Last Thursday, November 6th, was the 7th anniversary of the tragic deaths of my nephew Chia and his bride Hana who were killed on their wedding day.
Chia had booked a chalet beside Lake Dokan in Suliemaniah province, Kurdistan for their honeymoon and following their wedding celebrations with their happy families they travelled to the tourist resort and the prefab chalet. The following morning their families were to receive the unbelievable news that the happy bride and groom had died within hours of checking into the chalet. The families were told that they had died together from smoke inhalation when a fire broke out in the chalet as they slept. The families were told, verbally, that the fire had been caused by an electrical fault but there was no official explanation given only that they had died from smoke inhalation.
The death of Chia and Hana, a young, happy couple who were killed on the night of their wedding was met with sadness and disbelief throughout Kurdistan. Their families and friends who had wished them well in their married life only hours before were left devastated by the tragic news that they received the day after the wedding. Since that tragic day the two families have gone every week to the grave yard where the grave of the tragic couple lies.
In this case the grieving families were not given the respect of a full, official investigation into the tragedy. There were no official post mortems, accident investigation or judicial investigation into what had caused the fire. To make matters worse it had soon become common knowledge that the chalet was owned by a brother of a well known politician who had the chalet refurbished and rented out again within days of the fatalities.
I know my sister, Chia’s mother, on one occasion was called by a judge who asked her if she would like to receive some form of compensation for her loss. Her reply to this was that yes, she would like to see the building of a school that was named in memory of Hana and Chia. That call was over six years ago and she has heard nothing since then, not from the court or from the Government. When I questioned her about how she felt over the lack of justice in the deaths of her son and daughter-in-law, she said that she did not expect to receive any justice when there were ‘big sharks’ involved.
While the owner of the tourist resort continues to make his profits and has not been challenged in any way over the deaths of a young couple in the chalet he owned my sister is left to mourn her beloved son and his young bride and questions that have never been answered. Even the hope of a school built, in their memory, where the children of others could be educated has become a dream with no prospects of being fulfilled.
Meanwhile we seem to be living in a society that has no hand at the helm and there is a marked division between the rich and the poor. How can people respect our government, laws and enforcement agencies when life here has become a matter of how rich you are and who you know, with the right connections you do well but without those connections you will not. It reminds me of George Orwell’s famous book ‘Animal Farm’ from which I quote “All are equal but some are more equal than others.”