Interviewer: At the moment, we are working on a project, collecting women stories from Kurdistan. Here, we want you to tell us some stories…anything that is effective or has affected you in life, events that are mostly related to women.

Awaz: Shall I begin?

Interviewer: Yes, you can start.

Awaz: What I am going to say is a story. It is neither a dream nor something I have created. It is an event, a real event, under the title A Small Dalaqa. Because there are some dalaqa’s that some people cannot see things through it, but I can see things through. The story starts here. Silence overwhelmed the village. The farmers …

Like I said, there is a dalaqa. Some can see things through it, others not. There was a morning in which silence prevailed the village. Farmers carried their axes and spades and walked silently. The daisies were waiting for sunshine. Ducks and geese were like line of pearls, walking towards streams of water. The trees were so quiet. The women were speechless, as if their lips have been sewn.

Unlike the other days, no one heard the sound of the shepherd’s flute. The only sound that was heard was the song of an owl, singing on a Towk tree. It sang until suddenly a yellow leave fell from the tree. And the children, like each day, were busy with playing mala babajena.

I was watching her through the small dalaqa. I loved her with all my heart.

That day was totally different. I found her different. She was holding a cut-off ear, with dangling earrings. She wrapped the ear in white clothing with her trembling hands and dug a small hole near a berry tree and buried it there. She looked extremely sad, as if the miseries of the entire world were piled on her bent back. Her eyes were like the spring during the drought.

Nearby, the killer was pacing in the corridor, still holding the gun of honor buying. He looked like a soldier who had just rescued a conquered land from enemies. Back then I was a kid. I did not know how it was to be killed by your loved ones, or how sad it was when a spring leaf fell from a tree.

Still, every morning, I wonder and say: ‘Dear God, was her disfigured body thrown under a weed or into a hole, or a snap of birds.’

After that, neither a warm condolence was arranged for her nor the village women could come and gather around Aunty Gulle to lessen her sorrows. I also could not make a happy story from Zare’s death.

Interviewer: Well, is it a true story?

Awaz: like I said, it is not an invented story, neither a dream, it is a real one.

Interviewer: What year did it happen?

Awaz: In the eighties.

Interviewer: Aha…about 30 years or so, not long ago

Awaz: Yes.

Interviewer: What made you narrate this story?

Awaz: It is not a thing that I can forget…. I still wonder what could happen to her, or she was thrown into which ditch. I will also tell you that the story is about a girl who loves a guy and escapes with him. Her brother kills her and cuts off her ear, still wearing gold earrings and brings it to her mother. The mother was old. He throws the ear into his mother’s lap, so as to let her know that it is her daughter’s ear. And when any part of body is removed, the body will get disfigured .

Interviewer: And about the man what happened to him?

Awaz: And the mother couldn’t mourn for her and the women of village also couldn’t offer her condolences. Fearing from the son and others, they couldn’t reduce her sorrows.

Interviewer: Did this happen to one of your relatives or…?

Awaz: I can say that it has happened to one of my relatives and I might have witnessed it, and I am the narrator of the story.

Interviewer: All right. Now do you feel that similar things happened to many people around you?

Awaz: There are too many events, as they say this is just tip of an iceberg.

Interviewer: Is there any thing else that you’ve seen, or has happened to you, a short side of your life or anything, whether happy or sad.

Awaz: Life stories, every woman has got a story in her life. There is not a woman without a story, especially in Kurdish nations. Say, women live differently, they cannot go to school or she will not be negotiated. They are ignored in all terms. She does not own her own finance and funds. Is there a woman without one of these issues? Then after marriage she will be treated differently. She will encounter man’s discrimination. Say the man turns out to be bad and treats his wife badly. I mean these stories are various. If I tell you my life story, it will probably need many volumes to finish.

Interviewer: Can you talk to me about segment of your life, anything interesting about it?

Awaz: Once my husband and I had a fight. We were quarrelling. There was not a day without a fight. That day, our issue was very big. I was obliged to leave home. I went very far away. That day…. I had four children. My youngest child was around eight. I went very far, I had prepared warm water. We were in a very small house, in the meantime it was a bathroom, kitchen, living room… everything. It was very small, just a small room. That same day, I wanted to take a bath. When I went out, I went far away, to my sister’s house. My hair became very greasy, and my clothes were very dirty and I became dirty and greasy. She asked me to take a bath, I said no , I won’t, because I had prepared warm water to give my daughter a bath… (she sobs).

Now I will never forget those days. When I came back, each time I wanted to stand up, or to go to bathroom, my daughter would hold me tightly and would say ‘you must not leave.’

Interviewer: Why do you think she held you?

Awaz: She thought that I would leave her again, she would grab my skirt and hold it tightly. I will never forget the terror she felt, she was trembling. She was telling me “mom, don’t go, don’t go. You cannot go.” I told her I would get water or go to the farms, she did not listen. It is not a thing that… I will never forget that. And each time I remember it, I feel sad about it. That was a little thing that I talked about. There is more but that…

Interviewer: Thanks for all these stories. Even though there are numerous women stories and most women are the stories themselves, but thanks for your being straightforward. Not everyone can tell an event in such a clear and plain way.

Awaz: I apologize for any shortages during narrating.

Interviewer: It was perfect.

INTERVIEWER: Now, we got five more minutes, if there is anything left to say, we would like you to tell us about it.

Awaz: I’ve got nothing else. Indeed, there is plenty to say, but I do not like to talk any more about them. I mean I do not like to remember those events any more. The more you remember them, the sadder it is.

Interviewer: You mentioned that you were self-educated, did that cause any issues in your family, say, telling you that you don’t need education or so?

Awaz: We educated ourselves. There was no one to teach us or to get us pens and papers and stuff like that. But still there was no one to stop us from educating ourselves.

Interviewer: And there are many women in your village and other villages saying that they are illiterate because they had no one to teach them.

Awaz: As I mentioned, our grandparents were mullas, religious scholars, and most of them were educated. Especially my father, who was a cadre of the communist party, he did not mind if we were being educated.

Interviewer: Thanks for all this information

Awaz: Thank you, I am so pleased that you came.