When it comes to healing and purpose, the one thing that connects us with the deepest part of our souls and minds is our voice. Voices, loud or quiet, resonate profoundly and act as ripples in the stream that our lives flow upon. They echo effervescently pushing our narratives and intertwining with our life force. Sometimes in life, all we have is a shout in the wind. That shout encapsulates our resistance and spirit.
This past year, Community Peacemaker Teams – Iraqi Kurdistan have been working on collecting data on all the civilians killed or injured by Turkish and Iranian military operations since 1991. Throughout the collections of these documents, we have come across many tragic stories, many voices of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, uncles, and aunts who have experienced such suffering and darkness that words alone could never do justice to their stories.
Through hearing their voices, one thing is abundantly clear: resistance never stops. Shouts in the wind never stop. Oftentimes, we come across stories that have gone unheard for decades. People only ask for their voices to be heard. Being heard can be healing. Being heard means that daily resistance continues despite the tragedies, suffering, and hardships. Being heard in the face of darkness shows that resolve, strength, and deep ancestral values of culture and community never waver.
Pray for the voices that are never heard. Pray for the voices that are forgotten. Pray for the voices that never have an opportunity to shout in the wind. Pray for the voices that continue to shout in the wind. Pray for the voices that resist darkness. Pray for the voices that shape the lightness that shines upon us all.