Website on global south and decolonial issues.


Zehra was made to marry to her cousin who lived in Germany. Zehra saw the man she married only once, the night of their wedding… Her husband left for Germany following that night, never coming back. Zehra served the family of his family who visited Antakya every year, with the hope that they would take her to Germany with them… Five years passed…

Zehra was my grandmother’s niece. One day, my grandmother noticed the situation and told her sons, who lived in Germany, to find out about Zehra’s husband. Grandma learned that Zehra’s husband got married again and had a family in Germany. While Zehra was waiting for him in Antakya, with the hopes that they would take her to Germany with them.
Zehra was the daughter of a poor and uneducated family. She didn’t know how to read or write, never left Antakya. Grandma decided she was to help Zehra, send her to Germany. Worth noting grandma didn’t know how to read or write either.
Nobody told Zehra she could become a German citizen due to her marriage. Zehra wasn’t aware of her rights of that marriage either. Grandma asked her sons who lived in Germany to take care of all the documents, got her the flight ticket. Everything was ready.
On the day Zehra was going to leave for Germany on a flight from Adana, grandma had an appointment at the hospital and my uncle needed to join her since she could not go alone (grandma was diabetic). Grandma told my uncle “take Zehra to the airport in Adana first, make sure she gets on her flight alright. The hospital is no emergency. Let’s make sure she has a life to live”. Grandma’s appointment was rescheduled for another day since my uncle took Zehra to the airport. The morning following Zehra’s flight, they called my grandmother to tell her Zehra made the trip safe and sound. Just after the call, grandma drew her last breath, right there and then.
Zehra never forgot about my grandmother or the things she did for her… She learned how to read and write in Germany, became a German citizen, divorced her husband, fell in love and got married. She’s a retired and has two kids nowadays…
My grandmother’s name was Hayriye. It means ‘to be full of goodness, kindness’. People live by their name. Grandma truly did. Maybe she wasn’t able to shine in on her own life, but she became the flicker that ignited the candle which became the light for different people.


My Kaaba is human project







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