Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Universalizing Kurdish Pain

'A Dress Rehearsal for an Execution'
“There are in life, such hard blows…they are few, but are opening dark furrows in the fiercest of faces and the strongest of lions.”

One of the documentaries at 2014 HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival was directed by a Kurd from Kermanshah, Iran. HotDocs is an annual festival of outspoken documentaries that is held in Spring in Toronto. “A Dress Rehearsal for an Execution” by Bahman Tavoosi has received positive reviews in the Canadian media and was one of the top 20 audience picks during the festival.

Inspired by an anonymous Pulitzer-winning photo and the iconic role it has played in the collective psyche of a nation, Bahman Tavoosi directs a movie that aims at not only re-making the photo but also re-interpreting it and offering it a universal dimension.

The original photo portrays the execution of the Kurds shortly after the 1979 Iranian revolution. The murder takes place in a desert-like place near Sanandaj airport. Jahangir Razmi, the photographer, refused to take credit for his internationally recognized work in order to protect his life! The Pulitzer winner remained anonymous for 26 years until he finally travel to the United States to receive his award.

“A Dress Rehearsal for an Execution,” is a captivating movie. The very title is an oxymoron, “dress rehearsal” signals upcoming entertainment and pleasure, while the unsettling neighbouring word “execution” chills the audience to the core.

The most prominent feature of the movie is the universality of the subject. Tavoosi explores the potentials of what Razmi captured in the photo. Execution at Sanandaj is no longer only a small part of history—murdering a minority in Iran— it becomes history of mankind, history of oppression and the fight for freedom, a heartbreaking story that turns out to be more repeated in the world than it seemed at first.

While selecting actors for his movie, Tavoosi opts for an unconventional standard. Candidates are selected for their stories and not merely based on talents. Unlike the homogenous original photo, what Tavoosi recreates is a mix-gendered image, humans with different shades of skin color and in various age groups play the roles of victims and victimizers.    

Tavoosi brings to light the interconnections among apparently far-apart societies: It explores how much a Kurd can have in common with a man from Zimbabwe, a woman from Poland, a refugee from South-Africa and a Montreal artist whose path has crossed with exiled talents.

The photo of the execution is no longer only a Kurdish pain, it is human’s pain. Our struggle is universalized. The story and image of the execution now belongs to the world, “like the music of Back and Chopin.”

The image of a group of flying birds in a line reoccurs in the movie, signalling a freedom that comes only in harmony. The variety of languages used in the movie also reinforces the central theme. Going beyond solidarity among members of a race, the documentary exemplifies a unification of humanity as one race.

Yet, the reproduction of the scene proves to be much more demanding than first imagined. Victims “must be positioned in a way as if they are held in the air by invisible strings, or by a divine force.” Nothing can accurately remake what the director had in mind, a director who has lost family members to an 8-year war between Iran and Iraq.

Overall, by focusing on oppression as a universal phenomenon, Tavoosi gains sympathy for the Kurdish cause from across the world, even from those who have never heard about Kurds.

To find out more, watch the movie. It’s strongly recommended. In June 2014 “A Dress Rehearsal for an Execution” will be staged in Oakville Festival of Film and Arts (OFFA).

Friday, May 16, 2014

Iran Tortures the Imprisoned Kurdish Journalist, Kaboudvand

Kaboudvand has been in prison for eight-years

Plain-clothes agents, prison guards and officials attacked Muhammad Sediq Kaboudvand and other prisoners in ward 350 of Evin Prison, Tehran, last month.

Kaboudvand sustained severe injuries, “suffered three broken ribs, kidney bleeding, two broken toes on left foot, bruised knee and arm, and swelling at the back of the head” and was sent to his cell for three days before he received any medical attention, reports the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

The hospitalization lasted 19 days at Evin’s central heath care centre. Kaboudvand’s family has announced that the lengthy hospitalization was meant to deny the traces of torture on this Kurdish activists’ body.

Iranian authorities have denied the attacks by plain clothes members of the intelligence service in Evin prison. Despite the denial, officials have openly threatened the prisoners who leaked the news.

Kaboudvands’ family have announced that despite the attempt to hide the traces of torture and to deny the attack, witness reports and camera recording at prison and at the hospital can testify to the physical abuse that Kaboudvand has endured.

The family has also declared that they will officially appeal to all relevant national and international organizations to react to this unjust treatment.

Kaboudvand has been in prison for eight-years now. For having founded the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization and managing the publication Payam Mardomi (people’s message) he was charged with “Acting against the National Security” and was charged with 11 years of imprisonment.

His health was dramatically deteriorated in prison and he went on hunger strikes for months when he was denied furlough to visit his ailing son.    
Receiving furlough is one of the prisoners’ rights, according to the Islamic Republic of Iran, but the Kurdish activists are often denied the basic rights that other prisoners receive in Evin.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer who represented Kaboudvand told the media that this Kurdish activist had received one of the worst treatments in Evin.

