I have to say that it wasn’t that hard convincing my parents to go. I could argue with expats’ forum comments, or Erbil airport website which showed a very modern building and feed visitors with constant flights information online…WoOoW! Even my country’s airport website could not beat that!
I think I have probably never heard too many scenarios, primarily aimed to discourage me to travel to Erbil before that I would be enable to create the same soap opera as “The Young and the Restless”. Based on my relatives and friends’ opinions, I had a miserable caricature image in my mind about myself; alone waiting for the plane while at Ataturk airport boarding lounge before flying to Erbil, being in a dusty town where there is nowhere to go or nothing to see, staying in an isolated or oversecured place or even walking under booms with a lot of dead bodies laying on the street. As you know human imagination can have no boanderies.
On the contrary, none of the above scenarios had been witnessed. I went as a Teacher Trainer, where I had the opportunity to participate in a Teacher Development project. As soon as I landed in Turkey, I was in very modern boarding space with a lot Kurdish families, children, young fashionably-dressed students, foreigners from different parts of the words mostly from North America and sports men.
As soon as I arrived to capital of Kurdistan, Erbil, and on my way to the hotel, I was surprised to see how the town was so modern and lively even if it was 2 am. That night also, I meet twice with Sahara foxes whic as I heard was the best welcome. I can not deny that I thought again of all the things I heard before traveling. I was sorry for all the people I know or others who are influenced media who internationally stereotyped countries, or people.
To be continued…