The power of freedom of speech and the platform to challenge institutions must never be underestimated as it is the driver of revolutions. The only tool I had to seek recognition for the suffering of my ancestral Kurds, who were oppressed, chemically destroyed and tortured, was through creating a governmental E-Petition, to educate and inform on the Kurdish events during its tragic history. We live in an ever pacing world of technology, whereby there are platforms to reach a wider global audience. The use of YouTube videos and social media, combined with stories that my family had told me on a daily basis, from when I was five years old, about the Kurdish oppression was enough to trigger the need to reconcile the legitimate ethical right to raise awareness of the atrocities that the people of Kurdistan, both past and present suffered.
This led me to start an official government e-petition in recognition of Kurdish genocide. I knew the requirement was 100,000 signatures to get the attention of the British parliament but I wanted the e-petition to act as a catalyst to raise awareness, particularity through search engines and social media. There have been hundreds of e-petitions but the significance of this particular one was that it may influence the view of British Parliamentarians. As the support slowly started to gather up through the hard-work of Kurdish & international activists and students, the KRG UK representative Bayan Sami Rahman, spotted the e-petition and suggested it was a fantastic idea. I was asked if I could withdraw and have the e-petition transferred in favour of the British-Kurdish Member of Parliament; Nadhim Zahawi - particularly as only one petition can be opened at a given time. This was an opportunity to finally raise the profile of the Kurdish Cause and to ensure that members of the public could share, or at least understand, the pain that Kurds had gone through in their history. One could feel the adrenaline rush throughout my veins, due to being close to securing justice for the Kurds.
It is no secret that Kurdistan has become wealthy, and that they are developing rapidly with a modern outlook on life. However, this does not mean that the Kurds must neglect their past, and not seek justice for the crimes that were committed against them under the Ba'aath party regime. The children, mothers, sisters, fathers and sons that were chemically tortured, and buried alive, must be remembered and recognised. It does not matter what faith, race or colour somebody is, as we are all human beings and have a moral and ethical duty to seek justice for the weak. There are schools of thought that argue that the past must not be reopened and whether the genocide is recognised or not, it is just another label. It may well be just a 'label' but this 'label' puts the largest nation with a state at rest. This 'label' means the crimes against the Kurds have been recorded in history. This 'label' could help prevent history from repeating itself, whether to the Kurds or to any other race.
Hard-working civilians had their livelihood destroyed. Kurdish people were oppressed and educationally malnourished. Kurds are not ashamed that the population lacked proper education and opportunities as they are proud that the culture, dignity and personality could not be brought with monetary entities or penetrated by force. Indeed, not even a tsunami of systematic abuse or genocide could acidify the Kurdish heart. It has been announced that the British parliament will debate the Kurdish genocide based on the outcome of the e-Petition. All it took was an e-petition to raise awareness of an event that impacted every Kurdish life regardless of generation. This is very symbolic and acts as a lesson to all Kurds that nothing is impossible through perseverance.
In Winston Churchill's words, "success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that matters". For the Kurdish people, to remember the acidic pain in the past is enough recognition. Together, we must have the courage to stand up against genocide. Together, we could put a stop to another nation reliving the same nightmare.