Farzad Kamangar’s lawyer, Bahram Khalili echoed this statement when he declared that the unusual court hearing of Kamangar and his charges despite evidence proves the widespread discrimination against Kurds by the Iranian regime.

Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and its affiliate, the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) have repeatedly called on Iranian authorities to release Kaboudvand. It was because of international pressure that after years, Kaboudvand was allowed to visit his sick son.

Because of his journalistic activities, Kaboudvand was named the international journalist of the year at the British Press Award in 2009. When he co-founded the Kurdistan Human Rights Organizations, along with other activists, Kaboudvand documented and publicized widespread human rights’ abuses in the Kurdish areas, committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Because of his commitment to the protection of human rights, he received international recognition from organisations such New York-based Human Rights Watch.

'Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for his journalistic and human rights work and the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression. He should never have been arrested in the first place, and must be released immediately and unconditionally so that he is free to be with his family at this distressing time,' said Ann Harrison, the deputy director of Amnesty International.

Kaboudvand’s family has constantly been harassed. Activists  have reported that “security officials have prevented his family’s access to the media by disconnecting their house landline and his wife’s mobile.”

This time, however, the family has officially complained to the media and have published in Kaboudand’s website that the recent attack on Kaboudvand was outrages and a breach of Iranian government’s very own rules and regulations.

Originally published in: http://www.basnews.com/en/News/Details/Iran-tortures-Kurdish-activist-Kaboudvand-in-Prison/20457

Friday, May 9, 2014

World Premier of the Legend of Newroz in Toronto

Dance and music can jump over and fly above language barriers and connect humans across the globe. Through triggering aesthetics in human psyche, arts can claim people’s heart and soul and draw them in.

That is what the Kurdish artist, Fethi Karakecili, is doing. He is a choreographer and an artistic director who has showcased the beauty of Kurdish culture, history, literature, dance and costume.

“I want to say to the world that being a Kurd means being a human being.  The word “Kurd” has many associations: survivor, unhappy, unaccepted, state-less, land-less, sad, refugee… war. Despite all that, Kurds live their lives with honour, integrity, courage and success,” says Karakecili.

Fethi Karakecili universalizes Kurdish art. Bravely stepping outside his comfort zone, he works with international dancers and then presents his production to a worldwide audience, whoever would like to watch a beautiful dance.

In a week he will stage his latest production, the Legend of Newroz/Dance of Colours. The story is well-known among Kurds: When the cruel King Zahak let the devil kiss his shoulders, two snakes came out who needed to be fed human brain every day or they would eat the King’s brain.

Two infants had to be killed daily to feed the snakes; the villagers could do nothing but mourn. The king’s chef, however, would only kill one baby and would secretly send the other one to hide in faraway mountains. Kawa Asengar, a blacksmith, lost six children and when his seventh child was to be taken away to become the snakes’ dish, he had enough. He was determined to fight the King.    

The story is presented in form of dance and music to an international audience. Dancers are professionals in various fields: contemporary, ballet, Kurdish, classical Indian, Lori and Gilaki dances. This is an exceptional opportunity for the audience to see such a variety of performances in one evening.

Fethi Karakecili was born in Urfa, Northern Kurdistan where, despite the social taboos, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Folk Dance at the State Conservatory in Turkey. His Master’s Degree was completed in Dance at Istanbul Technical University, Social Science Institute.  

Now he is a Ph.D. Candidate at York University of Toronto and his research focuses on an ethnographic approach to Kurdish wedding rituals, dance and music in Kurdistan and Diaspora.

He is the founder of Dilan Dance Company and has performed at a variety of stages across Canada. In 2011, he took the Kurdish love story Mem-o-Zin on stage in Toronto. That was the first Kurdish ballet theatre performance in the world. Karakecili’s dancers and musicians were Canadians from a variety of backgrounds, from Africa to Asia to Europe.

The Legend of Newroz and Dance of Colours, the epic story of fighting oppressors, will be performed on May 16 at Isabel Bader Theatre: 93 Charles Street West, Toronto, Canada.

Originally published at http://www.basnews.com/en/News/Details/World-Premier-of-the-Legend-of-Newroz-on-Stage-in-Toronto/19851

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Lullaby Cracking Prison Walls

May 9, 2010 was supposed to be a happy day.

I was recently engaged and was happily putting together an application for a job. A radio station I don’t usually listen to was on. I can’t remember what motivated me to go to the Radio Farda website and click on “listen,” but that’s what I did.

The first thing I heard was that Farzad Kamangar—whose letters and news I had been following—  was executed, along with four others: Shirin Alam-Holi, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili and Mehdi Islamian.

