Mark your calendars for 7:00pm (pacific time) Wednesday October 14, 2020I will be a feature poet at: Alberni Valley Words on Fire
I am thrilled to be reading for audience for a change since the global pandemic. It has been a while. Federation of BC Writers has created an online friendly atmosphere series called (Road Trip) through Zoom since March promoting writers around BC, the Yukon and beyond.
Check out: charslanding.com I invite my writer friends to sign up for open mic through the website on 14/10/2020 Thank you Jac Lin Car Michael for inviting me. I am happy and I can’t wait to enjoy being a guest on the show.
It is with great honour, I finally get to share with you The DaCapo Chamber Choir performing my poem: I Am Here (the refugee experience)
As many of you are aware, I was commissioned in the fall of 2017 to write a poem about (the refugee experience) to The DaCapo Chamber Choir in Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario. Here is the audio of the incredible coral angelic voices singing my pome ( I am here)… my poem starts at 18:00 minutes into the video: https://youtu.be/_J8TXkd7xl4 Feel free to share.
It has been 42 days since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a.k.a. Coronavirus, a ‘Pandemic’. On March 11, 2020, it was declared world wide pandemic and ever since, life has shifted and I hope will never be the same.
Long after this pandemic is passed, I have made it clear that I. personally, will never bee the same person I was before this. My social life, my consumption, my waste producing habits, my commuting, my eating and my everyday ‘normal’ will change. If I can take one lesson from this is that this entire planet is now one. All that politics about ‘theirs & ours’, we are better and they are less, we deserve and they don’t etc., is all gone now. we are all in this together. We are suffering as one being.
From miles away, we are crying for the mass loss of lives. We are all weeping at the daily –I mean, hourly changing news. The bad news contunues to pour out each and everyday. No matter where you are on this earth and who you are, you are affected.
This nasty virus reminded us once again when the elders from all indigenous people from all around the globe been saying all along for hundreds and thousands of years; ‘we are one’. They have been saying to us that everything on this planet is connected. Each choice we make affects others. We must not disregard other beings because we are conditioned to think less of them. I know people in my own life that still look down at those who are less fortunate, the poor, disabled, those who wear headscarf’s, those with different color skin and those who have different ideas than our own. I know some who hate those who have different faith or dress differently.
Let us strive to survive this pandemic and change. Let us all change from the inside out. One of the greatest joys I have ever noticed during those hard times is how the oil industry is being crushed to death becuase we are not giving them our money, now it is clear that they need us much more than we need them. Boy I loved seeing the market take a nosedive. This is the wake up call for us to change our ways and shift to renewable energy.
I am taking this time at home cleaning, gardening, planting food, connecting digitally with those I love, finishing some (unfinished / partially finished projects), working daily on learning Kurdish Daf, posting videos on my YouTube Channel (reading my poetry & sharing stories) and now that my office is completely moved to the basement, I have all the free time I need to finish my manuscript. I will be working on the MSS of my story. The phot you see above is the one I am planning to make the cover of my upcoming book.
I am continuing my Kurdish Daf classes during those days but over ZOOM we gather and practice with our amazing teachers.
Do your part in making this world a better place by becoming humble, kind and memorable. Use this time at home to rest and know yourself. If you must go outside to work or get groceries etc., make it a point to thank each and every one you see working to serve you. Thank them for working so you can get gas in your car, bake your bread, stock the shelves in your grocery stores, the bus drivers, the frontline worker… the list is endless so you get the idea right?
Be kind and assure them that you truly are thankful they are working and if you take an extra moment, ask the managers/ those in charge to pay anyone working during this pandemic to get (Hazard Pay). Let us appreciate those who are working to make it possible for us to stay home.
It is day 11 of my 14-days self quarantine since I returned abruptly from my dream journey to my beloved homeland Kurdistan. I have a lot of projects to finish while home and I am shifting my office in the living room into another quieter room in our house to give me a lot of alone time to finish writing. The motor vehicle accident and the mild traumatic brain injury I suffered, delayed my book one whole year and now, the corona virus world wide pandemic is delaying it again. My trip to my homeland was to go to certain places and meet certain individuals but due to the spread of the virus (2 cases at the time), I was unable to do that so I took the time to visit some people and see parts of my hometown that was not closed.
The gentle and highly intelligent lady welcomed me into her beautiful house and we chatted for hours. She gifted me many many books one of which is of a famous Iraqi poet (Muhammad Mahdi Al-Jawahiri). I recall my very first school project I did on my own about a well known and historical figure, I selected him and I loved his poetry. I loved that he was political writer. Her late husband, my he rest in peace, written books about him becuase they both were friends with that poet.
Such an honour to be in the presence of such a classy and highly intelligent woman. In the coming days, I will contact her and ask her several questions and will be writing an article about her.
