Hüdai Yavalar is the founder of the Atatürk Society of America.
He came to world in a Turkish family of very modest means That was the same year Atatürk left the world, leaving Turkey and Hüdai behind. He grew up and studied in Turkey until he graduated from high school. When he moved to Istanbul for university studies in engineering, he was recruited by one of Turkey’s popular basketball teams of the time, Daruşşafaka. He was always very proud of that affiliation. However, what he learned the most in those formational years were the necessity of hard work to succeed under difficult circumstances and the phenomenal modernization and development Atatürk brought to Turks. This spirit of endeavor for success urged him to seek it in the United States, the land of opportunities. He arrived with fifty dollars in his pocket. He worked at any job he could find to earn his MA in Civil Engineering from George Washington University in D.C. After getting his degree, he worked in a construction firm’s projects in the U.S. and overseas. Eventually, the time came for him to establish his own real estate development firm in the capital city.
This solid background he built for himself was not to be waisted in extravagant lifestyle but for helping others and for bringing to life his lifelong dream of perpetuating Atatürk’s legacy. He had a big heart and big dreams. True to the saying “charity starts at home”, he first provided financial assistance to family and friends. Then, he extended assistance to many primary schools in rural Turkey. Finally, the time had come to the dissemination of appreciation of Atatürk’s ideas. He donated to the maintenance of Atatürk Mausoleum in Ankara. He founded the Atatürk Society of America in Washington D.C. He obtained the generous permission of D.C. municipal authority to erect the most beautiful statue of his leader-in-life at one of the most prominent squares of the city, sculpted by a renown American artist, Jeffrey L. Hall.
He now rests in peace having succeeded in living a life of his dreams inspired by Atatürk. Atatürk would have been proud of him.
Hüdai Yavalar’ın ardından
Biz otururken sıcak evimizde,
O çalışırdı Atamızın izinde.
Zordu işi yabancı ülkede,
Atatürk’ün askeriydi Hüdai.
Biz isterken yapılmasını,
O bilirdi başarmasını,
Atatürk yolunda Hüdai.
İnsanlar hâyalleri kovalar,
Amma gerçeğe varamayanlar
Yapmazlarsa lafta kalır arzular.
Atatürk’ün istediğini yaptı Hüdai.
Atatürk isterdi olsun onun gibi çocuklar,
Çalışsınlar ülkeyi kalkındırsınlar,
Hayâlini kurduğu, Hüdai gibi olsunlar.
Nesillere örnek olacak, Hüdai Yavalar!
Hüdai Yavaların vefatı nedeniyle
Turgut Karabekir, 14 Ağustos 2020
Farewell to Hüdai Yavalar
While in our home’s warmth we cuddled
Atatürk’s path he tracked
Working in foreign lands he toiled
Atatürk’s soldier was Hüdai
While we all kept hoping
What to do not knowing
But how to do, him knowing
On Atatürk’s path was Hüdai
We all chase dreams
Without reaching these
Wishes become hollow themes
Atatürk’s directions followed Hüdai
Atatürk hoped children be like him
Who worked and enriched their realm
They be like Hüdai was His dream
Will be a model for generations, Hüdai Yavalar
Translation by M. Camcigil
Approved by the Author
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