Freedom in Arabic, Kurdish, and Persian
October 26, 2022
I woke up today, as usual, feeling surprised. Nightmares that I cannot recall—or rather, that my subconscious does not wish to remember—and disrupted, insomnia-ridden sleep are typically the causes of my morning astonishment. As the day progresses, this feeling gradually transforms into what is now referred to as “anxiety”. Since this is a widely discussed topic, I will stop here and go back to recounting the events that unfolded after I woke up.
After preparing my coffee, rolling a cigarette, and settling by the balcony, I indulged in a bit of daydreaming. Soon after, I opened Facebook, as I do every day, to browse through my “Memories” and delete old posts. Why do I feel compelled to erase the visual traces of the past? I’ll leave that answer to the therapists and continue sharing what transpired after I woke up. The point is, I came across a post from 2012, in which a friend had tagged me.
This nostalgic post had the potential to result in the arrest of anyone mentioned in it. It linked us all—six females and a male—to a city square where we used to gather to protest against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Naively, we used to share these nostalgic posts without considering the consequences they could entail. Since this is a widely discussed topic, I will stop here and go back to recounting the events that unfolded after I woke up.
The point is, this post did not evoke nostalgia in me. It instead compelled me to contemplate the present and our current situation. We, the broken depressed friends. It made me reflect on the Iranian women who are currently protesting in the streets of Iran, and their remarkable and awe-inspiring courage. That train of thought brought me back to us. Hold on a second! We were also incredible and courageous. We too took to the streets, facing brutality, repression, arrests, and deaths.
Why do we only focus on our defeats, sadness, and setbacks? Why do we forget our courage? Isn’t that exactly what the dictator wants? Doesn’t he want to fill us with sorrow and crush our spirits, leading us to isolate ourselves, cease taking action, and stop truly living? Didn’t we, the Syrian women, take to the streets because we were inspired by the courage of women in Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya? Didn’t the Lebanese women protest because of the bravery of Sudanese women? Didn’t the courage of Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Algerian, Yemeni, Egyptian, Tunisian, Libyan, Sudanese, Iraqi, and countless other women propel the Iranian women forward? Won’t the Iranian women and so many others continue their fight? Is “freedom” not the word that unifies us in Arabic, Kurdish, and Persian?
Today, after having coffee, I wrote this text, and I promised myself never to forget that what we have done was not and would not be in vain. I refuse to succumb to the notion that we accomplished nothing or that we were defeated. There are millions of women around the world who will continue what other women have started.