To all the strong women who left a mark on my life…
Every time I look back, the dream of an original woman greets me. Sometimes she is a headmistress with wavy blonde hair watching the morning rush of students from her window, sometimes she is a contented cashier smiling at life from under her colorful headlights, sometimes she is a doctor trying to protect foreigners in her country against lax laws, Sometimes she is a florist who commands the fragrant scents that fill her shop, sometimes she is a teacher who leaves her country and sits behind the pulpit in a mosque to teach the Holy Quran to expatriate children, sometimes she is a mother who leaves her familiar life behind for her own small family and tries to stand upright in unfamiliar lands, she is my mother.
When I look back, the dream of an original woman welcomes me. Among thousands of images from the past, only these women stand out the most. Their dreams are more powerful than historical events, more effective than nature, more lasting than joys. They belong to completely different geographies, completely different worlds, but they bear a deep resemblance as if they were carved from the same jewel.
The city where I spent my childhood met the most brutal face of the Second World War. Not only were buildings destroyed, but the face of a city under intense bombardment was completely changed. When the war was over and Germany had been defeated, it was time to heal the wounds. But there was no power left in the tired country except women’s power. It was up to these women to pick out the solid bricks from all the ruins and they were called “ruin women” (Trümmerfrauen). The city was rebuilt with solid bricks that had withstood bombs and destruction. That’s why Berlin, like many cities, is the creation of women.
When I look back, the dream of an original woman welcomes me. That’s my grandmother this time. She is a woman who witnessed the occupation of her own land, who left her home for a while when she realized that she could not live there, who saw mobilization, and who managed to emerge from each pain stronger. He knew how to fight for everything he held sacred, but he also knew how to love and be a great companion for the rest of his life. For me, she has always been one of those women who are called a cradle for the born and a coffin for the dead. I have no memories of him, but the first forty days of my life were spent with him and my grandfather. Although I don’t remember, maybe I listened to a lullaby, maybe a ghazal that was often sung under that roof. Perhaps the image of a strong woman in my mind is a remnant of those days.
The most prominent characteristic of strong women in my mind has always been their compassion. Even though they had different beliefs, they never felt the need to hide the compassion in their eyes. A child, or even a woman who knows how to stand up, finds refuge in the eyes of the other person. It is enough to see compassion there to feel trust. They were always women who knew how to love and protect, without oppressing anyone around them, without hurting anyone to get ahead. They were Amazons, every one of them, but they had no hatred for anyone. Because they had the secret codes of being with love. And they gifted a torch from the fires of mercy to everyone who was familiar with those codes. They didn’t do it just to make our path brighter. They did this so that we would keep our feet firmly on the ground, so that we would not be deceived by the shadows and leave the truth in darkness, and so that we would come into contact with other eyes and see mercy everywhere.
When I look back, I am greeted by the dreams of original women. It is the dream of being one of them that brings me closer to them.