No Friends but the Mountains
The Kurds - now divided amongst Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria - have been subject to discrimination, oppression and even genocide from the ruling governments of each of these countries for centuries. Whenever yet another attack on the Kurdish population was carried out, the only place to hide and seek shelter in, proved to be the magnificent mountains surrounding 'the land of the Kurds'. From Alexander's battle of Gaugamela to ISIS's attacks on Sinjar, only the mountains would provide the Kurdish people protection, hence the old Kurdish saying goes 'No friends but the mountains.'
I reflected on this history of mine and reminisced about what the mountains mean to me. I noticed that even I, having lived the majority of my life in Europe, still had the same connection to those silent and resilient mountains. This is when I realized that for us, the Kurds, the mountains are more than a mere place to hide. They are our source of joy, ingrained in our fabric, so I wrote:
We do not climb mountains.
And never would we think to conquer a mountain.
We pay them visits. We sing them songs.
And we name our children after them.