Iran said they had to die because they were enemies of God.

Khalil Bahrami, Kamangar’s lawyer said there was zero evidence brought against Kamangar, that the summary trial was held behind closed doors and lasted less than five minutes.

An electric shock went through my body as I am sure it went through millions of people around the world who had followed Farzad’s news and letters.

My tears had no reason to roll down since I did not know any of these people and they were neither the first, nor the last Kurds executed by the Iranian government.

But the injustice towards Kamangar triggered the historic pain-body in me, a painful history of oppression that lives within every aware Kurd. I gave in to hours of incontrollable sobs and my tears smudged the words I had been trying to write.

Later I met one of Farzad Kamangar’s inmates, Arash Alaie, also a Kurd who now resides in the United States. His tears rolled down when he remembered Farzad. Arash said that he was teaching Farzad English, that Farzad was full of hope and was making plans for when he was released. He said nobody expected that he would be killed.

Kamangar has been truly influential. His letters were widely spread on the internet and moved many people. 'Is it possible to carry the heavy burden of being a teacher and be responsible for spreading the seeds of knowledge and still be silent? Is it possible to see the lumps in the throats of the students and witness their thin and malnourished faces and keep quiet? Is it possible to be in the year of no justice and fairness and fail to teach the H for Hope and E for Equality, even if such teachings land you in Evin prison or result in your death?'

So, what are you and I to do with the unbearable pain of so much injustice against our people?

What should we do when we don’t want to turn a blind eye to the atrocities happening around the world? How are we to read the bitter narrative of this world?

 Is what happened to this Farzad and many others, part of a bigger narrative that can provide context and offer meaning? Justification? In a world of contradictions, the sublime and the hideous, how are we to face the complications, adapt, and yet again recover the eagerness to push on towards creating a better place?

Art and literature. That is the answer that came back to me.

Artists and writers disrobe the fully-dolled-up-world, cultivate senses by exposing the magnificence and the repugnant, humanize the “other” and encourage people to reflect, to negate the negative. Art fuels us to become humane, to stay humane.

Embittered by the writing industry, I had given up writing for a few months when Farzad was killed but that day I picked up my pen again and have never put it down since.

Shortly after, Novel Rights, an online publishing house that utilizes literature to raise awareness published my story, “Lullaby,” written based on Farzad’s letters from prison. “Lullaby” is my fictional account of how Farzad felt and what he did before and during the execution,

This is what Novel Rights does: when they want people to learn about Kurds, rather than giving them a soulless account of facts, they present the audience with a strong story or poetry about Kurds.

“Can you hear it?  That is the sound of the secret history of the Kurds. It sounds just like a lullaby passing through cracks in concrete walls. 

Farzad Kamangar, a village teacher labelled terrorist, counts those cracks, argues innocence and shares the hopeful sweetness of homemade chocolates with his fellow prisoners.  

“Under ropes, the chocolates melt in our mouths...”and we, the readers hear through the cracks.”

Hear it here: the lullaby of legendary:  http://novelrights.com/lullaby/

The article was originally published at http://www.basnews.com/en/Article/Details/A-Kurdish-Lullaby-Cracking-Prison-Walls/707

Commemorating an Execution

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the execution of four Kurdish activists by the Iranian authorities.
Farzad Kamangar, Shirin Alam-Holi, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili and Mehdi Islamian were charged with “enmity against God and the state” and were hanged on May 9, 2010.

Alam-Holi was charged and sentenced to death in a language she did not understand. Born into a poor family in a Kurdish village, she never went to school and therefore never learned Farsi, the language of her prison guards and judge.

In prison she was beaten, including on the soles of her feet, and kicked in the stomach, causing internal bleeding, according to Amnesty International. When she went on hunger strike, she was force-fed through nasal tubes, which she ripped out in protest, damaging her nose.

Farzad Kamangar was a 32-year-old elementary schoolteacher, poet, human rights activist and social worker from the city of Kamyaran, in Kermanshah province. He was arrested in May 2006, and for seven months was not allowed to see his family.

He was repeatedly tortured, beaten and flogged. Despite his injuries, he went on strike to protest the execution of another Kurdish activist, Ehsan Fatahian, in November 2009. 

Kamangar’s letters from prison went viral on the Internet, giving him a voice never heard that widely before.
“My sweetheart, every song that I thought of had something to do with the gallows, a last kiss, cruel oppression, the arm of injustice, being hunted by tyranny, or a mother's tears… I realized that (the songs of my motherland) had traces of blood, the smell of lead, and the marks of boot prints, too,” he wrote.

The crime of these Kurdish prisoners, according to Iranian judicial authorities, was “enmity against God,” which under Iranian law is punishable by death. 

