My name is Mina Hamedi and before I became the managing editor of The Grief Diaries, before I moved to New York to attend college and before I met Kristi at the Columbia University MFA program years later, I was a little girl living in Istanbul, Turkey.
I grew up in a neighborhood by the Marmara Sea, just a few minutes away from where the recent Atatürk Airport bombings took place. I’ve walked through the now broken international terminal doors countless times, greeted my father and my mother with open arms at the arrival gate, and said impossible goodbyes at the departures.
Though I have divided the past six years of my life between two cities, Istanbul will always be the place that shaped me and where my family and childhood friends still live. I went to an international school that welcomed every race, religion and culture. My parents raised me to think, see, and feel globally, to understand that grief is human, not limited to one group of people, or experienced less by another.
With the increasing number of violent incidents around the world, I couldn’t help but notice that when it came to tragic events in my home, the victims remained nameless and faceless, mere statistics to the rest of the world. I saw images of vigils, public gatherings, readings of identities, numerous expressions of grief from similar events around the world—Paris, Brussels, and more recently, Orlando—that would be cruelly dismissed or even considered dangerous acts against the government in Turkey. In more recent news, the Turkish government has even gone against further investigations of the attack.
Turkish people turn to social media and online platforms because the threat of “media blackouts” are recurrent and limit the spread of information to the entire country and the rest of the world.
It is especially on those days and right now, that I feel lucky to have a home here in New York, to be able to express my thoughts and feelings not only on a personal level, but also through The Grief Diaries.
Though our resources are varied and unreliable, below is a list of identified victims so far. May they rest in peace.
Ali Zülfikar Yorulmaz
Salar Davudi Kohnehshahri
Taher Misfir H. Almaki
Mustafa Husham Saeed
Tevfik Yusuf Haznadaroğlu
Nisreen Hashem Shammad
Vafika Ali Bilal
Abdurrahman Abdullah Ibedullah
Muhammed Eymen Demirci
Lastly, Umut Sakaroğlu, the customs officer who lost his life saving others.
We invite the rest of the community to share their art and writing in response to these events as The Grief Diaries continues to provide a space for public and collective grief for everyone. Thank you.
To submit your work in response to the Istanbul attack, please visit our Submittable page.