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Galan: Turning Your Passion To Purpose

By: Fargo Bcn

This article is about a young lady who I met on social media via Twitter. I've always been fascinated by her upfront and fascinating tweets, that made me follow her. Our friendship started with simple comments and greetings, then went on from small chats to a more extended conversation.

Her name is Galan Zuhrya Jabbar; she just turned 22 by last summer, 2021. Born in the town of Choman, she's outgoing, sociable, and full of life young adult. Choman is located about 45 km East of Soran. As a famous town gaining its name in Kurdistan, it is surrounded by gorgeous and alluring nature. A town nestled with grandeur mountains, valleys, and breathtaking agricultural and cattle breeding area located in the district of the Halgurd-Sakran Mountain ranges. The area is a popular tourist destination. It has attracted international and local tourists because of its developing facilities like summer resorts, parks for relaxation, and outdoor recreation places such as rivers, green pastures, lakes, waterfalls, and mountains for hiking.

Galan is proud of her family origin from Choman. However, she has something to boast about for one reason: Iraq's Halgurd Mountain (the highest mountain). For adventurous individuals, this is the ultimate expedition! Foreign and local visitors are encouraged to climb the highest peak in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, with an altitude of 3,609 meters. Halgurd Mountain takes one's breath away and will surely leave a lasting memory that will make you return. Halgurd has much to offer to every tourist from different parts of the globe who travels far to experience the majestic sight of Halgurd. Your visit is surely paid off.

Certaintown qualities have encouraged Galan to become a YouTuber and photographer, and qualities of the town have encouraged Galan to become a YouTuber, a photographer, and a translator. She sees everything in her surroundings as an opportunity to grow and develop. That challenged her to utilize her extra time to make little money by using her initiative and talent. It paved an avenue that opened her views to value the beauty of Kurdistan, that there's so much to do and so much to be proud of about her town.

Galan has emphasized her desire for Kurdistan to be viewed as a land of tolerance and coexistence. People worldwide should know that the Kurds are warm and peace-loving, making Kurdistan a beautiful land to visit and explore. Kurdistan is a stateless nation without a country, and knowing the Kurds' painful history, Galan draws her inspiration through these in a positive outlook. She proudly said, "When I share my photos and videos on my Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, foreign people are amazed and would wonder about Kurdistan. Many interested foreigners contact me through my accounts to ask me to guide them to their town's first female photographer and YouTubersightseeing". She does the tour guide with her siblings. She is proud to be recognized as her town's first female photographer and YouTuber.

Being acquainted with Galan via social media, I became interested in her hobbies and passion, especially her tour guide. I can see those opportunities and open doors. There are several different paths to earning as a tour guide and teaching the Kurdish language to interested tourists who want to stay longer in Kurdistan for a job or other purposes. It also offers an opportunity to travel abroad through invitations and becoming a virtual assistant or even a travel blogger – one option that will enrich your travel experience. Becoming a tour guide is one of the most rewarding and exhilarating ways to meet foreign people and learn about a country's culture and history while sharing your country with people.

Tour Guides wear multiple 'hats' while running a trip. It may look like your guide is having a relaxed holiday alongside the group. Still, the reality is that a tour guide is a travel agent, therapist, accountant, event manager, historian, conflict resolution manager, and currency expert, and professional public speaker. All skills carry across impressively to any future career. These are all great avenues to explore your interest and decide your lead. And that's what I can see with the kind of enthusiasm Galan has.

That's what Galan is passionate about. But she still has her biggest dream and priorities in life. This year's summer, she just graduated from the English Department of Soran University. In my online chats with her, I asked her about her plans after graduation; she replied earnestly, "I want to study Master's and push through Ph.D. in Literature and Philosophy. While studying at university, I was one of the top students in our department. I did many extracurricular activities and volunteer work. For example, I volunteered to teach the English language and participated in many debates, competitions, and conferences in my second year. Every student has a special talent, but there must be a platform to showcase each one's talent to be useful and efficient. I was then encouraged to write a proposal letter to the college dean of the university and the university's president, presenting the objective of my proposal. It was approved, and I spearheaded the platform and named it 'Soran University Platform For Talented Students.' Having created and conceptualized the platform, I opened it for all talented students to join. Many were encouraged to participate where they individually demonstrated their talents and participated in many activities together." These are the passions she considers worth emulating and hopes translation carries throughout.

Apart from the activities that Galan is involved in, she also does translation. She accepts translation work for photography, literature, philosophy, and arts. Because of this, many people recognize her as a talented, motivated person full of life and energy. On the other hand, remorse comes in knowing there are not enough opportunities in her town to apply her skills. She sincerely acknowledges their compliment by telling them she would continue to help individuals who need assistance, saying, "My gorgeous mother has been my greatest influence. She always encouraged me to become what I want to be." Galan didn't stop believing in her capabilities and engaged her free time to read books or do paintings. She never let time pass away or wait for opportunities to come, but she creates them. "However, there are obstacles, but my dreams are bigger than them." She said.

Galan's receptive attitude is her strength. She always looks forward to learning new things. She likes to help, support, and encourage others. But there are moments in her life when she felt there is a lack of opportunities to achieve her dreams, especially when a family member gets sick. She can't help but dwell and overly think about the situation. These are some of her weaknesses.

What is your biggest dream that you like to accomplish, and how do you see yourself ten years from now? "My biggest dream is to one day achieve my wishes and aspirations. I want to attain this to help my family live a more comfortable life. I have many dreams, but the biggest one, for now, is to focus on my Master's studies. To complete and accomplish my higher education and finally land a decent job. For the next ten years, I would like to be a professional Kurdish photographer, translator, and writer."

As Kurd, are you proud of your identity? "As soon as we are born, we're given a name, a religion, and a nationality. I must admit that being a Kurd isn't easy. Our forefathers and past leaders have always fought for independence, and until now, we are striving to attain that aspiration. I can't say I'm not proud as a Kurd because Kurd is my identity. Being a Kurd means striving, attempting, and having a voice among other nations to have our independent country. A country where individuals can be free in Bakur, Başur, Rojava, and Rojhelat because all Kurdish individuals and families sacrificed for this nation. My grandfather Rasool Mustafa was martyred by Sadam Hussein's regime because he was a Kurd. It's a bitter history but honorable for us to remember, cherish, gain strength, and pass on to the next generation.


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