“I have seen absolutely zero evidence presented against Kamangar,” said Khalil Bahramian, Kamangar’s lawyer at the time. “In my 40 years of legal profession, I have never witnessed such a prosecution. Nothing in Kamangar’s judicial files and records demonstrates any links to the charges brought against him.” 

The lawyer was present at the brief closed-door hearing, which he said “lasted no more than five minutes, with the judge issuing his sentence without any explanation and then promptly leaving the room.” 

Bahramian said that the prosecution and the death sentences indicated “discrimination against Kurds” in the judicial system.

The laws of the Islamic Republic stipulate that lawyers are to be notified before the execution. However, the Iranian government broke its own rule and carried out the executions without warning or giving the prisoners and their families a chance to say farewell.

Two years ago, Arash Alaie, one of Kamangar’s cellmates who now lives in the United States, told the author of this article with tearful eyes that Kamangar was a man “full of hope and had taken up practicing English and making plans for when he was released.”

To read a story based on Kamangar's letter from prison go HERE  http://novelrights.com/lullaby/

Originally published at: http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iran/07052014#sthash.RonnyT9J.dpuf

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kurdish Version- Kurdish Historic Pain-Body

ئازاری جەستەیی نەتەوەی کورد

ئاڤا هوما
ئاڤا هوما

کاتێک کە هاوڕێین‌، پاڵپشتی گەورەی یەکترین، بەڵام هەر کە ئەم هاوڕێیەتیە نەما، ئەم هەستە لەناکاو بەرەو‌ هەستی تۆڵەسەندنەوە دەگۆڕێت
- ئازاری جەستە تەنها ئەوە نییە کە تاکێک بە دەستیەوە بناڵێنێت، بەڵکو نەتەوەیەک دەکرێ بە گشتی ئەو ئازارەی هەبێت ئەمەش ئەو شتەیە کە من و تۆ پێکەوە دەبەستێتەوە
- یەکێک لە فاکتەرە هەرە گەورەکان کە وا لە نەتەوەی کورد دەکات یەک بگرن، بریتییە لە رۆژی ئەنفالکردنی کورد کە ساڵانە یادی دەکرێتەوە
بۆچی ناتوانین لە بیرکردنەوە نەرێنیەکانمان ڕزگارمان بێت؟
ئەو کارەسات و نەهامەتیانەی کە لە ڕابردوودا بەسەرماندا هاتووە، ئێمەی کوردی زۆر بەهێز کردووە، ئێمەی کردووەتە کەسێک کە ڕقمان لێیە ببین بەو جۆرە کەسە. لە ڕاستیدا ئێمە زۆر شتمان کردووە و گوتوومانە کە پەشیمانین لێیان ئەگەر بتوانین ئازایانە دانی پێدا بنێین. هەستی ئەوپەڕی تووڕەیی، یەکێکە لەو شتانە کە دەتوانم بڵێم لەناو خۆم و خەڵکی کورددا هەستی پێدەکەم. هەرچەنەندە تووڕەیی هەستێکی سروشتیی مرۆڤە و هەموو کەسێک هەیەتی، بەڵام توڕەبوونی بەبێ هۆ و شێتگیری لە ئەنجامدا لەوانەیە کاریگەریی گەورەی نەرێنیی هەبێت بەسەر تاکەکەس و کۆمەڵگەوە. ئەمە وای لە کورد کردووە کە لەگەڵ یەکتری سنگفراوان نەبن و بووەتە هۆی سەرهەڵدانی توندوتیژی. ئێمە یەکگرتوو و ئاشتیخواز نەبووین لەنێوان خۆماندا، بەتایبەتی مامەڵەکردنمان لەگەڵ ئافرەت و منداڵدا، گونجاو نەبووە.
