiting. After drinking the water, they told us to move downward the hill, this time I was the first in line, with my cousin Abduqahar second behind me. We walked downhill for a short time, then they told us to sit down again. During that time while sitting back at the vineyard, sound of heavy distance gun shots could be heard all around us, we only heard the sound, didn’t know what it was for. Above us, on top of the hill stood the soldiers, just as they told us to sit, in the process of sitting down, I looked up toward the top of the hill, I could see a group of soldiers standing above me but I couldn’t see the rest behind or beside them, they were about two of three meter above us, maybe more. Just as we were about to sit down, I heard a voice shout “Fire” in Arabic, that is when they started shooting into us.

They shot at us wildly, lots of bullets were fired. They changed the first magazine, shooting with the second magazine, the sound of the bullets seemed to be hitting bodies, making a horrifying sound. Sound of shouting and crying could be heard, my cousin Abuqahar shouted as a bullet hit him on the ribs, as we laid down facing the ground, he looked at me and said “I’m wounded!”, I told him that I was not hit. I could feel the bullets hitting the ground beside my head, dust and small rocks taking of from the impact of the bullets and landing on my head. Whispering, I told that nothing has happened to me and if I survived I will help him. A young man beside Abduqahar on the other side had many bullets in him, blood dripping from his body, he was already dead. They changed the magazines on the Kalashnikov for the third time, shooting more wildly into us, I was not hit yet. Then a brief silence as I heard the commander shouting “Enough, shoot them one by one, the mercy shot”. A Soldier walked down toward us, coming down the hill, I could hear his footsteps, he stood right above me, my head between his boots. They say that a soul is not easily taken away, but I felt at that second, that my soul was leaving my body, felt as if I was breathing my last breath. I heard a shot and felt as if I was electrocuted in my legs, felt as if my legs were falling a part from each other, then a sharp pain in heart. He moved away from me, toward Abduqahar, but he didn’t shoot him, maybe because he was all red with blood coming from the young man beside him. By the time he walked down the line, he had finished a whole magazine on the bodies, then he walked up the hill and way from us.

For a while I stayed in my position as the Soldiers retreated back to Kurimi, away from us as far as 500 to 600 meters, being down a hill, they could not see us nor can we see them. Then suddenly, they started shooting bombs and shells into the hill, maybe it was their tactic to bombard us, and then claim that we were killed during a battle, sound of heavy shelling and bombs. By now, with  the summer grass being dry, the place caught fire. If I had stayed in my place, I would have burned alive and would not be here to tell you this story. As I tried to stand up, I saw Abduqahar, he was wounded on the chest, he could walk, I couldn’t. As he tried to help me stand up, Karim Naif stood up on the far side, he was alive, he had one bullet wound on his shoulder, as he had landed under a person beside him during the shooting. Abduqahar told Karim to try and stop the fire for it was indecent for a dead body to be burned. Karim did his best to stop the fire, using his bare hand, being a young man with no experience, he couldn’t stop the fire, his hands catching fires at times. He returned to help Abduqahar in carrying me away from the fire to safety. At that time, I thought that only the three of us had survived. I told them to go and leave me in my place, to return soon to rescue me. Abduqahar told me “If I make it to safety I will return and rescue you, if not, that mean I’m dead”.

I stayed behind, alone, I looked back into the bodies, I could see only black smokes, with a greenish fire setting alight the dead bodies. I stayed in my place for 20 minutes, then I tried to walk, I grabbed the ground with my fist, stood up, I was about to fall down again to the ground for I was very weak, but I hold my ground. I was wearing Adidas shoe, the cheap ones that were made in Iran, just as I put down my foot to the ground, blood poured out the of shoe into the dry yellowish grass. I walked painfully for 20 meters, away from the village, that is when I saw AbaBaker. He was also wounded,  he had managed to escape by crawling on his hands away from the fire,  he couldn’t walk. I asked him “What we should do?”. He told me to walk away and rescue myself, that Abduqahar and Karim will come back to rescue him. I walked away. I didn’t dare take the road for I was bleeding, to hide all traces of blood and footsteps, anywhere there were grass I would walk that way, for I knew the soldiers would soon count the bodies and know some are missing, then they would come searching for us.

With a blood dripping down to the ground, leaving traces, behind me an army of Soldiers and Collaborators, ahead of me Abduqahar and Karim, maybe even safety ahead, I stood in my place for a second, thinking of what to do next as I looked over the yellowish grass covering the mountains.

Hashem standing in the middle…..©Avin Sharifi

I decided to walk, no matter how painful it was walking on a half broken leg. After a while I arrived at a small creek, it is called Bosai Sheri Cham, as I was about to get to the creek, I saw Abduqahar and Karim, I called them twice, they got scared at first from hearing my voice trying to hide, on the second calling they realized who I was. I arrived to join them, just as I sat down to relax, we could hear a distance sound of a chopper. We went into the trees to hide until the chopper despaired. Abduqahar and Karim went away for a short time to search, they brought back a horse, they put me on the horse as as we went looking for what we could find from the hideout places that the villagers had all over the mountains in case of emergency. We found a first aid kit, gathered some cloth to wrap up our wounds with. Abduqahar knew the area well, he told us about a good hideout place, the place was down the creek. As fast as we could, we cleaned the wound and wrapped it in clean cloth, cleaned ourselves by the creek. We heard a voices getting near, it was the sound of Sadiq, he had also survived but wounded like all of us. Sadiq was from the village of Chalke, a bullet had ripped apart half of his hand, Abduqahar had to use a knife to cut off one of his finger to pull out the bullet.

We dug a hole, hiding the bloody clothes in it.We stayed by the creek that night. Silence, moody and scary night it was, I could never forget that night. Death were everywhere, smell of blood. In the dark, the rocks and the trees seems to me like dead bodies surrounding us from all side. A terrible night it was. In the morning, Abduqahar went to the top of a hill looking down on Kurimi, to check the surrounding area, especially the troop movement. He was wounded like all of us, but he could walk better than any of us, he had a bullet in his chest, breathing hard at times. He came back and told us “The troops are still in their places, many tanks occupying the area”. We couldn’t show ourselves, we each had a tree branch with out, every time we would move, we would hide the traces of our footsteps. The area we stayed had a pond of water gathered in it, about two feet deep, trees and grass hiding us from the view with a big tree casting its shadow on us. I slept down by the pond, Abduqahar, Karim and Sadiq slept on both side of it. We were hungry, very hungry. Abduqahar went and brought back a few tomatoes and a sack of nuts. We divided the sack of nuts equally, each time a person would get 27 nuts to eat, no more than 27 so it would last us for a while, we didn’t know how long we were gonna stay.During the 8 days of the hideout, we also had two cantaloupe, we only ate on of them. One day Karim walked into a deserted village, brought back a few pieces of bread, he told us that a dog was eating the bread and he had to chase the dog away to get it.

