View RSS Feed

ponchi101

Log book to the end of civilization. End

Rate this Entry
I write this last entry from the comfort of home. It has been a few days since I arrived from Kurdistan, and I haven’t thought about it during this time. But now I must.
Kurdistan remains a mystery to me. Due to all the security concerns we had while in the area I can’t say that I got to know it. We were locked in a bit too much, so what I end up with is not what I knew, but rather what I felt.
Hardship can make you stronger, if you make it through it. I say may because I am not a believer of that Nietzsche claim that strength comes from that that does not kill you. Hardship can sometimes make you stronger, like steel that is forged by being hit into shape. But there is a difference between hardship and tragedy. Hardship is when your child goes though a long disease but makes it through. Tragedy is when your healthy child dies. And tragedy does not make you stronger. It leaves you scarred and marked.
I believe that Kurdistan has been forged by tragedy. Maybe that is the reason for that culture of mistrust, that air of keeping a distance. We have a map of the area where we worked, and in it we have the names of the towns and hamlets around us. And they show the history of war and destruction that surrounds the region: Sarqizil, destroyed. Sahykawarq, partially destroyed. Tannuran, destroyed, Labrawa, destroyed. On the Iranian side, Ali Mir, Hedayat, Majid-e Qadir Agha, destroyed, Tile Kuh-e Bala, destroyed. The border that we have marked on the map states “approximate”, meaning that perhaps the quarrels and wars in this area are not over yet, are just in a period of recess and may boil over again at any time. This level of violence is in no way hardship, it spills over into tragedy with perturbing ease.
Once, while driving around our block, I came across a small cemetery in the middle of the plains. It was a small lot which showed that it had been bombed. The tombs had the signs of shrapnel and mortar, and the area had an air of desolation that was eerie. Now, I do not want to say that any civilization has a monopoly on violence (the battle fields of France, Belgium and Germany were also bombed with chemical weapons during the First War and saw atrocities galore) but, what kind of people bombs a cemetery? Who do you beat that way? What is the purpose? Again, no one has a hold on violence but there are sometimes levels of savagery that leave one speechless.
In Sulaymaniyah I got to talk a bit with my driver. We talked about our respective countries and, after telling him I was from Venezuela, he mentioned that it was a great country too. I corrected him (in my highly partial way) about the realities of my land, and he then opened up and mentioned that here in Kurdistan oil was also a curse. Here, two families control the wealth of the region (as stated by my driver) and the rest of the Kurds get nothing. In that aspect, it seems Kurdistan is more normal than what I grant.
Corruption and political wrongdoing are nobody’s monopoly, either.
So that was Kurdistan for me. Some good days, some full of doubts, some beautiful scenes. I was there for a month but there is no way I can say that I got to know the region. Yes, I was able to find out that the king of Kurdistan was in reality a regent of the area while it was part of the Ottoman Empire, which is still not accurate enough. The history of Kurdistan is too complex to say that I got to understand it. It is so much so that I can’t even say that, in reality, Kurdistan exists.
Even though I was there.

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Tombs small.jpg 
Views:	104 
Size:	155.2 KB 
ID:	4956

Submit "Log book to the end of civilization. End" to Facebook Submit "Log book to the end of civilization. End" to Digg Submit "Log book to the end of civilization. End" to del.icio.us Submit "Log book to the end of civilization. End" to Google

Categories
Personal

Comments