My Kurdish Neighbor

Like any typical Kurdish parents, mine decided they wanted to turn our American backyard into a Kurdish animal farm. My dad bought four chicks; one rooster and two rabbits, and then built a shed for them.  Unfortunately, three days didn’t pass when our next-door neighbor called animal portal, because apparently our rooster wanted to be the neighborhood alarm clock at three am in the morning. The rooster had to go!

A week passed, on a Monday morning when the whole family was out running their daily errands, our neighbor’s dog decided he wanted to have a fiesta. He had jumped over the 5-foot wooden fence, dug up all of my dad’s plants, killed three of the chicks and eaten both of the rabbits.  After hours of playing and eating, he had fallen asleep like a teddy bear. When we came home to the horrific scene, my mom instantly called the neighbor over and told her what had happened.

Our neighbor, like any typical American was terrified when she saw what had happened, and was worried that we would sue her for trespassing and destruction of property. The lady kept on apologizing.

My mom saw what was going on with her, and tried to calm her down. She told the lady, “In our country back in Kurdistan, we make peace with our neighbors when it comes to accidents. This is something that you had no control over, and as a Muslim Kurd it’s my duty to forgive you.”  The lady now confused and in disbelief to what her ears heard replied, “What do you mean?” As they both spoke, she had never heard of what Islam was, where Kurdistan was or there were even such things as Kurds.  Because of my mom’s gentle character, she calmed down, and patiently listened as my mother explained everything to her.

This is one example, among many others, that made me think of how beautiful-hearted Kurds are; they have so much mercy for others, yet not many are able to return the favor.  Every time a crisis arises, Kurds are the first to step up and voice out in concern to what is happening to the nation, community or individual, but when Kurds are brutally treated, the world turns the other cheek. Our recent events can show just that, with Turkey using tear gas on Kurds and Iran’s death sentences, just for standing up and wanting basic human rights as Kurds.

I’m a firm believer on social justice and individual freedom as a devoted Muslim Kurd. What Islam preaches about how humans should be treated, in regards to ethnicity, language and identity, many Muslim countries fail to abide by when it comes to Kurdish rights.  The governments continue to kill and oppress Kurds from every corner within their country.

Human rights shouldn’t be earned; it’s given when one is born. My identity makes me who I’m, where I come from, and what I choose to belief in.  That’s my demand!

From then on, every time our neighbor has a cookout, she always invites my family over and introduces us to her guests by saying, “These are my Kurdish neighbors; what wonderful people they are.”

[wc_testimonial by=”” url=”” position=”left”]1010841_267302113413038_427142816_nArticle written by Karez Hassan, from America. “I was born between Safeen and Sork Mountains in Shaqlawa, Kurdistan. I love learning about different religions, and cultures. I enjoy teaching people what I’ve learned and always giving a helping hand. I’m blunt, active, and an out-going girl, with a smile always on my face. Justice and individual freedom is what I strive for. I didn’t choose my identity, but its my choice to keep it.”[/wc_testimonial]