By KANI XULAM
Let me tell you about a remarkable Kurdish gentleman.
Better yet, let him tell you:
“The year was 1960. I was ten years old. We had just moved to Mamak, Ankara. One day, I went out to play ball with kids in the neighborhood. They spoke Turkish. So did I. But, apparently, with a Kurdish accent. Instead of accommodating my desire to play with them, they ganged up on me and took off my pants.
“I had no idea what they were looking for. I soon found out. One of them shouted to the others, ‘he doesn’t have a tail.’ They would have been happier if I had one. Their elders had misled them… But the children felt free to satisfy their curiosity by invading my privacy. A gregarious person, I became reserved overnight. With no history of speech impediment, I began to stutter all at once.”