مەبەست لەم وتارەم ئەوە نییە کە شت دەربارەی کورد بە ڕێچکەیەکی تردا ببەم و گەورەی بکەم، بەڵکو ئەمە خوێندنەوەیەکە لەبارەی کۆمەڵە خەڵکێکی ستەم لێکراو. هەروەک کە ڕۆژانە دەیبینین و هەستی پێدەکەین، ئێمەی کورد ڕق و کینەمان زوو هەڵدەچێت کە لە چرکەیەکدا لەوانەیە گەورەترین ئازار بە خۆمان بگەیەنین، هەروەها کە شتێک یان کەسێکیشمان خۆشدەوێت خۆشەویستیەکە لەوانەیە بگاتە ئاستی پەرستن.
ئەم خاسیەتانە وامان لێ دەکات کە پەیوەندیی زۆر باشمان هەبێت لەنێوان هاوڕێیانماندا کە ئامادەین زۆر شت لەدەست بدەین و بیکەین بە قوربانی ئەو هاوڕێیانەی کە خۆشمان دەوێن. ئەگەر بە شێوەیەکی فراوانتر باسی بکەین، دەتوانین بڵێین کە ئەمە ئەوە پیشان دەدات کە چۆن کورد ژیانی خۆی لەناو دەستی خۆی داناوە و  ئازایانە جەنگاوە لەپێناو وەدەستهێنانی ئازادی. ئەو ئازایەتی و مەردایەتیەی کە لەنێو نەتەوەی کورددا دەبینرێت، بەدەگمەن لەنێوان میللەتانی تری جیهان بەدی دەکرێت.
بۆیە لە ڕاستیدا کاتێک کە هاوڕێین‌، پاڵپشتی گەورەی یەکترین، بەڵام هەر کە ئەم هاوڕێیەتیە نەما، ئەم هەستە لەناکاو بەرەو‌ هەستی تۆڵەسەندنەوە دەگۆڕێت، بەتایبەتیش ئەگەر شتێک لە بەرامبەری ئەنجام بدرێت. 
ڕاستە لەوانەیە ئێستا بڵێیت کە بە دڵنییاییەوە ئێمە ئەوهاین، ڕاستگۆین لە پەیوەندیی برادەرێتیمان و کاردانەوەشمان دەبێت ئەگەر شتێکمان لە بەرامبەردا بکرێت. من ڕەخنە لەو خاسیەتە ناگرم، بەڵکو تەنها دەمەوێت پیشانت بدەم ڕەگی ئەم هەستە گەورەیە کە لەناو ئێمەی کورددا چەسپیوە.
ئەکارت تۆڵ، نووسەر و مامۆستا، باس لە ئازاری جەستە دەکات. ئەو پێیوایە کە ئەو کارەسات و نەهامەتیە ناخۆشییانەی کە بەسەرماندا دێت هەمیشە ئازارەکەی لەناخماندایە و کەڵەکە دەبێت بەدرێژایی ژیان کە کاردانەوە لەسەرمان دروست دەکات.
ئەم هێزە ناڵاندنە لە گیانی هەموو مرۆڤێکی سەر ئەم زەمینەیەدا هەیە. ئەو ئازار و ناخۆشییەی کە دووچاریشی دەبینەوە، هەمیشە هەوڵ دەدەین کە لێی دوور بکەوینەوە. بۆیە هەرچەند کە پیر دەبین، زیاتر ئازارەکەی دەچێژین بەمەش لەش ئازاری زیاتری دەبێت.
ئازاری جەستە تەنها ئەوە نییە کە تاکێک بە دەستیەوە بناڵێنێت، بەڵکو نەتەوەیەک دەکرێ بە گشتی ئەو ئازارەی هەبێت ئەمەش ئەو شتەیە کە من و تۆ پێکەوە دەبەستێتەوە و بە دەست‌ ئازاری جەستەیی ڕابردووی نەتەوەکەمان دەناڵێنین.
یەکێک لە فاکتەرە هەرە گەورەکان کە وا لە نەتەوەی کورد دەکات یەک بگرن، بریتییە لە ڕۆژی ئەنفالکردنی کورد کە ساڵانە یادی دەکرێتەوە لە سەرانسەری کوردستان و لای کوردانی تاراوگە کە وا لە ڕێکخراو و حزبەکان دەکات بەرژەوەندییە تایبەتیەکانیان وەلاوە بنێن و یەک بگرن لەپێناو بەرژەوەندیی نەتەوایەتی. ئازاری جەستەی هەموومان وامان لێ دەکات کە گرنگ نییە لە هەر کوێیەکی ئەم جیهانە بین، بە هەر جۆرێک بێت لە جۆرەکان پاڵپشتی بەرژەوەندییە نەتەوەییەکانمان بین. ئەمەش تا ڕادەیەک کاریگەریی ئەرێنی لەسەر سارێژکردنی ئازار و نەهامەتیەکانمان هەیە کە لە بە درێژایی مێژوو چەشتوومانە. ئێستاش کە دەزانین ئازارێکی مێژوویی هاوبەشمان هەیە لەنێوانماندا کە لەوانەیە وامان لێبکات بە جۆرێک ڕەفتار بکەین گونجاو نەبێت، کەواتە دەبێت چی بکەین؟
وەڵامەکەی بریتییە لە هۆشیاربوونەوە و پەسەندکردن. ئێمە کە دەزانین کێشەیەک لە نێوانماندایە، ئەمە یارمەتیمان دەدات زیاتر لە کولتووری خۆمان بگەین. بۆیە زۆر جار لە گەلێک لە بەرنامەی کەناڵە ڕاگەیاندنەکانمان لەگەڵ ڕێزم بۆ هەموویان، گفتوگۆیەکی وا دروست دەکەن کە هەردوولا دژی یەکتر بوەستن و دەنگ بەسەر یەکتریدا بەرز بکەنەوە، بەبێ ئەوەی لێک تێگەیشتنێک هەبێت لەنێوانیاندا کە ئەمەش وا لە گوێگرانی بەرنامەکە دەکات کە دژی ئەو لایەنە بوەستن کە دژی بیروڕای ئەوانن. ئەمە کاردانەوەی گەورەی هەبووە لەسەر هەموو لایەنەکانی ژیانمان، وەکو ژیانی ناو خێزان، بانگەشەی هەڵبژاردن، بنکەی دەنگدان، پەیوەندیی خۆشەویستی.