From August 28 and on, a day after the crime, we had no more control over our destiny. We had no hope and that made all of us very weak, no more strength to do anything. Everyday until September 5th, Abduqahar would walk up the hill, come down and tell us that “The troops and tanks are still in their places”. I told them many times to leave and they should save themselves, but Abduqahar would not listen, “I would rather kill you here than leave you like this” he would say. We stayed by the creek for 8 days. Then on the 8th, troop movement, we heard a distance sound of soldiers coming toward us, they were talking in Arabic “Come, Come”, the commander shouting at them, at times sound of gun shots could be heard. That night we decided to leave the place, Abduqahar brought the horse. At a distance of 1 kilometer, we found a cave, it is called the Black Cave, we stayed in the cave that night. It was a dark night, rarely you could see anything, we had no more medicine nor food left, we had no choice but to get separated, Abduqahar and Karim decided to walk into a nearby village. I stayed with Sadiq.

After half an hour, I could hear sound of people talking. I told Sadiq that the troop had founded us and at any minutes they would come to get us. Not known to me, that morning, Abduqahar and Karim surrendered themselves up to the collaborators (Jash) in the village. Karim had come with them to show them our place, he shouted at us not to be scared, that the collaborators arresting us were from a known tribe famous for their honesty, they had promised not to harm us. They came into the cave, with them a pot full of meat, we had not eaten a decent meal for 8 days, it made us happy to see a pot full of meat, very happy.

The collaborators put me on a horse, at first they were scared to be found out that they are helping us by the Iraqi army or spies working for the army, so they took us by the creek, told us not to move from our place. They left, later two of them got back with sugar and tea, told us they would not return anytime soon for the troops might suspect them. Now, I was alone with Sadiq. On September 6, toward the afternoon, heavy gun fires could be heard, Sadiq burst into tears fearing that Abduqahar and Karim were executed, they got shot. But the shooting turned out to a good news as Karim ran down the hill toward us shouting “I have good news, I have good news. general amnesty has been declared by Saddam”, the shots were for celebration. Three collaborator later came to carry me to the village, their Mostashar (commander of the collaborators) knew my relative, he treated us with dignity. They cleaned my wound, wrapped new clean cloth around the wound, then took us to Mangish Camp, we were now at the hand of the camp’s manager. Some of the spies in the place recognized us, we told the manager the truth, that we escaped from the Kurimi Massacre, he told us “No one can touch you anymore, for the word and amnesty of our leader, Saddam Hussien is the law of the land”

Later, they took us to a military camp in Batufa, then the same day they took us to Birsipi camp near Zakho. At the camp there was a Doctor from Baghdad, he cleaned my wound again, very respectable man he was. Next day they took us to Nzarki Qala concentration camp, that is where the real tragedy start. Everyday, just to torture us, they would take us up and down the stairs into the yard, back and forth, hundreds of people packed into little rooms like animals, no food to eat. The people told us many horrible tales of the time before the general amnesty, they told us that every day the guards would take the men out into the yard and smash their heads with bricks, like watermelon, just for the fun of it. Few men were left in the camp when we arrived. We stayed in Nzarki Qala for two days, then they took us to Bahraka Camp, with an Eva car full of us, packed to the limit, hungry and dirty, they drove us into Bahraka Camp through Duhok just to humiliate us, passerby standing on the sidewalks looking at us. The driver of the Eva was a Shia from south Iraq, he was a good man, knowing that I was wounded, he put me in front to sit beside him, he told me that we were lucky to be alive, I asked him why he is saying such a thing, “You are lucky, because you guys have been fighting Saddam for 20 years and he pardon you. But we, we are from the South, they don’t trust us, they give us guns with no bullets in it, when we face you in a fight, you shoot at us or we have to shoot at you, one has to kill the other but none of us want to kill the other one”, he showed me his Kalashinkove, it had no bullets in it. We started telling each other about our miseries.

We ended up in Jezhina Camp, we stayed there for a while. Then one day, hundreds of people from Erbil came to rescue us, I would never forget them for treating us in such a decent manner, they brought us food, they brought us everything, from a smallest item like a needle to large stacks of foods, if it not were for them, we would all be dead. At first the guards would not allow them to come to the camp to give us food, they would beat them, humiliate them, but they kept coming. That is how we were saved. The people took me to a hospital in Erbil. I stayed there for a week, most of the Doctor knew who I was, but they kept silent, even if that mean risking their own life. On September 29, I had a surgery on my leg, Doctor Muhamad Bajalani did the surgery, here is the tragedy of us the Kurds, he saved my life, but he was killed himself during the Kurdish civil war of the 90s, he is no longer with us. Later as I would visit Doctor Muhamad Bajalani for treatment, I would pay the fee, but then a little later he would send the money back to me. A decent man he was.

To make a long story short, I stayed with Abduqahar at Jezhina Camp until the uprising of 1991, we could leave the camp at times, I would go and visit my family in Sulaimani or relative in Erbil. We lived in a tent, I tried to work and build a decent house in the camp, left for Sulaimani in 1992. I got married in 1995, now I have a boy and a girl. I survived, I’m alive, but more than half the inhabitant of Kurimi are not, they were all murdered, mass murdered during the Anfal Campaign. That was my story.

Sulaimany Protest:To Hell and Back, so Let Us Cultivate Our Garden

Culture, Politic, Sulaimany Protest, Update & News

As I write this, there is sound of heavy gunfire all around our neighborhoods, once more the Protesters at Sarai Azadi are clashing with the Militias. The Militias are shooting at them, they answer back by throwing rocks. The event has become so normal that right in front of the house there are children playing Football and don’t even stop for a second to listen to the sounds, it has become part of daily life, and life goes on.

We are Angry

It has been more than 45 days since I started to write about the Protest in Sulaimany, from that bloody day on February 17th to now, nothing has changed in term of the politic in Kurdistan, the only change is in the people’s emotion and thinking. Nothing but disappointment and anger, nothing but pessimism and hopelessness, the hardest hit is the Young people, they have lost a game in which they played as pawn, in a game of chess dictated by rules between politicians and political parities. Everyone lost, everyone. This shall be my final post on the protest that is why it is a lengthy one.

Where is your Gun?

As many of you noticed, I have been absent from writing for more than a week. As a I checked my accounts today at my Blog, my e-mail and Facebook, I had many messages from you guys asking if I was alright and worrying that something may had happened to me (I apologize if I have not answered your messages). I thank you all for that, I’m fine and I’m writing this in order to prove that. There are many reasons for my absents, I had changed places, renovating our house, which meant no internet in my new place, but the main reason is to keep away from everything, from protest, no TV, from phone calls and from internet, and it felt good, you should try it for once. Live without technology for a few days if not a week.

