By Levi Clancy for לוי on

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I'm so happy to share my third monthly video.

It finally happened. The heartache finally hit me. I wasn't sure when it would hit me. Maybe it would be when my Kurdistanniversary was coming. But no, it came after. It's now been more than one year since arriving in Kurdistan. Located, based, worked -- I always used these words, but hesitated to use the L word until now. I'd say for once that I live in Kurdistan.

And then the pain hit. Maybe it had been building up for a long time. It was all those nights when I'd make friends and find out they were leaving. The city has been deadened by the ghosts of everyone's family getting up and leaving for Europe, or the United States. We still talk about the people who left. We even still talk with them. We see them on Skype. But the city misses them. We miss them. I miss you.

Weeks went by where I did not meet a single person who did not want to leave. This is a city where friendships are beautiful, but destined to fail. Within a year, you have friends in every single continent except Antarctica. Some people get up and move. Some people never intended to stay, but were just here for years, months, or weeks until their time came to move to the next project. And as the economy was hit simultaneously by war and plunging oil prices, the epically frantic pace and enthusiasm turned to a harried desperation and uncertainty.

That is why I decided to focus this month's film exclusively on Hawler. Welcome to our city.

I chose the song Revolution because this city is constantly in revolution, spinning -- and changing with each rotation. Eventually, you get used to living with boxes nearby. With each time I see the city like it is completely new to me, I forget my original dreams a little more. It changes me, too. Pain becomes a constant companion, but in my heart I feel that there is something exceptionally gorgeous about living here. Because nonetheless, this is a city of a million people -- and it is a city in the crosshairs of news, politics, culture, and global security. There must be an energy, a lifeline somewhere. Yes, there is.


All the best,