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 in simple comments and greetings, then went on through small chats to a more extended conversation.


Her name is Galan Zuhrya Jabbar; she just turned 22 recently 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 with 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 really to boast about for one reason; it's the Halgurd Mountain (the highest mountain) in Iraq. 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 come back again. Halgurd has a lot to offer to every tourist from different parts of the globe who traveled far to experience the majestic sight of Halgurd. Your visit is surely paid off.


The certain 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 greater 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 that Kurdistan should be viewed as a land of tolerance and coexistence, that people around the world should know that the Kurds are warm and peace-loving people, which adds up to making Kurdistan a beautiful land to visit and to 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 around for site seeing". She does the tour guiding with her siblings. She is proud to be recognized as the first female photographer and YouTuber in her town.


Being acquainted with Galan via social media, I became interested in her hobbies and passion, especially her tour guiding. I can see those opportunities and open doors that there are several different paths to earning as you do tour guiding; teaching Kurdish language to interested tourists who want to stay longer in Kurdistan because of 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, learn about a country's culture and history while sharing your own 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 which 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 plans after graduation; she replied earnestly, "I want to study Master and push through Ph.D. in Literature and Philosophy. When I was studying at university, I was one of the top students in our department. I did many extracurricular activities, and volunteer works. For example, I volunteered to teach the English language and participated in many debates, competitions, and conferences in my second year. I believe every student has a special talent, but there must be a platform to showcase each one's talent; to be able to be useful. 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 been 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 were actively involved in many activities together." These are the passion she considers worth emulating and hopes that it carries throughout.

Apart from the activities that Galan is involved in, she does translation as well. She accepts translation work for photography, literature, philosophy, and arts. Because of this, many people recognize her as a talented, motivated person and full of life and energy. On the other hand, remorse comes in knowing that there are not enough opportunities in her town to apply her skills. She sincerely acknowledges their complement by telling them that she would continue to help individuals who need assistance by saying, "My gorgeous mother has been my greatest influence. She always encouraged me that I can become what I want to be." Galan didn't stop believing in her capabilities and engages 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 I can achieve my wishes and aspirations. I want to attain this so that I can 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 study. To be able to complete and accomplish my higher education and finally land a decent job. I wish for the next ten years that I can become 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 that 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, 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 to the next generation.

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