Savan Abdulrahman – Iraqi Kurdistan
It was a normal day for Payman, Kawa and their two children, working at their market in the Kuna Masy resort of South Kurdistan, Sulaymaniyah — when suddenly their shop was devastated by a Turkish bomb.
Seconds later, in a blink of an eye, the life of the family was shattered into pieces. One leg of Payman is missing and nine metal pieces are in her leg and belly. Eight metal shards are lodged in Kawa’s body. The daughter has a ripped ear and there is metal in the seven-year-old son’s head.
This happened on 25 June 2020. Nearly four months have passed, but the Kurdish government has taken no action, and citizens now live in constant fear of bomb strikes.
Payman Talib Tahir, a graduate from Sulaymaniyah University’s Kurdish department, spoke to MedyaNews. “It is a very unpleasant feeling, I wasn’t expecting this to happen to my life”.
Payman and her family have received no compensation from the government. They spend their own savings to get treatments and build a new life. “Now we have lost everything, we have to start from zero. It is very hard”, she said.
About her disability she said, “No parties from the government care to support me to get a prosthetic leg and hide the wounds on my arms. And that’s just because I did not mention their names and send them gratitude for my emergency surgery. I received a note from the Deputy Prime Minister’s office saying that I will not receive any help or funding”.
“I cannot thank someone before doing something. They did nothing for us. My emergency surgery was performed by the public hospital”.
Kaywan Kawe Salih, the father of the family and the owner of the bombed shop, spoke about the moment of the attack. “At the time I ignored my wounds and was able to rescue my wife and children from the fire”.
“Now, because of the shards left in my liver, lungs, leg and head, I cannot function very well. If I walk more than thirty minutes, I will get tired and my head hurts”, said Kawa. “I have become so nervy as well. Previously I was able to withstand disagreements or something I didn’t like, but now I can’t handle many things and I get angry much too often”.
About the family’s health Kawa says, “We all went to a psychiatrist once, but then we couldn’t afford it”.
“I currently have no work. We don’t have any source of revenue. Relatives help us once in a while. I can’t work because my wife needs me. She needs someone to help her move and travel”.
The two children, Hamisha and Hezhwan, suffered similar after-effects from the attack and their lives can never be the same. Their parents say they have changed: “They are constantly nervous. They easily get angry about things, they lose their patience. Whenever they hear the sound of a helicopter or a plane, they are scared”.
Despite the hardship, Kawa and Payman have kept their family together and supported each other. “She is my wife”, said Kawa, “it is my duty to help her. Marriage is not only for the good times, but also for the bad times”.
They hope that the fight between Turkey and the Kurds will end. “The government needs to close the borders of Turkey and prevent them from freely attacking and bombing civilians. This has happened many times before”, said Payman.