Routine. From the minute that my alarm clock hits 8.30am, a day of routine awaits me; repeating the usual early morning steps at home and then soon after follows the anticipated journey to work. It’s funny that every time I’m on the road everything looks the same, I never see anything different that makes the time spent special. While others talk about their daily occurrences and events that they have encountered, all I can think about is the fact that I have been here in this country for the past 16 years. This life of routine has been bothering me lately more than ever, is this the life we once seeked? Is this why I came here?
I was born on the night of 15/16 January in 1987, in a village called ‘Hadiqezler’; a name unfamiliar to the people that currently surround me. The walls of a house made from clay were the first walls that sheltered me, a peaceful house in a calm village far away from the city life. The closest city to my village was the city of Hawler – the capital of the province, our village was south of Hawler.
My father a teacher (who at that time had joined the Kurdish rebellion against Saddam’s Ba’ath party) had become a Peshmerga, he had returned on his motorcycle to our village when I entered this world. My father and mother had already been married 23 years prior my birth. My mother who originally was from another village, was a housewife who took care of 5 children and then, along came me. They swear that my birth brought joy to their life, but at that time and what was to come, I doubt that I was anything but a burden to them.
About three months past, when the Anfal campaign was in full motion. Soldiers from the Ba’ath party who came with bulldozers demolished my village into dust. Houses, little stores, places that the old timers met and where the children played had become one with the ground that they walked on. A ruined memory.
My mother who was left to raise six children, had nowhere to call a home or a place that would keep us warm from the cold. Like many others, she left for the city of Hawler soon after. I repeatedly ask my mother all the time what kept her going during this period, what was her drive to build up so much strength? But all she replies with is “Its a job of a mother to take care of her children and for a wife to give all her support to her husband.”
We arrived in Hawler to stay with relatives, during that time many of them had already moved to the big city, including my aunt. My aunt, who was so special to me was married to a man that could read you like no other. I remember him when I was fairly older, he was the most pure hearted individual I had ever had the pleasure of meeting. Thinking of my aunt makes me lose focus sometimes, she too was a survivor of the hardship experienced in the past. In 2008, she passed away peacefully from natural causes.
With this memory came a float of emotions that awoke me from my day dream, just to continue on my daily routine…