Cleaning up Ruandz

In 2010, Dashni visited the Ruandz area with friends and took in the beautiful scenery and the inspirational surroundings. They soon noticed, however, that the area had been poorly looked after – if at all – and was far from its former glory, with litter a huge issue.

Together, they decided to each take a month out of their lives to dedicate to cleaning it, so that it could be a place for residents and tourists alike to enjoy.

To honour the decision, Dashni began to write a song called Kurdistan, which would soon be featured on her third album, Frishtey Mihreban. The song embodied her love for the country, and how she would protect the environment in the place she knew as one of her homes.

However, the song wasn’t enough – she felt more needed doing to raise awareness for the cause. When she returned to Ruandz in 2013, so much litter had accumulated that she couldn’t even enjoy a walk in the mountains – it was a shameful sight.

Once more, she and her friends decided to act.

The team approached some students, and they agreed to volunteer for the clean-up. Simultaneously Dashni hoped it would help to educate the youngsters on the importance of protecting the mountains and the Kurdish culture they represent. They installed bins on the busy roads to curtail littering in the areas where so many tourists stop to photograph the beautiful scenery. The bins are still there today.

Kurdistan TV featured an instalment on the clean-up, and whilst many viewers took to social media to claim Dashni was a ‘cleaner’, this did nothing to curb her passion for the environment.