Tenth-grader Waran Hawrami. Photo: Provided
A letter to US President Donald Trump from a Kurdish student.
Dear President Trump,
I am a young Kurdish girl who is madly in love with her homeland, but overwhelmed with questions about the future of her country.
I witnessed a lot in my lifetime as a girl, but didn’t say anything.
My mother is from Halabja – the city that endured the chemical attack. When I was a child, my mother told me about the sad story of the Halabja killings. I was deeply saddened. I still feel sad when she mentions its name.
There was only one line that alleviated my grievances, and that was the last line of the story that my mother told me: “This is over. It won’t happen again.”
We will one day get our reward and will have an independent country like other nations, she told me.
Will the Iraqis allow this to happen? I asked her.
They cannot stop us because democratic countries like the United States of America will support us, she replied.
My father was always saying that democratic ways are the only ways through which this right and freedom, given to us by God, can be restored to us.
He was always proudly saying: “In the world of democracy, the United States is above all.” He had no doubt that you will be the first country to support us because democracy is your purpose and way of life.
Your message arrived yesterday: do not hold the referendum, democracy is bad. Do not think about your freedom. Freedom will cause you problems.
You told us that people seeking democracy and freedom will face too many problems. You explained it very well that neither you nor other countries will support our democratic referendum.
But we are stronger than problems. We have experienced every pain and endured the toughest problems.
Your position has made me doubt the meaning of democracy. Were equality and justice not your purpose?
If you tell us that democracy is not suitable for today, what or when is it suitable? Equality is not something to be given at a particular time. Equality and democracy are the rights that should be given at all times.
In our region, our neighbors created a fundamentalist society that gave birth to ISIS. My nation was the only nation that stood against this and expressed a different opinion in this regard.
We were the only people who fought against terrorism and told them that the dark and oppressive society they had created couldn’t survive. We were different. That is why they tried to silence and destroy us.
We faced wars because of democracy. Yet you tell us: don’t be democratic; you will be responsible for whatever happens to you if you pursue democracy.
Dear Trump, is democracy the wrong path?