He Was hit…………

As for safety, I’m safe, I have always writing from a neutral perspective, something that the Establishment nor the Opposition likes, to me, they are both the face of the same coin.

Burn

Back to the Sarai Azadi, the protest goes on, but it has already lost its momentum and by days the numbers of Protesters are declining, a few more weeks, it will be no more, for many has lost faith, but there are still those die-hard Youngsters that keep going. The reason of lack of faith is many, to name a few:

The Government Don’t Care……..

The Government Don’t Care

They have been protesting for 45 days now and so far the KRG government has not meet a single demand of the Temporary Group of Maidani Azadi and there is no sign that they will do so. The KRG Government’s tactic is time; let them protest until they get tired and they will soon go away. The tactic seemed to have worked for a while, as the number of protesters declined and many former Protesters soon turned against the protest. On Friday, before the shooting started I went to a DVD shop, it is in a building with many other shops, the whole building was closed, every single entrance. There was an Old Man, he was guarding the place, “Why is the whole building closed?”, “They told us a fight will break out and to lock the place”, he went on, “How long can they go on protesting? it is becoming a farce. The Government don’t give a damn if they go on shouting for thousands of years”. I asked him if he was for the Protest “Everyone is for the protest, I was with them from beginning, but this is no life, to go on protesting everyday, the Government will not answer. Did you hear that Masud Barzani is planning to arrest everyone who protested?”, “How can he arrest all those people?” “Oh, you don’t know them, they can arrest everyone if they want too.”, “So what is the solution?”, “There is no solution, this is no Egypt, we don’t have an army, only Militias, they came to power by force and they will go only with force, even if the Opposition to come to power, they will be worse”, “But that will mean another civil war?”, “That is why this is useless, unless you fight them with guns they won’t go, no matter how much you shout and throw rocks at them”. Everyone here, from a little kid to the oldest man know about politic and what goes on in the world, they can name you the President and Prime Ministers of any country, he went on to tell me that sometime there is no solution to problems, “Look at Libya, they are having a civil war. Gaddafi will never go, why should he go? Leave the country for who? The same is true here, they won’t go, they will rule forever and the only people who suffer is the poor, the rich is friend with all of them, it is only the poor that does all the fighting, brothers against brother”. That was Friday, as I walked in the market area it felt like a ghost town, anger on people’s face, very few shops were open. It took me two hours to find a small adapter for a TV antenna that I was looking for, everyone knew that a clash would erupt and it was only a matter of time before it did, those who had opened their shops were now taking their stuff inside and closing it. This Friday was called “Friday of Anger”.

Feel like Diyarbakir

Then it started, clashes erupted. Burning tires in the middle of the street, gun fire, throwing rocks, teasers, the same old stuff. Despite a warm weather, many had their scarfs with them, time to put it on and avoid their spy cameras. Now the Protesters had a new tool, marbles, there is a shortage of marbles in the market, it is better than rock when thrown at the the cockroaches (they call the anti-riot squad Cockroaches). Unlike rocks which is heavy when carrying, and when it is thrown, it does not travels at distance, the marbles is light and travels at a great distance with fast speed. Some of the marbles smashed to pieces the safety helmet that is worn by the cockroaches, hitting them right in the face, and it hurt worse than rocks. One of the cockroaches got hit, his helmet shattered, he took it off to get a better look and breath a cool air, but guess what? The second he took of the helmet, he was hit with a big rock right on the head, bleeding and scared, he started to run as the Protesters started to shout and chase him away. The marbles was so effective Friday that it forced the cockroaches back a great distance into the Salim street and there were fear that the Protesters will take over the KDP’ section 4 headquarter and burn it down, that is when they called in the Militias again, they came and started to shoot again into the air, but nothing. The people are so used to the tactics that nobody even care about bullets.

Smoke was the Peacemaker for a While……..

More marble thrown into them, the Militias did not have any equipment to protect themselves and it seemed they were told not to shoot into the people, with bloody head and half broken leg they started to shoot more into the air, nothing again. Now, they drove heavy cars into the crowd, tried to chase the Protesters away by driving right into them, then walk behind the car, you have seen those old WWII films, the first ground offensive after bombing is for the soldier to advance, they walk behind the tanks to avoid bullets raining down on them. Well, this was no fictional film and that didn’t work. The Protesters were more organized now, they burned tires, woods, packages and trashes in the middle of the street, fire everywhere, some dragged chairs and sofas that were outside the shops for the shop owners to relax when there were no customers, and they set them on fire, as it started to burn and the fire rose, they would run and jump over it, making faces and gestures at the Militias, all fun and game. For a while peace, for you could not see the Militias because of the black smoke nor could they see you, a short break, helping others patch up their wounds, stop the bleeding, more organization, then back to clashes. They now brought in heavy armor cars, many expected to throw water, a Young Man with his face wrapped in a scarf “They got those armor cars from Turkey, they will spray us with red paints”, he was right, they started to spray the people with a red liquid (a tactic that the Turks uses against Kurdish protesters, so later they could identity and arrest them”, the street started turning red, at a distance it seemed like a bloody river. The opposition media were behind the Protesters while the Government media were behind the Militias, running back and forth. As places changed hands, and a reporter could not change its place, a beating would take place. The Protesters would start to beat the Government media reporter while the Militias would beat the opposition media reporters. The protesters captured a reporter from Gali Kurdistan TV and he got a beating, what a beating. The fight went on into the night. The streets filled with marbles and rocks here, burned out tires in the middle and bullets shells there. The official report is claiming that as many as 55 were wounded, that were the heavy wounds, there must have been hundreds who were wounded, for many went home and avoided going to hospital as not to have their names registered.

