She said in Kur­dish: “My name is Shna Kurdi!”

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

I met a woman in one of the mar­kets in Hawler. She looked calm and happy. She spoke Kur­dish at first, but from her ap­pear­ance and the way she spoke one could know she’s not Kur­dish. She said: “My name is Shna Kurdi”. It at­tracted my at­ten­tion; I thought this would be a nice jour­nal­is­tic story.

Some peo­ple fled the ISIS war; they left their own coun­try and even changed their names. They are now roam­ing around the happy coun­tries of Europe. But this woman, alone but brave, chose Kur­dis­tan. As an an­swer to my first ques­tion she replied " no, I’m not afraid, be­cause Pesh­merge are strong, I be­lieve that when I see the moun­tains, I un­der­stand why Pesh­merge are fight­ing and de­feat­ing the ISIS."

Two weeks af­ter the first meet­ing, we met again, this time to know why she is called (Shna Kurdi). She said smil­ingly: “I met some Kurds by chance in 2000 in the UK. I so­cial­ized with them and my re­la­tions with this group con­tin­ued. As mat­ter of our trust, close­ness and un­der­stand­ing, they said they had found me a Kur­dish name and wanted to present it as a gift, which was of course (Shna Kurdi). Af­ter a short mo­ment's think­ing, I ac­cepted, this is the story of my name. Af­ter I un­der­stood the mean­ing of the name, I loved it in­stantly. It will be with me for­ever.”

She went on say­ing: "in 2001, we cel­e­brated Ra­madan. It was the first time for me. I gave a speech there and put on Kur­dish clothes and ut­tered (Su­pas and Shna Kurdi). About 700 Kurds at­tended the party."

Re­gard­ing her visit to Kurd- is­tan she said: “It was my first visit to the Mid­dle East in 2004. I came to Kur­dis­tan with the help of the fam­i­lies I had known. I went to Badawa neigh­bor­hood. I liked it. I stayed there for four weeks. Dur­ing my visit, I felt I would come back again. It was a true feel­ing com­ing out from within. And I came back sev­eral times. Now I work here."

Re­gard­ing her study, she said she had MA in the Kur­dish Lan­guage at Ex­eter Uni­ver­sity, and she’s been teach­ing English Lan­guage at So­ran Uni­ver­sity since 2011.

Has she been afraid of ISIS, or doesn’t she have con­cerns that Kur­dis­tan Re­gion is un­der threat and there’s a se­ri­ous war go­ing on? Shna Kurdi says" Yes, there were peo­ple who left, but I came back here. Pesh­merge are the only force that can fight and de­feat the ISIS. I trust the Pesh­merge. They are vic­to­ri­ous. When I was back in Bri­tain in Christ­mas, my fam­ily asked me not to re­turn here, but I’ve made my de­ci­sion be­cause I have no fear and I be­lieve that Pesh­merge are pro­tect­ing all of us. I’m happy, I have many Kur­dish friends. I get on with peo­ple eas­ily with­out any prob­lems."

Re­gard­ing the at­ti­tude of the UK over the re­la­tions and sup­port­ing the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, Shna started an­swer­ing by crit­i­ciz­ing the UK, she said: “I’m not a politi­cian, but UK should’ve pro­vided bet­ter sup­port to Kur­dis­tan. I was in the UK. The me­dia were not tak­ing in­ter­est in the war in Kur­dis­tan and the heroic re­sis­tance of the Pesh­merge here and in Kobane, which is not good. The UK should’ve pro­vided heavy weapons, more hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­port to Kur­dis­tan. The Bri­tish army should’ve helped Pesh­merge. I see that Pesh­merge are killed ev­ery day, they’re sac­ri­fic­ing their lives, it needs to be sup­ported, and un­for­tu­nately the UK does not do enough. The Bri­tish jour­nal­ists also should’ve worked bet­ter in this re­spect. They should have re­ported about the re­al­ity of war here."

She says, re­gard­ing her tours in Kur­dis­tan, "I vis­ited Lal­ish. It’s a beau­ti­ful and spec­tac­u­lar place, and it’s also a his­tor­i­cal place. The peo­ple are so nice, it does not mat­ter to which reli­gion or sect some­one be­longs. The Yazidis are very kind peo­ple."

Shna Kurdi is joy­ful in Kur­dis­tan; her ac­counts ex­ude en­thu­si­asm and con­fi­dence. Her eyes be­hind the spec­ta­cles give you new mean­ings. She says:" it’s hard to de­scribe my hap­pi­ness by words. I have good friends here. In So­ran, I talk to peo­ple and friends daily. I’ve seen many places. The moun­tains are stunning." She went on say­ing “I come to know why Pesh­merge are fight­ing so bravely. One time when I was com­ing back from Raniyah, I stared at the high moun­tains. They are full of mean­ings." Let me say some­thing else that’s re­lated to his­tory, "Kur­dis­tan has made a lot of progress com­pared to the past. Oth­er­wise how a woman like me could live here in­de­pen­dently and with no wor­ries at all.

Fi­nally she said she tries to speak Kur­dish flu­ently like peo­ple in Hawler.

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