ئازاری جەستەمان یەکێکە لە فاکتەرە سەرەکییەکان کە ئەم جۆرە شتانە دەبینین لەنێوان خۆماندا و هەمیشە ڕێگر بووە لە یەکگرتن و هەبوونی یەک هەڵوێست. ئەمە هۆکارەکەیە کە خەڵکی دوو شاری کوردستان لەبری ئەوەی پێکەوە ئاهەنگ بگێڕن لە بەدەستهێنانی دەسکەوت و زیادکردنی هەستی خۆشەویستی لە نێوان خۆیاندا، هەڵدەستن بە کوشتن و خنکاندنی یەکتری کە بەلایانەوە شتێکی زۆر ئاساییە.
نکوڵی ناکرێت کە قەبارە و کاریگەریی ئازاری جەستە جیاوازە لە کەسێکەوە بۆ کەسێکی تر. هەندێک کەس کاردانەوەی دەبێت و هەڵدەچێت، لەبەرئەوەی کە بەلاوە نراوە، یاخود لەگەڵ بیروڕای کەسانی تر نین، یان کە تۆمەتبار دەکرێت. هەندێک کەس کە ئازاری جەستەیان زۆر قووڵە بە شەقامەکاندا پیاسە دەکەن و بە سەیارە دەسوڕێنەوە،‌ هەردەم بەدوای کێشەنانەوەی زیاترن. هەندێکیان ئەو ئازارەیان سووکە و پێویستیان بە کاردانەوەیکی زۆر گەورە هەیە لە بەرامبەریان تاوەکو هۆشیار ببنەوە. بە هەر شێوەیەک بێت لە شێوەکان، ئازاری جەستەمان ئازاری زیاتری دەرخوارد دەدرێ ئەمەش بۆیە خۆشی لەم جۆرە ژیانە دەبینین. ئازاری جەستەمان بە ئازاری زیاتر دەرخوارد دەدرێت.
بۆ ئەوەی لە ڕووی کۆمەڵایەتی و ئابووری و سیاسی و تاکەکەسی پێش بکەوین، پێویستە زیاتر لە خۆمان بگەین و زیاتر خۆمان کۆنتڕۆڵ بکەین کە ئەمەش‌ نیشانەی دانایی هەر تاکێکە. ئێمە ئەو کاتە دەتوانین هەموو شتێک بەڕێوە ببەین کە تێگەیشتنێکی قوڵمان دەبێت لە ناوەڕۆکی واقیعی خۆماندا. هەر کاتێک کە ئێمە هۆشیار دەبینەوە لە زیانی کاردانەواکانمان، وامان لێ دەکات کە واقیعەکە ببینین و دوور کەوینەوە لەو کارە. 
دڵخۆشترین خێزان ئەو کەسانەن کە دەتوانن بەوپەڕی دۆستانە و ئارامییانە گفتوگۆی ئازاری لەشیان بۆ یەکتر بکەن و یەکتریش ئاگەدار بکەنەوە کاتێک دەزانن گفتوگۆیەکە پەرە دەسێنێت و بەرەو ئاقارێکی تر دەڕوات. ئەو کاتەی کە هۆشیار دەبیتەوە لە پەرەسەندنی کێشەیەک، ئەوە مانای ئەوەیە کە قۆناغێکی سەرکەوتنت مسۆگەر کرد. 
تۆڵ ئەوەی ڕوون کردووەتەوە کە هەر کاتێک پەیوەندیی ئازاری جەستەییمان لەگەڵ پڕۆسەی بیرکردنەوەمان دەپچڕێنین، چیتر جەستەمان بەهۆی بیرکردنەوەکانمان ئازار ناچێژێت و ڕاستەوخۆ هۆشیار دەبینەوە لە کاریگەرییەکەی و هەستی پێدەکەین. 
هەرچەندە ئەمە زۆر ئاسانترە کە سەیری هەڵە و کێشەی خەڵکانی تر بکەین و لە خۆمان بپرسین کە بۆچی ئەو شتە دەبێتە هۆی تووڕەبوونی ئێمە و پەستمان دەکات؟ بۆچی ناتوانین لە بیرکردنەوە نەرێنیەکانمان ڕزگارمان بێت دەربارەی ئەو شتە کە لە کاتێکدا دەزانین کە ئەم بیرکرنەوەیە زیانمان پێدەگەیەنێت؟
با ئیتر ئازاری جەستەمان ئاشکرا بکەین و چیتر کێشەی تری دەرخوارد نەدەین. با منداڵەکانمان و هاوڕێیانمان پەروەردە بکەین. لەم ڕێگەیەوە دەتوانین وردە وردە لەم تەڵە و بەربەستە ئازاد بکرێین و زیاتر لە بیرکردنەوەی ژیرانە نزیک ببینەوە تاوەکو کاردانەوەی لەسەر بڕیارەکانمان هەبێت، بۆ نموونە دەنگ بە کێ بدەین و چۆن بتوانین ڕێگایەکی ستراتیژی بدۆزینەوە بۆ ئەوەی گەندەڵی لەن اوبەرین و بە دڵفراوانیەوە بیروڕای یەکتری وەربگرین و بە ئاشتی لەگەڵ یەکتریدا بژین. 
ئیتر با هەنگاو بنێین بەرەو سارێژکردنی ئازارەکان و کوردستانێکی سەرکەوتوو.

