This male history, this moustached Homeland, has never put me on in sunlight, or on a waterway, or wrapped me around a perfume flask.
Those who put me on were: sweepers, pots, and trash bins.
Those who put me on were: long periods of estrangement and the heights of pain and seclusion.
Those on whom I was bestowed were: mute, padlocked, struck, the sounds of lashes, and diseased garments.
My name is woman’s dress and the one who is not aware of me and does not hear my voice is the deafened ear of the Homeland!
“I’m female! My entire body is covered in sin and the nude questions of taboo.”
“From the first day of my life, a pebble for stoning has been wrapped into my swaddle and the Homeland spits on me!”
“Now… A Girl Is My Homeland” (pp. 36–7)
I was born in a stateless country,
My eyes bloomed in smoke,
My ears opened to the hail of gunfire.
I learned to walk while I was screaming.
My youth passed like terrified water
And slept like a fretful flower.
In the morning, hunger preceded my saying, “Good morning!”
At night, fear and anxiety were the first to say, “Have a good night!”
by Sherko Bekas (p. 278) (translated by Bakhtiar Rasheed)
Bakhtiar Rasheed, born in South Kurdistan on 1987 is an academic and translator. Bakhtiar has a Baccalaureate degree in English language and Literature from the University of Sulaimaniya and a Master’s degree of Art in Contemporary English Literature from York St John University.