The story behind the story: #MyKurdishStory Video

“Thomas King once said ‘The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.’  A story has the power to change the world and as Kurds we are made of them. They are our backbone and our hearts combined. My Kurdish Story started with a single tweet, “Whats your story?” A question that should be asked every Kurd; Even though the answer is heartbreaking, everyone has a unique tale to tell. I was expecting a few people to respond to #MyKurdishStory but little did I know the tweets kept coming in. My heart was glued to my screen as I tried to read past my tears. When our local Kurdish student organization, Kurds on Campus, set out to hold our Halabja Memorial Service this year, I thought of Tara’s Unity Video and how she called upon Kurds across the world to inspire and motivate unity in her own community. The ball just started rolling. I was determined to bring the My Kurdish Story to life in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Halabja Genocide. We as Kurds have always had others tell our stories for us. Why not tell our own stories, with our own voices. I could have not asked for a better partner with this initiative. Tara and I proceeded to ask our friends to contribute and before we knew it our inbox’s were full of My Kurdish Stories. Realistically this would have not been possible without the courage of our global community to come forth and lay their hearts out for the world to see. I am truly honored to be a part of this community.” – Nissy Koye 

When Nis first approached me with the idea of using the unity video as template to bringing the My Kurdish Story to life I was very hesitant. We were asking people to rip out the heart-breaking history of their past which most live to forget, or at the very least leave in the past. We were not just asking for stories, we were asking for people to send us their heart and souls. I thought about my own story, I wrote it down, recorded it over and over again, but not once being able to finish it and ended up telling the story of East Kurdistan rather than specifically my own. I echo Nissy’s words, it goes without saying that if it wasn’t for the courageous global Kurdish community, who sent in their tragic stories one after another none of this would have been possible. As I sat in our Halabja Memorial here in Adelaide, where the My Kurdish Story video was first launched hearing the sobs from Halabja survivors in the crowd, the tears running down the face of Kurdish mothers carrying so much heart-ache and the look of horror in the eyes of our non-Kurdish guests, was beyond heart-breaking. However, the product of all the stories was beautiful, as tragic as they are, they shone a small yet bright light on the tragic truth, the Kurdish people and Kurdistan have always been united in pain.

To Nissy and her brilliance, for making working on such a tragic project a joyful one. To all the contributors, who contributed their piece of the puzzle to the Kurdish story. To all those in the stories whom are no longer with us, to all the martyrs of Kurdistan. To the angels of Zilan, Dersim, Sardasht, Halabja, Qamishlo and Roboski. This is our Kurdish Story.