Crime and Punishment;
By : Cklara Moradian
Within my mother’s womb I swam, unaware of whom I was. Within the protection of her safety nest I grew, unaware of the world I was yet to be born to. Unaware of the scarlet letter I was already bearing upon my chest, unaware of the mark that the world had already stamped upon my forehead, the symbol, the label that was being stitched upon my skin, the labels that my fathers before me had carried upon their backbones, the onus, the burden that my mothers in the snowy mountains had carried upon their shoulders.
Before I ever set eyes upon the illuminating darkness of today and tomorrow and all the days that passes me by, this world had already given me my name, and that identity brought a sentence that I had already been condemned to. I was given birth, and was embraced within thousands of years of history, culture, heritage and a sweet mother tongue, but the world knew me as inferior, looked down upon me, taking even the basic rights of the human body.
I lived in a heroic reverie, grew, and was entangled in a legacy left behind by the people who bore my name, by the legacy of the brave, and the selfless who suffered for the land they walked upon and were tortured for the air they breathed, were stoned and hanged for the purity of the blood that ran through their veins. I walked, and slept to the lullabies of the mothers who ran through the mine fields and sang for the children who would never again awaken. I spoke, and hummed a melody to the rhythm of the bombshells that bombarded the backyard of my grandfather’s apple garden.
I learned, and smelled through the blind the intoxicated air that they breathed one lethal silent afternoon in March. I watched, and saw through the deaf the bloodshed they cleaned after that clod winter night in January. I was driven away, all had to be left behind and nostalgia, exile and the meaning of the electric wires of the boarders were soon clearly felt. What is it about loneliness that makes us so detached and small?
I feel the anger within me rise, the anger of generations of suppressed people, the anger of not having the right to say who I am, be who I am, show the pride of my history, my heritage, my identity, my dignity, have a country, a home. What is it about anger that makes us so passionate and yet so helpless? What is it about freedom that we humans so desperately long for, need, desire, want, fight for, and die for? Why will they not set us free? I need an answer! Yet no one is willing to say a word.
Who am I in a stranger’s land? Who am I but a wanderer that yearns for the smell of the soil that carries my roots? Who am I, kinem, men kem in the land where the name of my people are forgotten under the shadow of tragedy, of misery? Who am I in the stranger’s eyes when in the weary eyes of my own land I am just another agonizing memory of all the injustices and all the unfairness? What is it about cruelty that is so hard to grasp? A single silent moment and I realize that through and through from the moment I began to form my existence I have always been what the world has tried to destroy, dissect and deform, tear apart and burn, extinguish the flame of life through genocide after genocide, through mass graves of the children who were buried alive, and yet I still stand, I still cry out and shout, I still try to reflect the spirit of the many who marched before me and were silenced by cold inhumane metallic bullets of animosity.
A single silent moment and I sigh, I am a Kurd and if that is my crime then never before have I been so proud to announce myself as a criminal and if that is my punishment then never before have I been so willing to pay for this condemned crime. Self pity has never cured or healed anyone’s sickness, illness, madness, pain.
I am a Kurd and not a victim…perhaps the time of redemption has come