The Opposition is worse than the Government

Let me get this point across from the perspective of my friend. You may call him an anarchist or just A, he does not believe in anything when it comes to politic, he is more angry at the opposition than the Government. He was not always an anarchist, he told me that he had voted twice for the Goran Movement Party and that he would rather cut off his hands than to vote for any political party again. I meet him during the first day of the protest, I did not had a camera with me and he had one, he was taking pictures, we became friend after I asked him to send me some of pictures to publish it on my blog. He was the die-hard protester that I kept mentioning on my previous post. From shouting, to marching, to throwing rocks, to facing gun, he was in front of KDP’s section 4 headquarter on February 17 and the days afterward when they shot at the protesters. He still got scars from the wound on him from that day, he went on protesting everyday until day thirty four, a day after Newroz he gave it up all of the sudden and now as we pass by Sarai Azadi, he stand at a distance and shake his head “You got to feel sorry for those sheep, look how they scream, and for who? For Goran and the Islamic party to steal it from them?”. He is a big fan of George Orwell and always talk about Animal Farm, that is why he refer to the protesters as “Sheep”. “You yourself were there only a week ago, I saw you chanting and applauding” I asked him, “I was a fool like them and now I know better, I feel like Orwell after the Spanish Civil war. You know after they lost the Spanish Civil War and the outcome was worse than before, he became a pessimist of a write. You have to know the outcome of anything before you do it, I did not think like that. These people are honest, and like me, they are against this corrupt Government, but they don’t know that they have been fooled by the Opposition Parties and the Government for their own political aim”. His anger is not at the protesters as he told me but at the Political Establishment. He is pessimist when it comes to politic. “Do you know who called the Protesters troublemakers on the first day?” he must have asked that question at least ten times, to amuse him I answered “The Government media; Kurdistan TV and Gali Kurdistan TV did, right?”, “No, it was KNN and Speda TV, the opposition, Goran and the Islamic parties called us troublemakers on February 17. That night after the shooting when I got home, when they called us troublemakers, I was mad and I should have learned my lesson that day”, “But they were afraid, there were news that KDP had sent force to attack KNN TV and eliminate Goran, they had to distance themselves, it is part of the game of Politic”, “What politic? If the Opposition does not have enough guts to stand up with what is right, then they are worse that KDP and PUK. But then, when they knew that we were many of us, then they changed their tone and claimed the ownership of the Protesters”. His claim his right, I remember the evening of February 17, after the shooting when I got home, I turned the TV on and changed the channels, all the TV channels, including the oppositions (KNN TV, Speda TV and Payam TV) called the protesters as “troublemakers”, few protesters have forgotten that.

To Hell and Back

I know many of the Protester who started the protest on February 16 and were on the front line facing bullets and beating brutality on 17th and the many following days, they now feel betrayed, they feel that the protest is been hijacked by Goran and the Islamic Political Parties (Komal and Yakgru) for the sake of their own political agenda. “Where were the Members of Parliament from Goran, Komal and Yakgrtu on the first days of the protest? All they do is talk, if they are right and claim that Government is corrupt, then they should stop receiving their monthly salary from the Government and join the protesters, throw some rock instead of shooting their mouth in Parliament”, “But they are members of Parliament, they are politicians and all they have is speaking, dialect and argument, they are no rock throwers” , “Why speak in a place in which they claim it has no power and no authority?”, “What they should do then?”, “They should quit, join the Protesters and march with them. I tell you, the Opposition is worse than the Government, they claim to be with the Protesters, yet, they meet with KDP and PUK on daily bases and ask for more money, they don’t care about the people, only about themselves”. He is also right about the meeting, for the past week, the Goran and the two Islamic Political parties have been meeting with KDP and PUK in Hawler without telling the Protesters, that angered many Protesters who think that they are been stabbed on the back, “While the opposition claim to be with the Protester they are trying to make a deal for themselves behind their back, it is matter of time before they sell them for a suitcase of money” so claimed my friend A.

Get as many Rock as you Want, They Got Marbels

The Media is Worse of Them All

What is worse and hurt most more than the killing of the protesters and the Government’s silence is the Media in Kurdistan. Hardly you could find any truth in the media here, be it of the Government or the Opposition. The Opposition TVs (KNN, Speda and Payam) beat the drum daily about the Protest and claim that the protest is spreading, the numbers of Protesters are getting bigger by day, they show their own members making speeches to the Protesters and rallying them, everything is shown when thing is fine but when it turn violent and Young people who have been protesting forever has enough and clashes with the Militias, they keep silence. KNN, Payam and Speda love to create photo-montage with simulating music and do lengthy coverage of the protesters at Maidani Azadi when everything is fine but when the clashes occur, nothing. On Friday as heavy gun fires could be heard all over the city, many were wounded, the Opposition media distanced themselves from the Protesters. After Friday clashes, they went back to February 17 and KNN TV claimed that those were troublemakers and not the Protesters from Sarai Azadi, Speda TV and Payam TV joined in, they call it a scenario and that “those who were throwing rocks were not part of the Protesters, but hired by the Government to give bad image to the protest”, to make it worse, Faroq Rafiq and his wife who are the leaders of the Temporary Group of Maidani Azadi, self appointed civilian leader of the protesters also claimed that it was a scenario and that the Protesters at Maidani Azadi joined in only after they were provoked by the Militias.

During the clashes on the streets, many went into the few shops that were open to watch the opposition media, and see if they talked about the clashes, nothing, they had live program about the protest in Syria and Libya, and nothing about Sulaimani, change it to other channels, nothing also. My anarchist friend again “Look at mighty KNN, they city is worse than Libya now and they don’t even talk about it”. The gunfire and rock throwing went on into the night, and no news from KNN or Payam and Speda, later they called the clashes as “scenario” by the government. Do I have to talk about the Government’s media? I don’t think so, they are nothing but propaganda machines and I have covered them on my previous posts. The reader may think that the opposition media and the Government media may not have anything similar with each other, but they do. They both love to make short documentaries about those who were killed in the protest and call them ‘martyrs”. The Government media show the family of the Militias who were killed and the Opposition shows the families of the Protesters. They go into their houses, show their mothers, fathers and wives, but the most footage that is shown is of their little kids or brothers and sister, show how the grieving families mourn the dead, show the clothes he used to wear, how he left his new shirt still wrapped, never had a chance to wear it, they show the families kissing his pictures and crying, his little children asking where his daddy is, etc, pure melodrama that target the lacrimal tear glands in the eye. Then later they make short photo-montage of them with drumbeat music, showing it between the news clips. Each media is trying to encourage and rally their followers. The only different is one is opposition and the other is the Government. Make your pick.

What about the Future?

While I was away from the internet, I worked on assembling and translating clips for a documentary that a French friend is working on about the protest for ARTE television. One short clip got me; it is of a Young man during they Newroz celebration, everyone is cheerful and celebrating, he seems like a worker after a long day hard work, trying to get home, he is walking away, they stop him and ask him “ What Do You think of the Future?”, they ask the same question to the Protesters and many have optimism, answer back with bright words, but not him, he try to walk away, not to answer the question, but he stops, he look straight at the camera and angrily says “What Future? There is no Future?”, then walk away. I’m afraid that answer is now slowly sneaking into the minds of many Young people here, they are losing all hopes. The hope that many had, participated in the protest for, a hope that a change could take place, that their future might get better, that hope is now slowly fading away. Many who started this protest are now feel betrayed, and it is only matter of times for others to share their fate. The Government and the Opposition by their action has made it worse for themselves, they have alienated a Generation that will take years to get their trust back. Everyone has lost. The protest will continue but nothing in long term will change that many had hopped for. Many of the Protester will go on protesting until they think, or pretend to have gotten some of their demands fulfilled, and they will go home hoping for the best. Few die-hard Youngsters will soon realize that nothing decisive will come out of the Protest, they will only get more angry, and more clashes will erupt like the one we saw on Friday. Government’s silence to the demand of the Protesters will only make many of them more radical, many will go back to their homes, will only have pessimism toward a Government that is regarded even by many of its supporters as one riddled with corruptions, and it will take an earths-shattering event from the Opposition to have them back on the street again to protest, they will be called the Lost Generation. The only thing that will satisfy their anger is when they clash with the Security Forces, that is the time when they show their inner most rage, you may say that throwing rocks and marbles, hitting the Militias, the buildings that belong to Government is the only way of expression left for these Youngsters, standing at Sarai Azadi and shouting “In Peace, In Peace” day after day, giving flowers to Militias, standing all days and listening to bunch of intellectual saying mumbo-jumbos no longer make any sense. They had heard it a million time, and repeating it another million times won’t make any different.