Originally Published in http://www.basnews.com/so/Article/Details/mod/702

Kurdish Historic Pain-Body

 by Kurdish painter, Bekir Orhan

Strong emotions, at times, have overpowered us, have turned us into someone we’d despise to be. We have done things and said words that we regret, if we are honest and brave enough to admit. Extreme anger is one of those emotions I have spotted within myself and my people. While anger is a natural human response, overreaction and unreasonable fury can be destructive to oneself and to the society. It has made Kurds intolerant towards each other and has promoted violence. Inevitably, we have not been united or peaceful and have been unfair to the vulnerable population: women and children.  

The purpose of this article is not to generalize or stereotype, rather this is a pathological reading of an oppressed people. As can be seen in our literature, history and everyday life, We can get angry at a flicker of a second, can hate to the point of self-destruction, and can adore to the extent of worshipping.

These qualities make us great friends because we are willing to get out of our way to help a pal. Yes, we are willing to make sacrifices for the people we like. In a larger scope, it explains why Kurds have put their lives in their hands and have bravely fought for freedom. The courage that is common among Kurds can rarely be found among many other nations.

So we are, in fact, wonderful supporters but only as long as we remain amicable because as soon as the coin turns—and mind you, that can happen quickly and without much warning— it's not uncommon to go that extra mile to revenge.  

“Yes, of course! We are honest as a friend and as a foe,” some of you might think. I am not writing to pass judgement. I want to share with you the root of such extremisms.

Eckart Tolle, an internationally acclaimed author and teacher, has coined the term “pain body.” He believes that old emotional pains live on within us, an accumulation of lifetime painful experiences that were never “fully faced and accepted at the moment they arose.”

This agonizing energy exists within almost every human being on every part of the planet. Nobody has lived on a bed of roses for ever and most societies do not encourage accepting and facing pain. We tend to resist or escape difficulties. Thus the older we get and the more pain we endure, the more intense our pain-bodies get.

The pain-body is not, however, only what we have individually suffered from. Nations have collective pain-bodies and that’s what connects you and I together, the common agonizing past of our ancestors.

It is no surprise, then, that the greatest turnout for Kurdish events is at Halabja and Anfal memorial, the only time various factions and organizations are more willing to put aside their separate agendas and unite. Collective pain-body is also the force that drives many Kurds at home or at diaspora to dedicate their skills and energies to the Kurdish cause, a wonderful channelling for an excruciating experience.

So, now that we know that we have a historical wound in common that can make us overreact and take life harder than it already is, what should we do about it?

Awareness and acceptable is the answer to the problem. Knowing that such a monster exists within us and our nation helps us understand our culture better. Have you wondered why a lot of times our TV shows start by reasonable conversations—keeping the appearance of respect—only to end up in roaring and screaming and eventually nobody listening and everyone hating the people who represent the opposite point of view?

These overreactions affect all parts of our lives: our family dynamics, political campaigns, our ballots, and our romantic relationships.

Our pain-body is one of the main reasons we have and still fail to unite and speak in one voice. It is the reason the people living in two cities of the only autonomous section of Kurdistan, instead of celebrating their situation and practising solidarity, can barely stand each other.

Obviously the shape and size of pain-bodies is different in individuals. Some of us react to being ignored, some of us go nuts if someone disagrees with us; others lose control when they are accused. A group of people walk and drive on street with active pain-bodies, always seeking more trouble. Others have hibernated pain-bodies that require significant triggers to awaken. Either way, pain-body nourishes on more pain and that’s why we dramas appear and reappear in life despite the harm they cause. Pain-body feeds on more pain.