My journey to my homeland was brief and suddenly was disrupted due to the pandemic unfortunately. I would be there still until the end of this month but, oh, well. I will plan it again once this disaster is over.
Sending love to you all at home, you who are essential and critical workers who are risking your lives to keep the services we desperately need running. I do love and honour you. Please stay safe and I pray this shall pass and we enjoy peace a health after this.
A big part of me is pleased how calm the world have become. How little money we are spending and how clean the environment is becoming. We must never go back to the way things were before the pandemic. I for once will never be the same when it comes to consumerism, rushing, stressing about worthless things and my carbon footprint.
I am taking this time at home to continue healing my brain and continue writing. Being in my homeland healed me in such a way that I am writing poetry again. I can’t wait to share it with you all.
Finally, after twenty-six years and after a very long battle internally, externally, and financially, I did it. I finally did it!
I battled within myself because I worried if I could afford such a long journey and more, I feared how my husband would say no fearing for my safety. I will now get to sit and share; however, briefly, a bit about the trip to my homeland, Kurdistan, with you all.
Here is one photo I can share. Above me is a sign that reads in Kurdish: SHARI JWAN =Beautiful City. This photo was taken by my eldest sister, who took me all over Suliamany to show me around.
I missed my homeland so very much. March 21st, 1994 was the day I took my very last steps before I migrated to Canada. I have had solid plans to go to Kurdistan in spring 2019 but due to my TBI, I could not go.
I purchased my flight in October 2019 but did not tell anyone, not even my husband or my boys. I knew in deepest soul and my heart that I was going, and there was nothing, and no one would stand in my way. I have denied my heart and my spirit for far too long when they felt the tug to return home. I had to return home or die of sadness. It was powerful, it was deep and it was real.
Even though I purchased my tickets secretly, I felt absolutely no fear, worry, anxiety, or uneasy intuition. I felt the most peace within I have ever felt getting the expensive return flight to Kurdistan through Lufthansa Airlines. I felt complete and utter contentment and started from that day on, journaling every day of how excited I was to count down to the day that I go back home.
In my journal, I read it and see how happy I was at the beginning and as the number of days went from three digits to double digits, and in the ninety-day marks, I began to worry. I was yet to tell my husband and my boys of my plans to go visit my homeland.
The day came, it was half an hour before the new year 2020. I told Harry and then I visited my boys and told them. Not until late January no-one in my own family knew I was going.
So, here I am, at home, sharing a part of my fantastic journey that was abruptly and suddenly cut short due to the virus that was declared ‘pandemic.’ Things became uncertain all over the world, so I paid the penalty of ~$600 and changed my flight to return to Canada because I feared I would be stuck and would not be able to fly home.
I write this as I am on Day #8 of 14 days self-quarantine. It is something we are all doing to avoid the possibility of spreading the COVID-19 (coronavirus).
I will not bore you with the details for now because I am writing the entire story to share with you at a later day. I want to take more time in the coming days to tell you what incredibly fantastic time I had visiting my homeland. It was terrific; Kurdistan is the most beautiful place on earth, and I will go back when this crazy time is over. I wish you all one day to get to go and see Kurdistan. Each day I was there, I told my sister, was the best day of my life, then the following day, I told her, no, no, this is the best day of my life. This went on for the entirety of the first seven days.
I was amazed at how much love I felt from everything in Kurdistan. I felt the love from the people, the trees, the gentle breeze, the mountains, the rain, the waters, the birds, the animals, and even the sacred soil I walked on. It is an incredible feeling to return to my homeland. Sad that I had to respond in such a hurry.
Enjoy those few pictures, and I will share more in the coming days. And, yes, I did write many many new poems. I will type them all and share it with you all.
Ps. for those of you can’t wait that long to see my journey written here on my website, feel free to see my posts on my Instagram page @Lozna1972
Date: Saturday, Feb. 22nd, 2020 Time: 3:00-5:00pm (Start at 3pm SHARP) Location: Danse Etc. Studio 910 Sherwood Ave., CoquitlamV3K 1A6right by the IKEA in CoquitlamCost: $20.00/person If you are accompanying a person and staying to watch: $10.00 Payment method: Cash at the door
I am fundraising to go back to Kurdistan –my homeland to visit and complete my book.
Disclaimer: This is a (one day) FOR FUN —fundraiser dance class. It is a low-intensity workout. Everyone is welcome to join. If you are not well or overstretch yourself, I won’t be responsible for the injury. This is learning & laughter & support a writer, crash dance class, so, if you can’t do a certain move, just don’t do it!
Here is the full speech and the poem I shared at the celebration of life event in North Vancouver yesterday. I was humble and honored to be asked to speak and share my poem.