Back to my Anarchist friend, he took part in the clashes on Friday. I saw him today, “Did you get home safely on Friday?”, “Yeah, it was nothing”, “I though you told me you won’t protest anymore?” “I did not protest, I only showed my anger at those Cockroaches, trying to get some revenge”, he was more angry than any other times that I had seen him before, “The only way now is Anarchism, that is the only way to bend the knee of this corrupt Government, the answer to their bullets is not protesting at Sarai Azadi, nor throwing rocks, it is by smashing and destroying everything they represent, time for Molotov Cocktail”. I’m afraid, with that view, he is going too fast, but not far.

As we watched the protest end for today, many left the square walking home and getting ready for tomorrow’s protest, we started to walk away with them, as we began to depart, he asked me if I had read Voltaire’s Candide, “ I have read it. You know what, Candide does remind me of you. He goes through hell only at the end to realize that it was all for nothing”, “Do you remember the last line of the novel?”, I thought for a while, “Not exactly, but I think he start to settle down and live a peaceful life as a farmer”, “No, as a Gardener, he have a small garden in his home. After; after all his travels, after all the trouble he gets into, after all his search for meaning of life, for fame, for glory, for truth and justice, after all his search for an answer to the cruelty of men, after all his search for finding a better world, he comes to a conclusion that nothing is as important in life, nothing has meaning, and nothing will bring you happiness, for the exception of one thing, what you do in life in order to benefit others by the use of your hand and brain, what you do in life is what matter, but first, you must cultivate your own garden, then others, for Candide said at the end of the book, “but let us cultivate our garden”, I will go back to my photography and you go back to your films”. “You say that, but tomorrow when clashes occur you will be the first in line”, “I’m sure that I will be the first, but what else is there to do? I fell sorry for these oppressed, these poor people, everyone is robbing them and they can’t tell their enemies from their friends!”As he started to walk away I shouted to him, “I saw a film last night and the best quote was not even said, it was writing on the wall of a ghetto in a poor neighborhood”, “What was the quote?”, the writing on the wall read “Revolution is the Opium of the Intellectuals“, laughing, he shouted back “It is so true that it hurt, but who care?”. It is indeed, so true that it hurt.

“but let us cultivate our garden”

سینه‌مای کوردی بۆ کوێ؟

Culture, Kurdish - نووسینی کوردی

سینه‌مای کوردی بۆ کوێ؟

نووسینی: کارزان کاردۆزی

An English version of this article can be found here…

 

له‌ رۆژانی ئه‌مرۆدا سینه‌ما چه‌کێکه‌ که  ‌ووڵات و  نه‌ته‌وه‌کانی جیهان به‌ کاری ده‌هێنن بۆ ناساندنی خۆیان به‌ جیهان، گه‌ ر سه‌یرێكی زاڵی که‌لتوری  ووڵاتێکی وه‌ک ئه‌مریکا بکه‌ین، هۆیه‌کی زاڵبوونی ئه‌و کلتوره‌ به‌ سه‌ر جیهاندا ده‌گه رێته‌وه‌ بۆ بڵاوبوونه‌وه‌ی فیلمه‌کانی هۆڵیوود به‌ ڕێژه‌یه‌کی زۆر به‌ جیهاندا. زیاتر له‌ هه‌موو هونه‌ره‌کانی تر، سینه‌ما ده‌توانێت مرۆڤه‌کان و کلتوره‌کان له‌ یه‌کتر نزیک بکاته‌وه‌. به‌ڵام به‌ داخه‌وه‌، ئه‌م هونه‌ره‌ تا ئێستا ڕه‌گێکی له‌ کلتور و بناخه‌ی کۆمه‌ڵگه‌ی کوردی دا نیه‌، هۆکاره‌کان زۆرن، ده‌توانین هۆکاری جیۆپۆڵیتیکی کوردستان و چه‌وسانه‌وه‌ی گه‌لی کورد و جه‌نگ و هۆکاری ئابووری و جیاوازی  زمان و گه‌لێک هۆکاری تر باس بکه‌ین که‌ خوێنه‌ر پێی ئاشکرایه‌،به‌ڵام با به‌ به‌ کورتی و به‌ پوخته‌ی لێکۆڵینه‌وه‌ له‌ سه‌ر چه‌ند هۆکارێکی تر بکه‌ین که به‌ هه‌مان شێوه‌ کاریگه‌ری له‌ سه‌ر دواکه‌وتنی سینه‌مای کوردی هه‌یه‌‌ .

