Five Daughters & No Son – Part II

Five Daughters & No Son – Part II

Category : English Posts , Short Story

The political situation in northern Iraq was not stable. Tension between the Iraqi government and the Kurds was increasing. Kurds wanted their own independence apart from Iraq. They showed this by being rebellious against the government, which only created a chaotic environment and made it hard for my family to have an appropriate and safe life. Even though my dad was earning a good living, still he couldn’t risk the unpredictability of the political situation any more. He needed to think big. Nothing seemed bigger than moving to Baghdad, the capital, where he could give his family a better life. Bagdad in the late seventies was flourishing in every aspect. There were a lot of opportunities to work in better schools and that is what happened for my father later on.

With every baby girl came additional burdens. The burdens were a combination of different feelings of fear, anxiety, shame and loneliness. My parents are the most kind and loving people you can ever imagine. That is not just how all of my siblings and myself view them, but also everyone who has met them and knows them personally, including their sons and daughter in law. The culture, however, and the environment they grew up in was very harsh. Culture and traditional expectations have been rooted deeply for hundreds of years and it is so hard to change or even modify them. Honoring and keeping the cultural traditions that we inherited without questioning could easily turn out to be the god we worship.

My parent’s hope of having a son was vanishing with every birth of a girl. That put them under the pressure of proving themselves worthy enough. As the song lyrics say: “You are nobody, until somebody loves you.” In my parent’s case, the song’s lyrics went like this: “You are nobody until you have a son”. For my siblings and me the song would be “You are nobody until you have a brother”. Unfortunately, the negative version of this song “you are nobody until… and you fill in the blank, is shared by almost every culture and generation.

In my stories, I will be sharing several occasions where this kind of negative mentality would fit in an individual’s way of thinking and feeling. Solicitude of having a boy manifested itself in both a positive and negative manner. When we were children, we did not really grasp what it meant to have a brother or not. What we felt was we would be seriously unfit and vulnerable as sisters with no brother. Showing favoritism toward boys was the norm. We used to hear people around us reminding us of our unfit state of not having a brother who would care for our needs.

Studies and research have shown that children from an early age can sense their parent’s anxiety and fear. Our attachment style toward my parents, to others, and the world, has been influenced by that. Some people would manifest their attachment style by being angry, others by crying all the time. My attachment style, however, was by showing affection to my parents, especially to my dad.


About Author

زينة كمورا السناطي | Zina Kamoura

زينة كمورا ماجستير / الإرشاد النفسي - جامعة سينسناتي الخاصة / ولاية أوهايو - أمريكا نبذة عن حياتي – ما لا تعرفونه عني! اسمي زينة من مدينة زاخو في شمال العراق وبالتحديد من قرية سناط الحبيبة. ولدت لعائلة غنية بالحب والعطاء. لطالما راودتني أحلام كثيرة منذ الصغر لذلك وببراءة كنت أجمع الأطفال حولي من جيراني وأقاربي لأروي لهم فكرة مسرحية ومن ثم كنت أوزع الأدوار و”آكشن” فليبدأ التصوير. في بلدي العراق لم نعرف الاستقرار والأمان فلجأت إلى القلم صديقاً أطرح عنده كل ألمي وحزني وأيضاً لأخرج للنور أحلامي من شعرا ونثرت وقصة قصيرة. أشكر الله على الدفء والحب الذي تلقيته من عائلتي وأخوتي الذين استوعبوا غروري وأحلامي الكثيرة، ببساطة هم لم يلقوني في البئر كما فعل أخوة يوسف. I am Zina, an Chaldean Christian from Iraq, the land of Mesopotamia, the land of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. My native language is Chaldean and I also speak Arabic. My family roots go back thousands of years, where our father Abraham was called by God to leave his home to go to the Promised Land. Since my childhood, my country was involved in one war after another. During that many years of being under war, I lost all hope of a stable life. To read more, please click here. Zina Kamoura - MA in Counseling, LPC-OH, NCC

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