February 15, 2009
The most admired Independent Kurdish Newspaper from the heart of Kurdistan.

Khatuzeen Center
For Kurdish Women’s Issues

1. rightness n a: accordance with conscience or morality b: appropriate conduct; doing the right thing c: conformity to fact or truth 2. truth n a: the state of being the case b: the body of real things, events, and facts

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The archetype of a Median descendant Prepared by Art-in-Mind

While half awake, I had a dream. The chair of a national organization asked me why his mother cannot take care of herself. I said: Understanding your mother might require a systematic academic investigation. However, I will try to evaluate her archetype, if she appears in my dream for an interview. So she did, and I started asking her questions as reported in these 1001 words.

Q: Tell me about yourself, please. A: My name is Bashoor. I was born in 1920s. I have been in the courtship of few tribal leaders and therefore remained unskilled, financially poor, and culturally underdeveloped. I am fearful, helpless, and unable to make my own decision. 

Q: How about your parents? A: I am the product of an unwanted marriage. My mother Shawhalat and her sister, Rojhalat, were separated form each other about 500 years ago. Having lost their father, they had to marry the rival heads of two tribes, Ozman and Aly.

Q: How about your grandmother? A: My grandmother, Media, had been a mighty woman over 2600 years ago. After a bad fall, she lived in poverty for many years. About 1300 years ago she met a conservative, influential, and expansive married man. One of his slogans had been taking care of widows and poor. Being a poor widow, Media had submitted, married him, and changed her name to Mrs. Moe. She had remained poor and died poor despite the marriage.

Q: Did Media have any other children? A: Yes; beside the two daughters, my mother and my aunt, she had a son, Saladin. Saladin’s father had left him also 22 half-brothers and few half-sisters from other marriages. They were rivals and lived in a hostile neighborhood. People, especially women, had to submit to extreme patriarchic rules.

Q: How did your uncle, Saladin, treat his female relative then? A: He spent most of his time with his half-brothers, forgot his mother’s history, followed his father’s path, and abandoned his sisters who had to marry the most powerful men in the region.

Q: Is this how your parents, Shawhalat and Ozman, married? A: Yes, many men had an eye on my mother and my aunt. Some men wanted to marry both of them. In 1639 two rivals, Ozman and Aly had a fight over them and then settled. Each one took one of them as his wife without asking for their approval. This is how I am the daughter of an unwanted marriage.

Q: Do you have any siblings? A: Yes, I have two sisters, Bakoor and Rojawa. I also had a half brother, Mostougha who was initially a courageous, intelligent, and modern man. He rebelled against our father, Ozman, and promised to change the lives of all of the family members after our father’s death. Our father had grown very heavy and died of a heart attack in 1920s. Mostougha become the man of the house. Soon he had all the power, changed his mind, and made Bakoor marry Ozman Jr., a Northern cousin. He separated us and made me and my sister marry Omarg and Baker, the twin Southern brothers.

Q: How is your life with Omarg now? A: Omarg is gone. It was a hell tough. He was not only hostile toward the neighbors, but did everything to keep me under his control. He used to play and compete with Ozman Jr, Baker, and Aly over who can control his wife most. He was either a stronger bully or others just let him win the spousal beating games.

Q: How did you all deal with the pressure? A: We raised our voice few times, but no one cared. In 1945 my aunt, Rojhalat, said it’s enough and left her husband. Within one year. Aly found her and hit her head so hard that she became paralyzed. Now she is a handicap and cannot say much. She has some lively children though. Most people don’t know about my other sister, Rojawa, because her husband claims she doesn’t exist. My oldest sister, Bakoor, rebelled few times and was introduced as wild to the world and caged few times. She fought at times and submitted at other times. Recently she has become more assertive and asked few Europeans to help her, so she can find a peaceful way out, but her progress is very slow.

Q: How about yourself? A: I was lucky. I once screamed so loud that the world heard my cry and sent a ranger to help me. In a subsequent fight with the ranger my husband, Omarg, was shot. I am free now, but I don’t know how to use my freedom. Some people tell me I am better off to marry my husband’s cousin, Sadram, with whom I live now. Others tell me I cannot trust any men in this family. The officer who rescued me keeps an eye on things and winks at me occasionally, but people tell me he is not reliable either. I first have to think about the need of others including the rescuing ranger, my husband’s relatives, and my aunt’s and my sister’s husbands. Some people criticize me and tell me I am too clingy, needy, and afraid of separation. I don’t like their criticism. I cannot live alone. I have no confidence. I need full reassurance to make any decision. What should I do, she shook me?

I woke up fully and summarized my evaluation for the chair: Your mother and female relatives have had significant traumatic experiences. Whether these experiences are due to factors such as abuse and pressure to submit or due to vulnerability for anxiety and dependency, it remains to be investigated. Your mother specifically has many traits of dependent personality disorder. The best course of action for her to make progress is learning from the past, processing her trauma, working on her confidence, and relying on herself to become free and independent, so no longer she is taken advantage of.


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