نه‌بوونی ستۆدیۆی به‌رهه‌مهێنان و ستافی به‌رهه‌مهینانی فیلم: جیاوازی به‌رهه‌مهێنانی فیلم له‌گه‌ڵ هونه‌ره‌کانی تر ئه‌وه‌یه‌ که‌ فیلم پێویستی به‌ پاره‌ و که‌ره‌سته‌ی ته‌کنه‌لۆجی و ستافێکی شاره‌زای زۆره‌ بۆ درووستکردنی. نووسینی نۆڤڵێک، هۆنراوه‌یه‌ک، کێشانی وێنه‌یه‌ک وه‌ یان کۆمپۆسکردنی مۆسیکێک به‌رهه‌مهێنانه‌که‌ی ده‌که‌وێته‌ نێوان هونه‌رمه‌ند و هۆشی، به‌ڵام به‌رهه‌مهێنانی فیلم زیاتر له‌ هه‌وڵی هۆش و بیری هونه‌رمه‌ندی ده‌وێت. له‌ کوردستان دا تا ئێستا  ستۆدیۆیه‌کی به‌رهه‌مهێنان وه‌ یان بازارێک نیه‌ بۆ فرۆشتنی ئه‌و کارانه‌. گه‌ر سه‌یری سیستمی  هۆڵیوودی ئه‌مریکی وه‌ یان بۆڵیوودی هندستان وه‌ ته‌نانه‌ت گه‌ر سه‌یری ووڵاتانی دراوسێمان بکه‌ین وه‌ کوو تورکیا و ئێران که‌ ئێستا با زاره‌کانی ڕۆژهه‌ڵاتی ناوه‌راستیان داگیرکردووه‌ و رکابه‌ری هۆڵیوود و ىۆڵیوودیش ده‌که‌ن بکه‌ین، ده‌بینین که‌ که‌سانێک ده‌توان سیناریۆ وه‌یان بیری فیلمه‌کانیان ببه‌ن به‌ به‌رهه‌مهێنه‌رێک وه‌ یاخوود ستۆدیۆیه‌کی به‌رهه‌مهێنان و گه‌ر چانست هه‌بێت وه‌ سیناریۆکه‌ بازارێکی هه‌بێت ئه‌و سیناریۆیه‌ ده‌کرێت به‌ فیلم. به‌رهه‌مهێنانی ئه‌م فیلمه‌ و دۆزینه‌وه‌ی ئه‌کته‌ر و بوجه‌ی مادی و که‌ره‌سه‌ی ته‌کنه‌لۆجی و ستافی به‌رهه‌مهێنان و دا‌بینکردنی پێداویستی ڕۆژانه‌و دۆزینه‌وه‌ی شوێنی وێنه‌گرتن و وه‌رگرتنی مۆڵه‌تی یاسای و چه‌ندان شتی تر  له‌ لایه‌ن ستۆدیۆکه‌ وه‌ دابین ده‌کریت. دوای به‌رهه‌مهێنان، ئه‌رکی مۆنتاز و بڵاوکردنه‌وه‌ و ریکلامی هه‌ر ده‌که‌وێته‌ سه‌ر ئه‌ستۆی ئه‌و ستۆدیۆیه‌ وه‌ یان به‌رهه‌مه‌مهێنه‌ره‌. به‌ داخه‌وه‌ ئه‌م سیستمی به‌رهه‌مهێنانه له‌ کوردستان دا نیه‌، نه‌ که‌سانێک هه‌ن ئه‌رکی مادی و به‌رهه‌مهێنانی فیلم بگرنه‌ ئه‌ستۆ و نه‌ سیستمێک هه‌یه‌ بۆ درووستکردن و دابینکردنی کار بۆ ئه‌و که‌سانه‌ی له‌ بواری سینه‌مادا کار ده‌که‌ن. گه‌ر که‌سێک بیه‌ویت فیلمێک به‌رهه‌م بێنێت پێویسته‌ له‌ سه‌ری نه‌ک ته‌نها ئه و هۆشی فیلمه‌که‌ بێت به‌ڵکو ده‌بێت زۆربه‌ی هێزی خۆی دابین بکات بۆ دۆزینه‌وه‌ بووجه‌یه‌ک، ستافی به‌رهه‌م هێنان و ئه‌وئه‌رکانه‌ی که‌ ده‌که‌ونه‌ سه‌ر شانی ستۆدیۆ و به‌رهه‌مهێنه‌ر زۆربه‌ی ده‌که‌وێته‌وه‌ سه‌ر شانی ده‌رهێنه‌ر، ئه‌م گرفتانه‌ گرفتی گه‌وره‌ن، نه‌بووی که‌ش و هه‌وایه‌ک بۆ ره‌خساندنی ژینگه‌یه‌ک بۆ به‌رهه‌مهێنانی فیلم وا له‌ زۆر له‌ هونه‌رمه‌ندان ده‌کات که‌ خۆیان دوور له‌و ئه‌رکانه‌ ڕابگرن. له‌ رووی ته‌کنه‌لۆجیه‌وه‌ تا ئێستا  له‌ کوردستان دا ستافێکی پرۆفیشناڵ و که‌ره‌سته‌ی به‌رهه‌م هێنانی فیلم نیه‌ تا که‌سانێک پێبگه‌یه‌نن و هوشیار بکه‌ن بۆ درووستکردنی فیلم وه‌ نه‌ هه‌وڵدانێک هه‌یه‌ بۆ درووستکردنی، وه‌ به‌ داخه‌وه‌ ئه‌و ته‌له‌فزیۆن وه‌ یان ده‌زگایانه‌ی هه‌ن که‌ جار جار هه‌ڵده‌ستن به‌ یارمه‌تیدانی که‌سانێک بۆ دوورستکردنی فیلم، سه‌ربه‌ستیه‌کی هونه‌ری ناده‌ن به‌و که‌سانه‌ و به‌ربه‌ستیه‌کی زۆری بۆ داده‌نێن، وه‌ زۆربه‌ی جار ئه‌و به‌رهه‌مانه‌ وه‌کوو پرۆپاگه‌نده‌یه‌ک بۆ پیشخستنی خۆیان به‌کارده‌هێنن.

