Let us get our city back, then no matter if we die
Abbas Ali Musa
Being far of the land is more severe when you are forced, and when the displaced people are within a stone’s throw, then it will be more deadly.
Here I will borrow a friend’s post about the city of Afrin, which is another Serê Kaniyê (Ras Al-Ain), where he wrote about his grandmother that she died because of the sorrow being far of her house, which is only a few kilometers away, without being able to return to it.
For me, my connection to Serê Kaniyê is evident through three scenes, and it now means a lot to me, so I feel it sticking to my heart. The first scene is “Mukhtar”, which I wrote about one of my stories, the second scene is a text I wrote about the movie “My Paradise” which documents the city, the third is my participation in a book fair in the city.
“Mukhtar/Orhan” between the texts
I wrote about the “Orhan” or “Mukhtar” character, as I wrote the name in my texts, which is one of the beloved personalities known to all the people of Serê Kaniyê, he is “Crazy about Serê Kaniyê” and the sentence here is a metaphor to “Majnoun Laila”.
One of these texts is titled “A corpse under Snipers’ target” which talks about “Orhan/Mukhtar” and how he stayed in the city during the attempts by terrorists to conquer the city in 2012, where he was martyred, and the Kurdish fighters finally succeeded in recovering his body with a qualitative operation, when the Kurdish sniper was aiming at his corpse, to prevent the dogs from approaching so that they do not desecrate his body, and how the terrorist sniper was aiming his gun also towards his corpse to kill all who approache to pull him back.
Many years later we were on a visit to Serê Kaniyê after that, I was with the poet Ahmad Houssainy and a group of other friends whom I remember the friend Khoshman, Mohammad Bijo and Azad Avdike, at that time Azad told us about the effects of the battles and destruction and the “Al-Kharabat Neighborhood” that suffered the most severe battles and the most severe resistance.
What I would like to share with you from this text is the following, which leaves scars in my memory whenever I know that the radical terrorist groups are staying there where the old man sings. (As for Mukhtar, when I pass from his street, I will bow to his absence, and I will tell the story to children there. In the old cafe there will be an old man who raises his hands and start singing.
The other text is a short story that was included in my collection that I published in 2016 and it is titled “Never Leave My Corpse There” it is also about the same “Mukhtar/Orhan”. After completing the two texts, I was standing in front of my heart with huge pain, which would reappear after a few years.
“My paradise” movie and “The Lost Paradise”
In March 2017, a documentary film called “My Paradise” was presented in the city of Qamishlo, the film had a great impact on my heart. I bring up the text now and see the wide screen in front of my eyes. “My Paradise” by Akram Haydo is a documentary film that tells the story of his painful small city, summarizing the pain of the entire Syrian geography. He has succeeded in putting us in front of his wounds to see him, which we almost forget about the severity of what we live, as if he puts us in front of a mirror, in front of our wounded selves, this mirror whose war has been crushed it so that our image is crushed like it is. So the pain is one, but it is broken like a picture.
The library facing the pain
In October 2018, I was on a date with the city of Serê Kaniyê, when we participated under the name of the book cafe (Bandarok) in the traveling exhibition held by the Culture Authority lf the Self-administration in a number of cities, we did not participate in any other city except Serê Kaniyê. The books were the link between me and the city, nothing else, the youth and girls came to discuss the books, especially since we presented at the time the best Kurdish and Arabic books, such as Mem û Zîn, the poems of Cegerxwîn and other novels.
I write now as if I had buried a lot of words and books in that city, and when I heard talk from writers about the burning of mercenaries for their libraries and homes in the city, I said to myself that at least one of them had carried one or more of our books and left it in his library! Let the fire of our books mix with its destruction, and let the earth be filled with the smell of burning paper.
The Turkish occupation, and the groups of mercenaries are now represented before my eyes violating Serê Kaniyê
These are only three scenes, I will preserve them until the city returns its life and spirit, these scenes will still grieve in my soul as if I carry them in my heart like source of pain.