Story of My Life
by: Hande Tümtürk 8B
Hey, my name is Duha Ali, and this is my story. A story that changed my whole life.
I was woken up by a disturbing sound. It was a bomb. Seconds later someone was banging on our door screaming,
“Open the door! Get out!
I looked around and my two little siblings were awake. Ahmen Hussein 5 years old and Lare 3 years old. I could see the fear in their eyes. They both knew what was going on. It happens very often here in Kurdistan.
My father ran into our little room, there was not even space for him to sit. I could tell he was also really frightened and very stressed.
“Who was banging on our door and what was that noise”, i knew what noise it was and he knew i knew so he ignored my last question and replied.
“Our neighbor Rahma, he came to tell us we have to leave before it's too late,we have to get out of here now!”
“Stop, we don't have time for a tea party right now we have to leave!”
He carried Lare and Ahmed Hussein out of the room and I followed. We went out of the house, onto the street and before we headed away I looked back on our beautiful home. Where we had so many beautiful memories with my mom before she passed away two years ago. She was out buying groceries for dinner. They shot her and a lot of other people and it was such a tragic situation. I miss her every day and pray for her. I was so devistated but I knew I had to stay strong for the sake of my siblings and I would do anything for them. And while i was looking at my home something deep down was telling me this would be the last time i was going to see it ,ever again.
We went towards Rahma which was a very good friend of my dad. They were like brothers but I didn't like him. He always made me feel uncomfortable and he had asked my dad if I would get married to him. But my dad said I was too young for him. He was almost the same age as my dad. He had a wife and they were living together but after a while she went missing and no one knew why, or where she went.
“Where are we going”, my dad asked him.
“We are going towards the highway and there will be trucks waiting for us.They are going to take us away from there. “
“But we have to be fast”
I hate that my dad never asked him why, when or where. He always trusted him with everything. He didn't even know where we were heading. I went closer to my father and whispered in his ear.
“Dad, how do we know it is safe?”
“I trust this man. He has sacrificed his life for me, just listen, obey and don't ask any questions.”
We got on the trucks and everyone got seated. There were so many people on so it was hard to even breath. The ride was long and while we were riding I just kept thinking about what was going to happen? Where were we going? Would we survive?There was a war going on and I was really terrified.
I gathered my courage and asked my dad.
“Dad, are we ever going to return home?”
The fact that he was so calm was making me really frustrated.
“Listen to me my daugther, if God brings us peace then we will return to our homes. But if peace does not return, then we are prepared to die where God has determined for us. “
I layed back and wished that one day I would become as intelligent and wise as my father. Even in these moments he could stay so calm and collective.
Suddenly the truck stopped and we were all waiting for Rahma to come and open the doors.
“Okay guys we are here”, he said.
When I looked around the only thing I could see was a lot of tiny telts and I was not looking forward to staying here but I had no other choice.
We went to our telt and got settled. And surprisingly I got really close to the other ladies and we had such a good time . They taught me how to make different types of food and I really felt like I engaged with them, I enjoyed it very much.
Today I was going to make soup. I went to go get some water . But on my way I heard Rahma having a conversation with one of the men.
“When are they coming?” Whispered the man.
“They will be here soon but we have to leave earlier”.
“Are you sure we should do it?”
“Yes, I have already said where we are staying. It is too late to even question it”.
“They are going to kill everyone.”
“Yes they are, but we are going to earn some good money”.
I couldn't believe what I just heard. They were going to kill all of us. I couldn't let this happen. So I ran to my dad and explained what I had heard.
Are you sure my daughter? He said.
Yes father we have to let everyone know about this and leave as fast as possible!
But little did I know it was already too late. Before I even got a chance to process everything there were gunshots, bombs, people running around screaming for help and one of them was me.
Lare, Ahmed! Where are you?
I was crying and screaming after them but I couldn't see them. I ran back to the telt and saw my worst nightmare. Both of my siblings laying in blood. It was like a stab in the heart. It was all I had left from my mom, my siblings. All the memories I had been through with them just replayed in my head. I could never be as still as I was at that moment. I sat down next to them, hugged and kissed both of them on their foreheads. I knew this would be the last time I would ever be holding them. While saying my last goodbyes to my siblings my dad screamed.
“You have to leave my daughter”.
“I can't leave you here father”.
“Yes you can. I am going to be staying here. You have to go, you have a bright future ahead of you. Go now!”
I hugged and kissed my dad. I couldn't believe this was my last goodbyes to my family. I cried in my father's arms. And I ran away. Into the forest. I ran as fast as possible and had no idea where I was heading. And i have never met my dad ever since.
Now, ten years later I am explaining my story to you. I would never in a million years think I would be sitting here. I never thought I would survive from that war when I was fifteen year old. But what i want to clear to you by explaining this story is, war doesn't earn you anything, no respect no love and no peace. It just makes people like me lose everything they got . I lost my whole family. And the hardest part of losing them wasn't having to say goodbye but rather learning to live without them. Always trying to fill the void, the emptiness that's left inside of me when they go. They took everything from me. My happiness, joy and love I always wonder if I am ever going to get it all back. Guess the only way to find out is to live life and try to do good for others.
Today I am doing humanitarian work in Iraq to help people that sit in the same situation as I was sitting in. They also have the right to live a safe and healthy life. The people that killed my family took everything from me. And I would never want that to happen to other kids.We can't let these wars go on anymore. We have to change the world or we will get changed by the world. I am going to do the best that I can and I want you who are reading this to do the same thing because together we are stronger.
Until we meet again the marathon continues..