Glad you liked my Almedy entry. Yes, it was indeed one of the major hilights of my visit to Kurdistan and exemplifies the true hospitality of Kurdish people.
As for further details about Havgar's sister-in-law and her situation, there is only so much more I can add. First of all I must explain that the family, and it appeared to me most people in Amedy, were not what you would call strict Muslims. This was not only evident by the fact I was allowed to interact with the women but both of the sister-in-laws living in the house did not wear head scarves in my presence. However, the mother did wear a scarf and made it clear (especially when I tried to help) that the the daughter-in-laws were responsible for cooking, preparing the "table" (floor covered with plastic cloth) and cleaning up. However, photographing did not seem to be an issue and I am sure if the timing had been better, I could have taken a picture of everyone, including the sister-in-laws.
I should add that I am sure there were places (perhaps Zakho?) where it was obvious the families conformed much closer to the "rules" of Islam such as I have seen previously during my earlier trip to certain parts of Iran.
My discussion with the young newlywed was relatively limited because it was mostly in the presence of others but also her English was rather poor. However, I was able to understand that her family had moved to the Netherlands when she was seven but I am not sure at all of her acceptance into society there. In actuality, she and her husband were supposedly waiting for him to be approved to go back to Europe with her. However, from what I could gather, he had no real profession in Kurdistan (unlike his lawyer brother) and she had no university education either. I should think these two factors would make for a difficult and slow immigration process.
I think the two met when the young woman came back to Almedy to visit relatives and then eventually she returned for the wedding. It seems that they plan to live back in the Netherlands probably initially with her family who is still there. One thing I tried to convey to her was that it could well be that her husband will also have some difficulties adjusting to life in Europe just as she was back in Kurdistan. Assuming that all works out, I think there is a good chance the two will be very happy in the Netherlands.
I hope this answered most of your questions and gives a better understanding of the realities facing people in Kurdistan Iraq.
QUOTE(radsolv @ Mar 31 2007, 07:23 PM)
Just revisited your TP log entry on your stay in Almedy. [Perhaps you might want to provide a link to it so that others reading this Folrum can share it.]
I imagine that that was not only the highlight of your stay in Almaday but maybe of your entire trip. My experiences with visiting Palestinian families in Nablus and Gaza in 2002 are still warm in my memories.
But can you tell us some more about Havgar's sister in law -- married to his brother? First off in a very strict Muslim family I believe she would not even have been allowed in the same room with you, much less be able to talk freely about her Netherland experience. Again most younger Dutch are fluent in English so imagine she was also and that is how you communicated. You were able to photograph the mother, but not the daughter in law.
Leaving Almedy at seven I gather it was with her parents?? Why did she return to Kurdistan? Had she felt fully accepted by the native Dutch in the Netherlands after some fifteeen years there? Does she plan to live out her life in Almedy? What is her husband's job? How did they meet? In Holland? An arranged marriage? Where are her parents and siblings now? Do you speculate what her life might be like two years from now, five or ten? Their prospects for real happiness or settle for 'contentment' or worse.
Do I ask too many impertinent questions? What I am seeking is some understanding of the great variety of social environments and how different individuals deal with them and their rewards and stresses. I can easily see some one not wanting to live anywhere else than Almedy and another finding it absolutely stifeling. And for the latter, what opportunities do they have to escape and seek somewhere more conducive to their temperment and ambitions.