Before I begin, I wish to acknowledge that we are gathered on the unceded and un-surrendered sacred land of the Musqueam xʷməθkʷəjˀəm, Tsleil-Waututh səl̓ilwətaɁɬ and Squamish Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Nations. This is the ancestral land of the Coast Salish People.
Good evening to you all.
Please do forgive me because I won’t thank you for being here this evening; instead, I want to say —and say it from the deepest part of my heart and soul that I am so sorry that you and I have to gather here today.
This tragedy, this crime against humanity, this ‘mistake,’ this deliberate disregard for life should have never happened.
This was avoidable!
This was a massive and devastating blow to peace on this planet!
The damage, the harm, and the far-reaching trauma that will ensue for decades and for generations to come must never be allowed to happen to anyone anywhere, ever!
The painful ripple effect of what was done to all 176 passengers and crew of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 on January 8, 2020, is reaching the farthest places on this earth. For each soul lost, hundreds and hundreds of people are hurting, and as we witness them suffer, we suffer too.
We lost great minds; we lost future prominent leaders, researchers, journalists, professors, and doctors.
We lost teachers, artists, students, and flight attendants.
We lost wives, husbands, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, and even a precious one-year-old Kurdish girl, Kurdia Molani. Lives perished, families broken, humanity reeling, and a hopeful future went with a single press of a button.
We will forever honor the lives that were cut short. We demand that the families be supported, access granted to surviving relatives, and we want the victims to remain a symbolic figure for all nations to never, ever let such crime to happen again.
May those we lost, rest in peace, may each family member and all who knew those we lost, find comfort, and take all the time needed to grieve the terrible loss.
May we as one, as witnesses to what was done to those families, remain united in love, support, openness, giving, and never allow hope to be lost.
Allow us to become more united and more connected —now more than ever, in harmony, compassion, empathy, peace, and, most importantly, with love because love can heal all wounds.
~by Lozan Yamolky
Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down by Iranian missile shortly after takeoff on January 8th, 2020 killing all 176 passengers including 57 Canadian citizens. Two of those that we lost were, Snoor Pourghaderi & Serveh Pasavand. May they all rest in peace and may their loved one and all who knew them, find peace, comfort and healing. I wrote this pome from the point of view of Amir, the father and husband of two we lost in our Kurdish community in Canada.
I am not broken;
I am shattered.
I am not weeping;
I am drowning in my tears.
I am not hurting;
I am partially dead inside
because they took my family away.
Break every bone in my body;
just don’t take my family away from me.
Torture me and cut every nerve ending in my extremity;
just please, don’t harm my family.
Burn my body whole and alive.
Burn my body whole and alive;
just don’t touch my family.
Point ALL your mightiest weapons at me
just don’t point it at them!
Please, don’t point it at them.
Let me be the last husband
and the last father to ever die
protecting his family
from your insatiable lust for blood,
power, ego, oil, control
and for your insatiable desire
to have more money.
Take back your flowers;
instead, go make them not press that button.
Take back your condolences;
instead, go and shout at them to stop,
for God’s sake, stop!
Blow out all those lit up candles;
instead, go tell the world
to never let them get away with it;
don’t let them do it to another soul.
Stop the senseless slaughter!
The slaughter of my family;
the massacre of my soul,
and the sacrifice of my future.
Enough ‘mistakes’ & ‘friendly-fire’.
Enough destruction of innocent lives and livelihood.
My family didn’t deserve this. I don’t deserve this!
YES, every dress you see me wearing in those photos and many many more dresses, accessories & scarves will be placed in an auction page to be sold to the highest bidder. I am raising funds to gather $5,000.00 to plan my lifelong dream trip to my homeland to finish my memoire.
Every dollar counts and each dress sold, will bring me one step closer to fulfilling my dream of going home this year.
A dinner in Port Moody focusing on refugees through music and poetry will mark the 71st anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
The annual fundraising dinner, to be held Dec. 10 and hosted by members of Tri-Cities Amnesty International, will feature the Vancouver Kurdish Music Ensemble and refugee poet Lozan Yamolky, as well as a video outlining the history of human rights.
“The Tri-Cities is now home for hundreds of refugees from many different countries,” Amnesty member Hazel Postma said in a press release. “Lozan’s poems evoke the sense of loss, as well as the hope, many of them must feel as they come to terms with their new reality.”
Yamolky was born in Iraq of Kurdish descent and, as a young adult, sought asylum in Turkey where she worked as an interpreter for the UN and the Canadian embassy. She moved with her family to Canada in 1995. Her poems reflect the anguish and suffering experienced by refugees. She says her purpose is to “wake up our conscience.”
The dinner, hosted by the Coquitlam restaurant Pasta Polo, takes place at The Old Mill Boathouse, 2715 Esplanade Ave., Port Moody. Tickets are $25 a person and include music, poetry, dinner, dessert and a silent auction. To reserve, go to eventbrite.com/e/80185686547.