The Kurdish Globe
By Sazan M. Mandalawi
Today, I was thinking. I was thinking of Kurdistan's future. I was thinking of politics. As I walked past the frozen lake, I thought and thought. I am not exaggerating or being sarcastic; I actually brainstormed in my head all of the available jobs in Kurdistan and matched them up with all the people I knew who would be suitable for filling them.
I was thinking Sara A. for Parliament. That woman can speak confidently and strongly, and she doesn't mind whom she speaks in front of. Then there is Sayran; she would fit perfectly as the head of the KRG Anti-Corruption Department, or as a Member of Parliament because of her confidence and opinionated personality. Randan, Ashna and Bewar, Narin, Helene, R. Mustafa, Lawen--these are just a quick list of women's names who I know will work with their hearts and full dedication for this land. Not surprisingly, they are all young as well. I kept walking and a new set of names would come to me: Lanja, Jwan, Ava and Naz. I wondered where some of these great women would fit into the picture and what jobs they would be able to lead in making a grand change in Kurdistan. This is just the few young women whom I happen to know; the list of young, successful Kurdish men is also long.
These are individuals with passion, ambition, motivation, information, knowledge and education, who are born to lead and undertake grand initiatives. I must mention the Twitter Kurds and the individuals who organize and run the Kurdish Youth Festivals in the US; this is separate from those young Kurds who live in Kurdistan. We are not short of young people, but there is the risk of mismanagement in fitting the right person in the right "seat."
Most of these individuals are not affiliated with political parties, and they certainly do not have the connections that will allow them to take decision-making positions. However, on a personal level, let the hopes be high in that this time around maybe it is not all about political parties and affiliations, not about whom you know in power and how they are related to you. One would hope that after six cabinets, the seventh would have learned great lessons. One of the most successful ministries of the sixth cabinet was not nominated by a certain party, but rather for the minister's determination for change and the vision the minister had in mind. A certain head of department was run by a younger individual who accomplished much and took grand steps forward. The young KRG representatives abroad have also demonstrated that young Kurds are capable of great achievements. This is real proof where it does not matter what your political affiliations are; what matters is the right person in the right position.
My point is, if the new Prime Minister and his advisers decide to take a walk by a lake (or a mountaintop) and begin brainstorming names for his cabinet, let us hope there will be young people and a few more women on the list as well. There is no doubt that positions should be given to people who have the credibility, experience and knowledge without discrimination based on one's age or gender. However, let us be a little realistic. Kurdistan today needs few young faces to be a sufficient representation of what makes up the bulk of the citizens in the Region. Kurdistan needs young people; young minds, with a modern way of thinking who understand the impacts of Twitter and Facebook; who understand the need of people of their own generation. Kurdistan needs the motivation, dedication and dreams of the young.
When sitting at roundtables or raising hands in Parliament, the voice of young Kurds and their hands must be present. We often overlook the great capacity of the younger generation and underestimate their abilities. Seven cabinets later, it is time for this ice to break. Make more room for a generation that can lead and make positive progress.