Growing Up Under the Iraqi Regime
Oral History Item Type Metadata
I grew up in a family that regarded patriotic, that loved the nation, that loved the Kurds. That's for the Iraqi -- I'm living the Iraqi part. For the Iraqi part, this was too much.
When the Kurdish revolution in 1961, the Kurdish rebel in 1961 happened against the Iraqi regime, my dad had to join the mountains. We were pretty young: I was only six years old; my brother was only one year older than me. During that time, it was too hard. I didn't see my dad for several years. We saw all the brutalities of the Iraqi regime can do against the Kurds. I have seen tanks and houses burning. Our house got looted.
My grandfather -- in 1963 when Saddam's party came to power, they went to my grandfather's house and they beat my grandfather. He was over seventy years old, and they took him to prison. They put water under him in a concrete room, in the winter. The winter in my country is very harsh. They put cold water under him, and few months later, after he came out of the prison, he died.
Of course that affected opposite of what the government wanted, opposite of what the regime wanted. We came out patriotic. We loved our nation; we wanted to struggle for our nation. We refused the brutality of the regime. We refused the policies against the Kurds. So few years later, when I grew up, I became -- in the late twenties I had to join the mountains, because Saddam Hussein's policies were more brutal against the Kurds. I had to join the mountains and fight for the right of the Kurds to live.
Joining the mountains is -- there was a Kurdish struggle. There were Kurdish parties, Kurdish fighters. We were freedom fighters, fighting for the right of the Kurds. Our region is very mountainous. The Kurdish land is very mountainous comparing to the Arab and Farsi and Turkish land. So we have to stay in the mountains and carry guns and fight for our freedom, find at least to change the brutality of the regime against the Kurds.
We didn't need too much. We needed the simple right to talk, to talk in our language, to live in our land. That was the basic things. We were deprived from these. We could not study in our language. We could not talk in some parts of Kurdistan. They denied us the right to talk. We were evacuated from our land. They brought other Arabs and Turks and Farsis to our land. In Russia they distributed them all over Russia.