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How  (NOT)  to play War Games with your Child... 

This is  a story I heard from a good friend of mine. I  like to tell it in my own words...
            My friend is a peace  activist. She is  successful, beautiful and  hard working. Being divorced she was raising her son alone,  trying to be a perfect mother.
            When the little boy  started to go to school, he came back home  saying, "mother everybody in school knows how to play war games, except me! You have to teach me!"
            She was tormented between her ideas and the will of his son.  Her son's will won the battle. She was going to fulfill her duty as a mother!
            Much as it broke her heart, the next day she bought  two sets of tin soldiers in different colors.  They lined up their solders on the table. Now they were ready to  play war games...
            "My soldiers are the good guys, your soldiers are the bad guys" said the boy...
            "Yeah... But who are the good guys?" asked the mother.
            "The good guys are the Americans of course." ( My friend  is an American.)
            "I see... And the bad guys are ..."
            "Hmmm... the enemy... I mean the Russians..."
            "Really ? Russian  like  the old lady  at the the bakery who brings you, your  birthday cake every year..."
            "No, no, lets say the enemy are the Japanese.."
            "Really? Japanese, like our gardener , who takes care of our garden ..."
            "No, no, it can't be the Japanese...  The bad guys are the Germans!"
            "My God! German, like  good old Gertha who owns the delicatessen store at the  corner  of the street!"
            This went on and on... Mother and son couldn't decide who the enemy was...
            Finally the boy  with a blow of his hand, crushed down all the  tin solders and bursting into tears, shouted: "Mummy you have spoiled my game! You are terrible !  You are a bad mother! One can not even play war game with you! "...
            That was the end of mother and son playing war games with tin soldiers.
            I have no idea with whom he played war games from then on,  or  if he ever did... Neither do I know  what games he played. I only know that  he  spent his childhood with his mother and my friend  always tried to be a perfect mother.
            Years passed by.
            Now the boy was in his early teens...
            One evening mother and son   were watching Tv. The news was about the  launching of a new missile.  Some generals were watching            the missile with great admiration...
            The mother  made a disgusting noise  and  turned her head away...
            The young boy, with a mischievous smile on his face , said: "Mummy... I  can guess what you are thinking about. "
            "What?  Tell me..."
            "You are thinking that this missile  looks like a huge penis and those generals  watching it have a hard on ! "
            "How right you are! " They were both laughing themselves silly!
            After all  she hadn't  been such a bad mother!

            By the way, my friend's name was Joan Baez...

Zeynep Oral’s book
“Leyla Gencer: A Story of Passion”
Has been published by the  İstanbul Foundation
For Culture and  Arts

First English edition:  ISBN 978-975-7363-73-6
c.2008. İstanbul

contact: yayinlar@iksv.org

Leyla Gencer
(Excerpt from a biography.)


"Please, Guard Hasan, let's go to the edge of the cliff, the edge of the cliff!"

A little girl with jet-black hair, pitch-black eyes -- she is maybe four years old, maybe not -- climbed up to Guard Hasan's arms, pointing out the edge of this plain, the very edge of the cliff.

This is a game they both like and play often: Guard Hasan throws the little girl up high and catches her. The little girl flies in the sky for a while; then, while she is falling down, she finds herself in the trusted arms of Hasan. She wants to play this game, not at any place on the plain, but always at the very edge of the cliff.



They existed first.

They always existed in the most passionate loves and dreadful hates, in boundless freedom and helpless captivity, in shining bravery and miserable cowardice, in hope and helplessness, in acceptance of fate and challenge of fate, in wisdom and innocence, in intellect and emotions, in kindness and wickedness.

All the emotions of the earth could be phrased with their existence, their adventures.



Some Of Her Most Popular Books:

Kadın Olmak - (To Be A Woman)
(AD Kitapçılık 1985. )

Research on the situation of women both in Turkey and in the world. Some sections of this book are: Women in War- Women in exile- Women at work - Women in the fields - Women in cities - Women in the house - Women at Work - Women and the changing roles etc.

Bir Ses (A Voice)
(AD Kitapçılık. 1986)

The voice (biography ) of a grandmother, (Ms. Reha İsvan) who was a peace activist, jailed after the military coup in Turkey (1980) united with the voices of other women prisoners


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