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Taking Heaven Home


Zawa Mountain is a mountain range which comfortingly overshadows the village. Until recently it was a barren mountain, home to a few savvy chai stallholders who strategically positioned their plastic chairs and nargilas facing Duhok not facing the camp. That was something that always annoyed me, set your view on the city, ignore the tent dwellers on the other side of the mountain. The “haves” and the “have nots”. In the last few years, the mountain has become home to gorgeous, lush gardens topped off by a Bellagio style fountain display complete with ballroom dance music, which I have to admit is kind of cool, Duhoki style but with all the incongruity of the region, it fits. Sahla, Latifa and Salwa took some of our Sewing Hope ladies to the Zawa Mountain Park, some of whom had not left the camp in eight years, having the freedom to leave but nowhere to go, and no money of course. They all connected deeply with the rose garden, with nature, with the water. Listening to them share their delight in their two hour trip, I was able to allow my mind to delete the Vegas bit, and embrace the exquisiteness of the Song of Solomon, which although a song of covenantal love ( a very multi-layered song ) seems somehow to fit with our girls and their awakening to that which is beautiful.

“Arise my love, my beautiful one and come away. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come”

Song 2: 12



“Oh, I did not get enough of this beautiful place. It was such a peaceful and joyful time. I was surrounded by nature, pure nature, pure flowers, it reminded me of heaven. I did not want to leave.

Energy flowed into me. I breathed deeply, the stress left and I felt relaxed. Being away from the tents and the noise enabled me to think clearly, to see clearly, to focus on the good, those I love, those I care about.

It helps us to get out, and such a place totally takes us far from our routine, far from the camp, far from all the everyday life and struggle to survive. All of us from Sewing Hope are great friends and are very comfortable together, so to experience this wonder together was incredible. I returned home, carrying a piece of heaven with me.”