In order to improve economically, culturally, politically and personally, we need to know ourselves better and practice self-control—which is a sign of wisdom. We can guide and utilize our powers and instincts effectively, when we have deeper insights to our reality.

Once we become aware of this destructive force, we can watch it as it awakens and looks for more pain. This means that rather than completely giving in, we can claim a distance, become an observer and watch the awakened pain-body's behaviours and find out what pushes its buttons.

Happy are couples or families who can calmly and in the most amicable way discuss the pain-body and warn each other when it arises. The moment we become aware of the rising monster, we’ve taken the first step towards victory. 

Awareness and presence makes the pain-body dissolve and lose control over us.

This is what Tolle explains as cutting the link between the pain-body and our thought processes, so that we no longer feed the pain-body with our thinking. “It cannot feed on positive thoughts. When the pain-body no longer runs the internal dialogue of our compulsive thinking, we become aware of it directly. We feel the emotion in our body, and so we bring awareness to it, the light of consciousness. So dis-identification from the emotion and just being in the now moment is the way to stop the cycle of constantly recreating painful experiences.” 

Even though it is much easier to spot the dormant or awakened monster in others, it helps to look within and ask ourselves, why that person or that situation makes me unusually angry or sad. Why do I keep on repeating negative thoughts in my head even though I know they only cause harm?

Let’s uncover our pain-bodies and stop feeding the monster. Let’s educate our children and loved ones. Little by little, we will get liberated from this trap and calm rational thinking will take over. Then we can make smarter decisions, as to who to vote for, how to find the most strategic ways to fight corruption, and how to find peace within and work in harmony with people who may not agree with us.

To a pain-free and prosperous Kurdistan!

The article was originally published in http://www.basnews.com/en/Article/Details/Kurdish-Pain-Body/701

Friday, May 2, 2014

Training Canadians to Perform Kurdish Dance at Turkish Olympiad

For the dance team, learning the Halparke has also meant learning Kurdish history, culture and a few words. Photo courtesy of Fethi Karakecili
For the dance team, learning the Halparke has also meant learning Kurdish history, culture and a few words. Photo courtesy of Fethi Karakecili
TORONTO, Canada – At this year´s annual Turkish Language Olympiads, one of the performances at the opening and closing ceremonies will be a Kurdish Halparke dance.
That is thanks to Toronto-based Fethi Karakecili, a Kurdish dancer, choreographer, educator and scholar who has trained a multinational group of folk dancers to represent Canada at the Olympiads in May and June.
Karakecili’s group is an honorary team that will perform during ceremonies in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, and travel to Turkey’s Kurdish regions for events hosted by Gaziantep, Diyarbakir and Mardin.
For the dance team, learning the Halparke has also meant learning Kurdish history, culture and a few words.
“The touching, the same-sex hand-holding and the movements of knees were all challenging and awkward at the beginning,” students say, “but we are now comfortable and enjoy the dance much; in fact we love Kurdish dance.” 
“Supas, Fethi! Roj bash,” students have learned to say to their beloved trainer. 
The group is called “White Eagle Polish Dance Group” and is going to represent Canada in Turkish Language Olympic, held May-June 2014. Although the group is called Polish, the dancers come from a variety of nations, Ukraine, Russia, British and other countries.
The artistic director and choreographer of the first Kurdish Ballet Dance, Mem-o-Zin (2011) and a PhD Candidate at York University, Karakecili has been able to showcase the beauty of Kurdish dance, music, literature and customs at various settings across Canada including University of Toronto’s Isabel Bader Theatre. 
Since 2013, Karakecili has been training Canadian High school dancers_ folk, ballet and contemporary dancer_ to link hands, move their shoulders, feet and ankles and perform Kurdish dance.
As a member of Board of Director of Community Folk Arts of Toronto, Karakecili was invited by Turkish Olympic Committee to take a group to Turkey to represent Canada.
Karakecili was born in Urfa, Turkey. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Folk Dance at the State Conservatory in Turkey and completed his Master’s in Dance at Istanbul Technical University – Social Science Institute. 
During the time that even the word “Kurdish” was sinful, he taught for 7 years as a full-time faculty at Gaziantep University and Istanbul but moved to Canada in 2001 and completed his second Master’s at York University, Dance Studies. 
For his PhD dissertation, Fethi is working on an ethnographic approach to Kurdish wedding rituals, dance and music in Kurdistan and Diaspora.
His other upcoming plan is to take another Kurdish Ballet on stage in Toronto. Newroz and Dance of Colors, is a Kurdish epic story of Kaveh and Zahak that will be performed on May 16, at Isabel Bader Theatre: 93 Charles Street West, Toronto

 Originally published at:  http://rudaw.net/english/culture/02052014#sthash.rdOipDN9.dpuf