نه‌بوونی بازارێک بۆ بڵاوکردنه‌وه‌ی فیلم: گریمان هونه‌رمه‌ندێک فیلمێک به‌رهه‌م ده‌هێنێت دوای هه‌وڵدانێکی زۆر. با سه‌یری سیستمی بڵاوکردنه‌وه‌ی فیلم له‌  هۆڵیوود بکه‌ین و به‌راووردی بکه‌ین به‌ کوردستان، ڕه‌نگه‌ ئه‌م به‌راووردکرنه‌ له‌ جێگای خۆیدا نه‌بێت و خۆێنه‌ر بڵێت “‌هۆڵیوود له‌ کوێ و کوردستان له‌ کوێ؟” ، به‌ڵام ئه‌م به‌راووردکردنه‌ پێوویسته‌ بۆ ئه‌وه‌ی ئاشنا بین  به‌ زاڵبوونی سیستمی ‌‌‌‌هۆڵیوود به‌سه‌ر جیهان دا.له‌ دوای به‌رهه‌مهێنانی فیلمه‌که‌،  بووجه‌یه‌کی زۆری مادی دابینده‌کرێت بۆ ریکلامکردن و ئاگاریکردنه‌وه‌ی بینه‌ره‌کان به‌ بڵاوبوونه‌وه‌ی فیلمێک ، ریکلامی ته‌له‌فزیۆنی، رادیۆ ، ڕۆژنامه‌ی و ئه‌نته‌رنێت وا له‌ بینه‌ر ده‌کات که‌ شاره‌زا بێت به‌ ڕۆژی بڵاوکردنه‌وه‌ ئه‌و فیلمه‌و بابه‌تی فیلمه‌که‌. له‌ هه‌مان کای دیاریکراودا ، له‌ زۆربه‌ی شاره‌کان و سینه‌ماکانی ئه مریکا و جیهاندا ئه‌م فیلمه‌ بڵا‌و ده‌کرێته وه‌‌، گه‌ر فیلمێک ته‌نها بۆ ماوه‌ی یه‌ک هه‌فته‌ش کاربکات ئه‌وا گاره‌نتی ئه‌وه‌ هه‌یه‌ که‌ پاره‌ی به‌رهه‌مهێنانه‌که‌ی به‌ قازانجه‌وه‌ په‌یدا ده‌کات، ته‌نها له‌ ئه‌مریکا دا هه‌فتانانه‌ ملیۆنه‌هان که‌س بۆ سینه‌ماکان ده‌چن، دابوونه‌ریتی بینینی فیلم له‌ یه‌که‌م ڕۆژی بڵاوکردنه‌وه‌یدا دابوونه‌ریتێکی کلتوورییه‌ له‌ کۆمه‌ڵگه‌ی ئه‌مریکادا و ره‌گێکی سایکی چێنراوه‌. هه‌رزانترین نرخی بلیتێک بۆ بینینی فیلمێک 8$ . دوایپیشاندانی فیلم له‌ سینه‌ماکاندا بۆ چه‌ندان هه‌فته‌، فیلمه‌که‌ ده‌کشێندریته‌وه‌ ،فیلمه‌که‌ به‌ شێوه‌ی DVD ده‌که‌وێته‌ بازاره‌وه‌ ، ملیۆنه‌ها کۆپی به‌ بازاره‌کاندا بڵاوده‌کرێته‌وه‌ هه‌ریه‌ک به‌ نرخێک له‌ نێوان 10$ بۆ 20$ ، دوای ماوه‌یه‌ک له‌ بڵاو کردنه‌وه‌ی DVD وه‌ هه‌ندێک جار له‌ هه‌مان کاتدا، مافی په‌خشکردنی ئه‌م فیلمه‌ ده‌درێت به‌ ته‌له‌فزیۆنێک وه‌ یان چه‌ندان ته‌له‌فزیۆن له‌ ناوخۆی ئه‌مریکا و جیهاندا بۆ په‌خشکردن به‌ پاره‌یه‌کی زۆر،  با خوێنه‌ر بیر له‌ داهاتی ئه‌م فیلمه‌ بکاته‌وه‌.  وه‌کوو ده‌بینین، ئه‌ و ستۆدیۆیه‌ی وه‌ یان به‌رهه‌مهێنه‌ره‌ی که‌ فیلمێک ده‌خاته‌ بازاره‌وه‌ زۆربه‌ی کات به‌ قازانجه‌وه‌ پاره‌کی ده‌ست ده‌که‌وێت، ئه‌و ستۆدیۆیه‌ وه‌ یان به‌رهه‌مهێنه‌ر به‌ سوپاسه‌وه‌ ئاماده‌یه‌ بۆ به‌رهه‌م هێننانی فیلمێکی تر. ئه‌ی له‌ کوردستان ئه‌مانه‌مان هیچ هه‌یه‌؟ وه‌ڵامه‌که‌، نه‌خێر. ئێمه‌ له‌ کوردستان دا تا ئێستا سینه‌مایه‌کمان نیه‌ که‌ بینه‌ر بتوانێت سه‌یری فیلمێک بکات له‌ بارودۆخێکی گونجاودا وه‌ بازارێک نیه‌ بۆ بڵاوکردنه‌وه‌ی فیلم، گریمان گه‌ر هه‌موو شارێک و گوندێک چه‌ندانن سینه‌ماشیان تێدا بێت، بینه‌ری کورد ئه‌و خولیایه‌ی نیه‌ هه‌فتانه‌ سه‌ردانی سینه‌ما بکات،به‌ داخه‌وه‌ دابوونه‌ریتێکه‌ که‌ له‌ کۆمه‌ڵگای ئێمه‌دا نیه‌ له‌م کاته‌دا، به‌ نه‌بوونی شوێنێک وه‌ یاخوود بازارێک بۆ فیلم ئه‌وه‌ پێوه‌یست ناکات که‌ ریکلام بۆ فیلمه‌که‌ت بکه‌یت، به‌ بێ ریکلام تۆ ناتوانیت بینه‌ر ئاگادار بکه‌یته‌وه‌ به‌ بوونی فیلمه‌که‌ت. به‌داخه‌وه‌ هه‌مان شت راسته‌ بۆ بڵاوکردنه‌وه‌ی فیلمه‌که‌ت له‌ سه‌ر شاشه‌ی ته‌له‌فزیۆن وه‌ یان DVD، تا ئێستا له‌ کوردستان دا یاسایه‌ک نیه‌ بۆ پاراستنتی کارێکی هونه‌ری له‌ کۆپی کردن و بڵاوکردنه‌وه‌ی به‌ شیوه‌ی ساخته‌و  DVD له‌ بازاره‌کان دا. ئه‌م هۆیانه‌و چه‌ندان هۆی تر وها ده‌کات که‌ سیستمێکی به‌رهه‌مهێنان درووست نه‌بێت، گه‌ ر هه‌بێتیش ئه‌وا به‌رهه‌مهێنانی هه‌ر فیلمێک به‌ زه‌ره‌ری مادی ده‌گه‌رێته‌وه‌ بۆ ئه‌و ستۆدیۆیه‌ وه‌ یان به‌رهه‌مهێنه‌ره‌ و وای لێده‌کات نه‌توانێت فیلمێکی تر به‌رهه‌م بهێنێت. ته‌نها هیوایه‌ک بۆ هونه‌رمه‌ندانی سینه‌مای له‌م کاته‌نه‌دا ناردنی فیلمه‌کانیانه‌ بۆ فیستیڤاڵه‌ جیهانیه‌کان به‌ هیوای به‌ده‌ستهێنانی خه‌ڵاتێک وه‌ یان بڵاوکردنه‌وه‌ی ئه‌و فیلمه له‌ سینه‌مای ئه‌و ووڵاتانه‌ دا له‌ لایه‌ن کۆمپانیایه‌که‌وه‌.

