The Kurdish Globe
By Sazan M. Mandalawi
Three years have passed since I was a teenager and first started writing my Memoirs column. Today, as an adult writing the last words of the final column, I realize I have grown up with this column and it has become a part of my life.
Every week for the last three years I sent my 650 words to the Globe, albeit after Twitter, Facebook and email reminders from the design and editing team that I was almost always late or past deadline. One of my colleagues would regularly write to me every Thursday, usually no more than three words: "ARGH!!! Late AGAIN!" Colleagues at the Globe joked a lot that they would tell the "Big Boss" to fire me.
The first memoirs column in April 2009 was titled "My Uncle's Grey Hairs." It began in Vienna, Austria, and traveled with me back to Kurdistan to the villages, mountains, waterfalls, elderly residents, homes, hospitals, airports, oceans and classroom lectures, and now it ends in my dorm room in Nottingham in the UK.
Now I know how my parents felt when I spread my wings and left them for the first time. I am living those emotions. I feel like a parent letting her child free for the first time; a parent who has endured sleepless nights and been with the child through all the happiness and sadness, but the time has come to let her go so she can become independent. That's my emotion right now as I let go of Memoirs. Exactly that: a parent letting go of her one and only child.
Thank you to all of those Austrian Airline travelers who would write emails to me while they were in transit since they'd read the column during their flight. Thank you to some of my dear friends who often sparked a new idea for a column; they are the same individuals who would wait at work every Sunday morning to receive The Kurdish Globe to read the column.
Thank you to Kak Jawad who insisted that there were people reading Memoirs and that I must continue while others teased that I am too dreamy, too optimistic and too
Recently, a dear person described me to a friend, saying: "She talks to the birds." I don't know to what extent this is true, but it not only reflects the tone of the columns but also my sensitive and dreamy personality. Imaginary and sometimes maybe just a little exaggerated, but each and every one of the columns is a snapshot of an instance in my life. When I read the title of any of my previous Memoirs, instantly I remember how I felt and where and when I wrote that particular piece.
As a young (22 is still young, right?) Kurdish girl who grew up far from home, then returned and began to discover the land she belongs to, it is only natural to live different emotions and circumstances. I simply wrote about those experiences.
I belong to a struggling but blooming nation. I belong to a lovely family and a phenomenal group of friends. Every person I have met in Kurdistan has taught me something, and every word I have written has been a reflection of an experience, thought or feeling at that exact moment.
The beautiful things do not last forever, and hence, like everything else in life, this Memoirs must now come to an end. Writing the words "end" and "good-bye" have made my eyes tearful. But in my world an end is just another beginning.
The Kurdish Globe: You can still follow Sazan's writing by visiting her blogs: www.mandalawi.blogspot.com and www.tasbeeh-chay.blogspot.com