November 29, 2022

By Chris Elliott…

We were devastated to read the news in social media that Kivanc Houssein had passed away and it was only a few weeks ago when we made contact with him.

By a recommendation of a member of his family, Kivanc contributed an article for publishing on CyprusScene and through our communications with him and through his article it was clear he was a very caring man and highly talented and we extend our sympathies to his family.

We received the following message from family member Gultac Ozsan which also sums up the tragic loss of  Kivanc Houssein to all who knew him:

He is our nephew,  married to Fisun my niece.  He was a great father, husband and a great author. He lived to love and help.  Kivanc had a very charitable personality and was a very ethical person. He has been in our family for 39 years, we never heard him to raise his voice, to get angry, to talk about anybody or to get upset with anybody … There is so much I could tell about him. 

For all that knew him, Kivanc Houssein was a very special person as can be read through his words in his article below and we pray he rests in peace.

The Village with no Name in Cyprus

By: Kivanc Houssein

The Village with No Name is a unique place in Cyprus and very hard to find. It has no green felt tip line running through its middle, its inhabitants have no prejudice against one another despite being of different cultures and religions. The soil and animals are respected and treated well for what they give back to us, only snakes are banned because we don’t want any of that Garden of Eden rubbish going on here.

There is the beautiful Beach with No Name with its resident mermaids, a picturesque square for socialising and events and even a Transylvanian castle. I live in the basement where I carry out my experiments and studies, but I never go up to the turrets, too many bats.

The only way to find No Name is to search deep within your heart and find the realisation that we are all one, we are all family, we are all human. That epiphany and a sincere desire to be as one with Mother Gaia transports you to our humble happy home, a Cyprism of all cultures. My mission is to boldly go where no…. oops, sorry, that’s Star Trek.

My mission is to go out and discover what’s happening on this beautiful divided island we call Cyprus and preserve our common heritage. So I’ll explain how I got my name and begin the odyssey.

Back in the late 60s my mum’s family lived in Tuzla, a suburb of Larnaca. Tuzla consisted of three streets which all converged to a modest Cypriot scale mosque, the minaret was only three floors high. It was a mixed community and my grandad, Ali Dede, had a café at this meeting of streets. As everyone called him Ali Dede, growing up I thought my family was massive, three streets worth. I was raised there in my early years but moved to London, however we were yearly visitors and everyone knew me. It was peaceful, it was safe, it was hot.

L to R – Ali Dede, Kivanc Houssein, Ayshe Nene, Birsen Hala, Chisen and Dyell

That particular year some animal had gotten into the cellar of the mosque and died and was adding a fetid aroma to the road. My uncle had been given the job of removing the fetid fly-ridden carcass from its tomb and as I had nothing else to do than bother people he took me along. We arrived at the mosque and entered the ground floor having taken our shoes off. The stench was unbelievable and my uncle and a companion who was carrying a tarpaulin started to disappear down the spiral stone stairs, giving me strict instructions not to move, not to touch. The stairs, however, led up to the singing platform and they were enticingly inviting me up. Thinking of the view it would afford me I gave in and started spiralling upwards. Each step made me hotter, each step made the “oufff”s and “Aman be”s echoing up from the cellar fainter.

Finally I reached the top, the sweat pouring off me, and before I could see the view I was confronted by two amorous wasps. The lady flew away immediately, she was not an exhibitionist. The male turned round and I swear all the facets of his eyes locked onto me in an angry stare. We stayed there for what seemed an eternity, the dust motes floating in slow motion between us, a Cypriot standoff. Sergio Leone soundtrack, camera from my eyes to his facets, bead of sweat to twitchy antenna, my eyes his facets…….broken by his angry buzz as he dove towards me and my girlie scream as I ran back down the spiral. I burst out onto the streets barefoot, arms waving around my head trying to keep the manic wasp off me.

My uncle’s head popped out of the mosque with a “huh, what the….” look on his face, people on the street were looking at me, housewives in their windows were looking at me, all with one word on their lips as I ran by in the midday heat dripping wet beating my head screaming like a girl. “Eşeg” “IDIOT.“ Eventually I got to nene’s house and stopped. I couldn’t hear anymore buzzing! I was safe. Then I felt something crawling on my head and my hand went instinctively to see what it was and the bastard stung me between my fingers. More girlie screams.

Later that evening I went to Zynettin Dede’s for a medicinal ice cream but I didn’t stay long because people were laughing at me, not behind my back, but to my face, Cypriots are upfront when relishing in someone else’s misfortune. I started walking back home in the dark and I heard a whoosh and something grazed the top of my hair. I stood shock still. It happened again. It was a bat who had chosen my head for its toy that evening. Well I freaked and once again started running and beating my head. People on the street were looking at me, housewives in their windows were looking at me, all with one word on their lips. “IDIOT.“

Looking back, the wasp actually did me a big favour and taught me not to disrespect someone else’s belief system. It had been my intention upon reaching the top of the minaret to start singing “Why, why, why, Delilah.” Why? Because it was number one at the time and I liked it, but I would probably have ended up with a fatwa on my head if I had.

See you somewhere in Cyprus soon.

The Village Idiot.

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