Brav­ery, self­less­ness and sacrifice of the Pesh­merga – words are easy, real deeds are not

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Bash­dar Pusho Is­maeel

Brav­ery, self­less­ness and sacrifice are easy words on the tongue but on the bat­tle­field in the midst of bul­lets, mor­tar fire, ma­chine guns and all sorts of ex­plo­sive de­vices, th­ese virtues and ac­tions can­not be por­trayed by mere words. We live in a day and age where some peo­ple will not sacrifice $50 for their poor neigh­bor let alone his life for his coun­try, where some­one will not in­ter­vene in a gross in­jus­tice in the streets in front of their very eyes for fear of reprisal.

This week we re­ceived the tragic news of another Pesh­merga mar­tyr in our fam­ily fight­ing the Is­lamic State (IS). The ded­i­cated, pas­sion­ate, loyal and longserv­ing Pesh­merga, Ibrahim Sabir Is­maeel, was killed by a mine-trap left by the ever vi­cious and in­hu­mane IS forces.

Leav­ing be­hind his wife, sons and daugh­ters, not to men­tion his el­derly and griev­ing par­ents, the hun­dreds of Pesh­merga such as Ibrahim face the en­emy not with mere words but real ac­tions and in the face of the ul­ti­mate sacrifice.

I grew up in the dev­as­tat­ing war of the 80’s against the Kurds. I may not have fought or held a gun but the tragic cir­cum­stances of those years will for­ever live in my mem­ory. Wit­ness­ing the de­struc­tion of your vil­lage, been left home­less, be­liev­ing that your fa­ther was dead for many years and see­ing the bod­ies of scores of rel­a­tives ex­e­cuted by Sad­dam or killed in bat­tle are not mem­o­ries that sim­ply van­ish.

My fa­ther was con­fined to been dis­abled from a young age after been se­verely wounded as a Pesh­merga. His mo­bil­ity, health and sense of en­joy­ment in life were never the same. But it’s a sacrifice that he and thou­sands of other Pesh­merga have made.

He of­ten tells me the tales of bat­tle of the Pesh­merga forces. The tales are har­row­ing enough to lis­ten to let alone for some­one ac­tu­ally in the heat of bat­tle un­der fierce gun-fire, know­ing that with ev­ery bat­tle they may pay the ul­ti­mate price and never see their fam­i­lies again.

2014 will be year that will serve in the mem­ory of all Kurds much like the mas­sacre of Hal­abja in 1988 or the Kur­dish up­ris­ing in 1991. It’s a war that no Kurd asked for and most Kurds never imag­ined will re­turn to their much scarred and blood-soaked lands.

Kur­dis­tan was an is­land of peace and sta­bil­ity, far from the de­struc­tion and sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence in Iraq or later in Syria. IS may have bro­ken more moth­ers hearts but not the valor and de­ter­mi­na­tion of the Kurds. There are armies much stronger and tougher than IS that failed to break down the will and spirit of the Kurds and IS will be de­feated.

As we en­ter 2015, we hope and pray for a peace­ful dawn in Kur­dis­tan and that dark forces such as IS will be swiftly bro­ken and for­ever purged from th­ese lands.

Our great grat­i­tude, ap­pre­ci­a­tion and debt will for­ever linger for the brave Pesh­merga that sacrifice so much to pro­tect th­ese lands.

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