Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Kurdistani nurse and me......

I've lived a rather humdrum life with only rare occasions readers would consider out of the ordinary. But recently, a wondrous and unusual opportunity presented itself in the form of a Kurdistani counterpart. A delightful woman / nurse / writer from Kurdistan emailed asking to interview me. She hoped to translate the interview into her language and submit it to regional nursing magazines and poetry journals. I'm not certain how or why she chose me after searching the web for female nurses who are also writers, but I'm so pleased she did. I do not mention this fine woman's name in my blog because I forgot to get her permission for that. She did, however, give her enthusiastic permission to write about our interview.

I'd heard of the Kurds, of course, and knew that they are a people with a rich history, culture, and roots in ancient times. Kurdistan today is a large region that covers northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and a portion of Armenia. At this point in time, it's a region and not a country, but Kurdistan has its own language and its own flag.

She captured and held my interest immediately with one sentence in her first interview question: "I think doctors and nurses must tenderize themselves with literature." What an amazing thought!! That one sentence opened up a dialog that freed us both to be ourselves, to talk as friends and fellow travelers, to share an honesty rare between our cultures. During our interview, we spoke of many things: our work as nurses, our love of poetry and prose, the sorrows humans of all cultures experience in times of war, our cultural differences and human similarities. She contacted me in early October 2006 and the interview ended this week.

As a free lance journalist, my Kurdistani interviewer is very skilled at framing pertinent questions and understanding her subject. She opened her heart and spirit to me, an American, and shared pieces of herself. She knows and understands our culture far better than I do hers. And now, I'm blessed with a new friend. We may live on opposite sides of the world, but our similarities as humans far outstrip our differences. The experience of knowing this woman has been a gift.

1 comment:

Laura Sanow said...

Hello, this is Laura Sanow again... if you want to contact me my email is Lawrence Sanow actually passed away in August of 2005. His wife Phyllis is still living in Lemars, Iowa. My dad is Lawrence's son, Gregory. Feel free to contact me!

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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