نه‌بوونی هه‌ستێکی رۆشینبیری بۆ سینه‌ما: ناساندنی هه‌ر هونه‌رێک و درووستکردنی هونه‌رمه‌د پێویستی به‌ سیستمێکی ڕۆشینبیری و خوێندن هه‌یه‌، نه‌بوونی سیستمێکی هۆشیاری و خوێندن له‌ سه‌ر سینه‌ما، نه‌بوونی گۆڤار و بڵاکراوه‌ی سینه‌مای و کتیب به‌ زمانی کوردی، وه‌ یاخوود قووتابخانه‌یه‌ک به‌ ستافی پرۆفیشناڵه‌وه‌ بۆ درووست کردن و هۆشکردنه‌وه‌ی هونه‌رمه‌ند هۆیه‌کی تر که‌ کار له‌ سه‌ر دواکه‌وتنی سینه‌مای کوردی ده‌کات. ڕاسته‌ زۆربه‌ی گه‌وره‌ ده‌رهێنه‌ رانی جیهان قوتابخانه‌یه‌کی خوێندنی سینه‌ماییان   ته‌وا و نه کردووه‌، به‌ڵام زۆربه‌یان له‌ سیستمێکدا گه وره‌بوون که‌ فێربوونی ته‌کنیك و به‌رهه‌مهێنانی فیلم تێیدا هه‌ڵکه‌وتووه‌. گه‌ر سه‌یری گه‌وره‌ ده‌رهێنه‌رانی هۆڵیوود بکه‌ین،Studio System بوونی سیستمی ستۆدیۆی به‌رهه‌مهێنان  درووستکه‌ری سه‌ره‌کی ئه‌م که‌سانه‌ بوون. درووست بوونی شه‌پۆلی نوێی فه‌ره‌نسی  له‌ فه‌ره‌نسا له‌ لایه‌ن گه‌وره‌ ده‌رهێنه‌رانی وه‌.، Jean Luc-Godard ,Francois Truffaute، Jacques Rivette، هۆی سه‌ره‌کی ده‌گه‌رێته‌وه‌ بۆ هه‌بوونی سینه‌ماتیكی فه‌ره‌نسی به‌ سه‌رپه‌رشتی  و گۆڤار  که‌ به‌ پیشاندانی فیلم و نووسین و لێکۆڵینه‌ وه‌ له‌ سه‌ر ئه‌و فیلمانه‌ چه‌ندان له‌ هونه‌رمه‌ندی تازه‌یان پێگه‌یاند و شه‌پۆلێکی نوێیان له‌ مێژووی سینه‌ما دا درووستکرد. له‌ کوردسنتاندا نه‌ سیستمیكی پرۆفیشناڵی خوێندن هه‌یه‌ له‌ سه‌ر سینه‌ما (له‌ شارێکی وه‌کوو سلێمانی دا تا ئێستاش به‌ شێکی سینه‌مای وه‌  یان کۆرسێک نیه‌ له‌سه‌ر سینه‌ما له‌ زانکۆکاندا) ، وه‌ نه‌سینه‌ماتێکێک وه‌ یان شوێنێک هه‌یه‌ بۆ پێشاندانی فیلم و لێکۆڵینه‌وه‌ له‌ سه‌ری و وه‌ تا ئێستا بڵاوکراوه‌یکی په‌روه‌ره‌ده‌ی نیه‌ بۆ پێگه‌یاند و هۆشیارکردنی نه‌وه‌یه‌کی نوێ. به‌ داخه‌وه‌ هه‌و هۆشی سینه‌مایه‌ی که‌ له‌ ئێستا هه‌یه‌ زۆربه‌ی له‌ لایه‌ن که‌سانێکی تاکه‌وه‌ درووستکراوه‌ که‌ کاریگه‌ریه‌کی بازاری بازرگانی فیلمی هۆڵیوودی Blockbuster و زنجیره‌ دۆبلاجکراوه‌کان و ئه‌و ستایه‌ڵه‌یان له‌ سه‌ره‌ که‌ رۆژانه‌ له‌ ته‌له‌فزیۆنه‌ ناوخۆیه‌کان و ئاسمانیه‌کان دا ده‌یان بینین، درووستکردن و کۆپیکردنی ستایڵی که‌سانی تر درووستکردنی سینه‌ما نیه‌. زۆر جار ده‌بیستین که‌ هونه‌رمه‌ندان ناڕه‌زای ده‌رده‌برن له‌ ده‌زگا راگه‌یاندنه‌کان له‌ سه‌ر بڵاوکردنه‌وه‌ی ئه‌م جۆره‌ فیلمانه‌ و زنجیره‌ دۆبلاجکراوانه‌، من له‌گه‌ڵ ئه‌م ره‌خنه‌گرتنه‌دان، به‌ڵام با‌ ته‌نها ڕه‌خنه‌ نه‌گرین و سه‌یری هۆکانیش بکه‌ین،  بابیرمان نه‌چێت که‌ بینه‌ری کورد وه‌کوو هه‌موو بینه‌رێک ده‌یه‌وێت چێژێکی ده‌روونی و هه‌ستی entertainment وه‌ربگرێت له‌ سه‌یرکردن، به‌ نه‌بوونی فیلم و زنجیه‌ره‌ی  کوردی به‌ کواڵه‌تێکی به‌رز، بینه‌ر بۆ چێژلێوه‌رگرت و تێرکردنی ئه‌و حه‌زه‌ په‌نا ده‌باته‌ سه‌یرکردنی ئه‌و زنجیره‌ دۆبلاجکراوا‌نه‌ و فیلمانه‌، که‌واته‌ وه‌کوو بازنه‌یه‌ک، هۆکان به‌یه‌که‌وه‌ به‌ستراونه‌ته‌وه‌. ‌

سینه‌ما بۆ کوێ: ڕه‌نگه‌ خوینه‌ر دوای خوێندنه‌وه‌ی ئه‌و ووشانه‌ی سه‌ره‌وه‌ به‌ ره‌شبینیه‌وه‌ سه‌یری داهاتووی سینه‌ما بکات له‌ کوردستان. به‌ڵام من هه‌ست ده‌که‌م که‌ داهاتوو ڕه‌نگینه‌، گه لێک که‌ بتوانێت ده‌رهێنه‌رێکی وه‌ک یه‌ڵماز گۆنای درووستبکات که‌ چه‌ندان شاکاری سینه‌مای درووست کرد له‌ به‌رده‌م چه‌ندان  گرفت و که‌م و کوورتی دا، هه‌مان گه‌ل ده‌توانێت بنچینه‌یه‌کی سینه‌مای درووستبکات که‌ مێژوو و هه‌ست و نه‌ریتی ئه‌و گه‌له‌ به‌ جیهان بناسێنێت.به‌ڵام بۆ هاتنه‌دی ئه‌و خه‌ونه‌ ده‌بێت به‌ بیرێکی نوێ و به‌ پلانێکی تازه‌وه‌ بیر له‌ سینه‌ما و راهێنان و درووستکردنی نه‌وه‌یه‌کی تازه‌ بکرێت، ده‌بێت سینه‌مای کوردی له بنچینه‌وه‌ درووست بکرێکت گه‌ر بمانه‌وێت هه‌ر چانسێکمان هه‌بێت له‌ گه‌ڵ سینه‌مای ووڵاتانی تردا، نه‌وه‌یه‌کی نوێ و بیرێکی نوێ پێویسته‌