22 Nov 2021
By: Begüm Başaran

 “I started to learn to trust myself unconditionally, to think about my future, and to express my feelings and thoughts. Most notably, I began to understand myself” said fifteen-year-old Cihan.  

She and her family fled Syria's war in 2014. Cihan is the oldest child in the family, with seven siblings. She doesn't remember much from those days because she was quite young. “The migration journey was like playing a game for us. I remember as if I were going on a trip. We were never aware of the seriousness of the situation until realizing that we are not going back. However, I just remember how excited I was to discover new places and meeting new friends” she said.  

They arrived in Turkey and started to build a new life in Şanlıurfa, where they currently reside with her family. She is continuing her education life and wants to contribute the society as a nurse in future. She is having difficulties with the pressure of society. “If I had a chance to live on another planet, I wish to live alone. Far away from all the pressure and limitation of society. Sometimes I am feeling that pressure too much on myself.” She is thinking that being the oldest kid in the family requires a more mature attitude from her, she is forced to grow up to fast. 

Cihan participated in an activity organized by IOM Turkey Psychosocial Mobile Teams “Voice of the Women”. The activity had two main goals: raising awareness on self-improvement and teaching a traditional percussion instrument called 'Erbane'. 

Erbane is a spiritual musical instrument, especially for Mesopotamian cultures. The tone of the old instrument carries mystical mantras. Cihan wasn’t so interested in music before this activity, but now she says that music became an integral part of her daily life. “During music classes playing and singing with our teacher was an amazing feeling.” The most interesting thing Cihan discovered in her music lessons was that Erbane had different notes.  

Cihan is very happy that she be part of that activity, meet new friends and share this beautiful journey with them. “The awareness sessions contributed to my life. I started to learn to follow my curiosity. Now, I have the confidence and hope to live my life. Before the activity I wasn’t sharing my feelings even when I feel sad with anyone; but with the help of activities, I learn to create trustworthy relations with my friends and family. I know that I can build a good future for myself. I am not shy anymore; I have a voice.”