On December 7, 1998, Meyan was shot. She was shot by her step brother. The reason was her disobedience to her husband. Indeed she was a nurse for 13 years and her sister took her to the hospital where she was working then. After this incident, the tribe in which Meyan's father, uncle and brothers were all present, did not want Meyan to recover in the hospital. Meanwhile, the feminist women organizations began to take care of Meyan upon the news leaked out from the hospital. Meyan stayed at a women's shelter in Suleymaniye for a year, but because of the threats of the tribe towards the shelter she had to move to a house of the mother of a deputy of the Iraqian Parliament. She stayed there for two years. Throughout all these time, she could not have the chance to see her children. Afterwards it was understood that she had no chance to stay further in Iraq because of the threads, and she was taken to Germany.
I met Meyan for the first time in Istanbul, where she was on her way to Germany. A heavy misty curtain was covering her body like a dark grief. It was as if all the world's sorrow was reflected on her face. I was not aware of her story when I was photographing her. But after I got some information about her, I could figure out that the obstacles between Beyhan and her children were not only the taboos formed by the men dominant tribes but the rules between the country borders. Because she was now going to another country. A country without her children...
From Iraq to Europe...
A year later I went to Germany to find her. She was waiting for us in front of the door of the Heim rising through the ghostly houses among a deathly silence. Heim had created another ghost house, which seemed to be materialist but at the same time factitious, in this dreadful desolition. And Meyan was one of the people leaving in this Heim, who were desperate because of not being able to actualize themselves since they were “heimlos”.
Meyan's only wish was to reunite with her children. The borders should have demolished. Hegemony, taboos, rules... She was real but on the other hand factitous because of her wish. According to us, it was impossible for her to reunite with her children. She had to be a part of the life in Germany but she had totally refused the way she was there. She was wearing the same black dresses, eating not too much and asking for her children without any dialogue on other subjects.
Meanwhile Meyan obtained a passport and came to Istanbul to see her children after 5,5 years of being apart but after 10 days they departed again. The father could not anymore take care of the children because he had joined the army as Iraq was on the brink of war. The children were left at a hotel in Istanbul upon Meyan's request.
Meyan was hopeful when she came together with her children in Istanbul and also while she was going back to Germany. A few days before the war broke out in Iraq, with the help of the German Consulate in Istanbul, many feminist women, German Protestant Church, Thomas who was coordinating us and these organizations, and carrying out projects on refugee children in Germany, and of course Meyan, the children were sent to Germany.
Later on I saw them one more time. They were living together in a house, which looked like a calm blue water, too neat, had no details but with a huge television in.