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Come with me to Rwandz!

Helllooo Loyal Readers,

I often complain that when in Erbil I miss the sound of ocean waves and the oh-so-great feeling of sinking my feet in the sand on the shore. How lovely it would be to be a car ride away from the beach? Ahhhhhhh (it feels amazing just typing the description). There is nothing I love more than nature, and Kurdistan’s nature for me is heaven on earth. Although I am upset this year I was not advised allowed to take any long car trips, it meant Shaqlawa was the furthest I went.* Maybe not a short car ride away, but in a few hours we can take ourselves from a busy and crazy city life to a peaceful little heaven.

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Rwandz, the view from the Pank resort

I was going through last year’s pictures taken in the middle of the most beautiful mountains, nearby the grandest waterfalls and… I rememembered all the fun I had. So, how about  in this blog post you and I go and visit the deepest gorge in the Middle East. Let’s pretend we’re in the car and off we go to Rwandz.*

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I share a special love for Rwandz (often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Kurdistan) because three of my best friends just happen to be from that area. Many (and I mean many many) years back my father was also based there,  so naturally I had heard a lot about the place. As for the people, they are the kindest I have
ever met. IMG_1116All this aside the heart-stirring nature of mountains, trees, waters and the weather… Oh. My… It is one of those places where you can pack your bags to and spend a week there to mentally recover and press the refresh buttons in your mind and soul. A place where you can clear off all the negative energy flowing through your body (don’t we all have a ton of that these days?!). IMG_0906

We went as a work retreat, it happened to be a place our boss loved, and I don’t blame him. We stayed at the Pank resort, they were little houses each furnished with all the essentials you would need on a weekend get away. The view from the houses were phenomenal, but we woke up every morning to have breakfast here, at the resort’s main restaurant. Now imagine this: Warm, fresh bread, yoghurt and a pyala of chai right here. On that very seat.
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I had forgotten my camera (I know, how stupid?!) so these pictures-taken by the iPad- make no justice to what one sees with their eyes when taking a casual morning walk in Pank resort.

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Rwandz (Rawanduz) this picture is taken from The Other Iraq Tours website

I am actually surprised of how amazing Pank is, although I must admit, it needs a lot more work to make it the five star resort it is promised to be. It has so much potential. With a little more organization and a good management team this place can be be the ideal getaway! IMG_1467

I can sit here all day and all night. Write, think, talk to friends, have fun with family members, sip my chai, have golabarozha or…do absolutely nothing but breathe in proper oxygen, something that I often miss in Erbil. Doesn’t it feel good to sometimes escape from pollution, the sight of too many cars, tall buildings and unwanted stress?

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I was probably tweeting something with the hashtag Kurdistanakam

The only thing I would do differently this time when I do visit is switch off the phone. I have seen pictures of Rwandz in the winter time and it looks like being in a white cotton land above the clouds. Now that’s an idea for something to do this winter.

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Rwandz in winter, picture taken from here

Calm down Saza, we still have the beautiful July sun (OH NO!) before you can even think of winter.
What is your favourite getaway place in Kurdistan? If you want ideas make sure you get your hands on a copy of the Kurdistan Tours Guide, or drop back to the blog next week. I have somewhere special to take you, once again!

For now lots of love from
My Nest in Kurdistan
Sazan,

* Please note the issue was health related, not security concerns.
* You may have seen it written differently: Rawanduz, Rawandouz, Rwandz, Rawandiz

Young women of Kurdistan- The change maker series, meet Beri!

Hellooo Loyal Readers,

I’m back with another inspiring young Kurdistani woman. I have been lucky enough to briefly meet Beri once or twice, but her work speaks loudly, and I have always been a fan. Some people, you watch their work from far, and you applaud what they do, and how they do it. I honestly can’t think of anyone else who in 140 characters (or less) melts your heart away. She comes through as a humble, kind human being, who in her world of filmmaking, writing and photography is being a voice to Kurds and Kurdistan. Often described as “an award winning writer and filmmaker” Beri is just that, award winning! And how amazing it is to see a fellow young Kurdish woman be recognized not just within Kurdistan but also outside for the work she does in a field that men often find it difficult to succeed in.Reise