Hani al-Gamal – Cairo
Mona Zeidu has been living thousands of miles away from her native city of Afrin for a decade and a half now. Nevertheless, distance has never functioned as a barrier between her and the people of her city.
Zeidu lives every detail of the problems of her people back in northern Syria. She campaigns for them and defends their rights against the aggressions they are subjected to. “Afrin lives inside me, even as I don’t physically live inside it,” Zeidu told MedyaNews. Zeidu, whose mother hails from Aleppo, lived in Afrin throughout all her life, before she arrived in Egypt 15 years ago for her marriage.
However, the distance between where she lives and where she belongs is apparently strengthening links between her and her native city. She contributes articles to a wide range of Egyptian news and media outlets, including Sada al-Balad, the site of the private Sada al-Balad television network. Her articles defend the rights of the women of Afrin and the issues of the people of the northern Syrian city.
She might be a living proof to the invincible links between the people of Afrin and their city, regardless of where they are or forced to settle down. “What happens in Syria affects my life very strongly on a daily basis,” Zeidu said.
Zeidu says the more she writes about the problems facing the women of Afrin the more she is filled with resolve to keep fighting for the rights of these women.
Inside her home in the Egyptian capital Cairo, Zeidu observes every detail of Kurdish life. She has three children who are enrolled in international schools. They study several foreign languages. Nevertheless, at home she asks the children to speak Kurdish. “This makes the children well connected with the culture of their grandparents,” Zeidu said.
Zeidu’s main mission is to defend the rights of the Kurds to existence and a normal life. Kurds, she said, have a great civilization deeply steeped in history. “This is why they have the right to lead a normal life,” Zeidu said.
She divides her time between the needs of her family and her writing. She dedicates time also to attending seminars and workshops on the Kurdish issue. To strengthen links between her children and Afrin, Zeidu asks them to wear Kurdish clothes.
She also cooks a wide range of Kurdish dishes every day for her children, giving them a rich and diverse treat they relish.
“Kurdish culinary culture is very rich and diverse,” Zeidu said. “Kurdish culture, in general, has a lot to offer the world.”