Saturday, July 29, 2006

Soraya Serajedinni

Kurdish Woman Society on mourning for her sister…
By: Soraya/Fallah
Los Angeles CA

“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, and to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.”
The great Leo Ruston stated and somehow looking at Soraya Serajeddini Nakshbandi’s life, it seems as though she lived by this belief and indeed she mattered and she stood for beliefs worth dying for, fighting for, and most of all living for. Soraya lived every moment of her life trying to make a difference and she was passionate and strong and those who knew her and those who will hear her story will forever admire her.

Soraya was born in 1960 in Tehran, Iran to Dr.Abed Serajeddini and Zayneb Setoodeh. At a young age she had to escape from Iran with her family to Baghdad where she briefly lived under stressful conditions, but was able to move to the US in 1982. She lived an active life in San Jose, CA where she attended San Francisco State University and later transferred to Northeastern University in Boston where she received her BS in Electronic Engeneering. She married Thomas Ver Ploeg, who is presently the secretary of KNC, and became the mother of two bright boys, Aveen and Daryan. She joined the Kurdish National Congress of North America (KNC) in 1991 and worked towards bringing about unity among Kurds and advocating for the formation of a united, free Kurdistan. She served as an executive board member of KNC and later on as the vice president of KNC. Soraya became a well known political voice for the Kurdish human right movements and fought for the Kurdish women’s right as well. She was greatly respected and admired by her fellow activists and friends. Soraya’s life was devoted to the Kurdish cause and she defined strength in the form of an independent Kurdish woman. Less than two years ago Soraya decided to move to Millersville, Maryland to devote her life to her political activities. She was a strong advocate of building bridges between Kurds and other progressive groups in the world.

During November 2005 Soraya worked hard with KNC to prepare a conference in Kurdistan /Iraq as a Public Relations & Media Contact and was the vice chair of Kurdish Independence Conference in Kurdistan/Iraq. She traveled with her fellow colleagues to South of Kurdistan.

March 2006, Soraya played a leading role in Democracy in Syria and Kurdish Human and National Rights Conference in Washington, DC, reflecting her dedication to Kurds in all parts of Kurdistan. She was the conference moderator, and she stated that: "There is Kurdish proverb that says: we have no friends but the mountains," but today she pointed out, "We have many people on our side."

She became Director of the Kurdish American Committee for Democracy in Iran in May 2006, and participated as a MC in a remarkable conference that was held at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, where she stated that:
"The only way to overcome these ethnic differences and keep Iran together is for the mullah regime to be replaced by a true democratic government that gives federal autonomy to Iran's ethnic regions,
Soraya was in the process of many other projects and activities and she was far from done…
Early morning Monday of July 24th a friend called from DC, with the unbelievable news that Soraya had passed away possibly due to complications of an asthma attack…

When I think about her and I remember her on phone, the way she was handling the issues, her sense of humor, and I look at all her e-mails, I feel that she is an unfinished project, like the nation she fought for which is still on her way. Soraya left us too early but not too little and I am compelled to work with more enthusiasm and passion towards reaching her goals. Though her body may not be present among us, her beliefs, thoughts, ideas, and memories are within all who recognized her great dedication and contributions to her nation.
As I look at her face in the picture one more time, and remember her voice, her hard work, I believe that the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, and to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all ” who she was, proved it.

To listen to her voice please click below:

Read her article in Kurdish Human right conference: presentations/serajeddini.pdf

Soraya in kurdishblogger

Under construction