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IRAQI KURDISTAN NEWS ACTION: Civil Society Organizations' Urgent Call to the Int'l Community--HELP THE DISPLACED YAZIDI PEOPLE FROM SHANGAL

HELP THE DISPLACED YAZIDI PEOPLE FROM SHANGAL: CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS’ URGENT CALL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

Representatives of three human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs), a German-Kurdish organization Wadi, a North American-based international organization Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), and Duhok-based Alind Organization, conducted a two day visit on 15 and 16 August 2014 to areas in the Duhok Governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan where Yazidi Iraqis who fled the violence of the Islamic State (IS) forces from the Shangal (Sinjar) area are now staying.  The representatives spoke with an official at the Peshabur (Faysh Khabur) Iraqi-Syrian border crossing, who estimated that since 5 August more than 100,000 people have entered seeking refuge.out their future.  The majority of the interviewees said they feared to stay in Iraq and wanted to emigrate to Europe, the U.S.A., or Canada.

The representatives observed Yazidi families camping out under makeshift tents along the roads throughout the area, under highway overpass bridges, or in the open sided concrete buildings under construction.  They visited the displacement camp for an estimated 2,000 people (no official numbers given) in the Khanke municipality near the town of Semel, and the Bajet Kandala Refugee Camp, near the Peshabur crossing.  At these camps, they spoke with over fifty displaced persons.  Those interviewed shared many common experiences.  Families reported men in their family killed and women raped or kidnapped by IS forces, escaping to Mount Shangal, watching relatives die for lack of food and water and suffering extreme heat exposure.  They appeared deeply traumatized, and spoke of shame and despair about their future.  The majority of the interviewees said they feared to stay in Iraq and wanted to emigrate to Europe, the U.S.A., or Canada.

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: My hero


The first time I met my hero she was one of a dozen dusty, carefree children congregated like a school of fish on the edge of town as they dreamed up their next adventure.  Buenos Aires looked like of the best places on earth to be a kid: a small, quiet riverside town with a whole jungle out back to explore, where they were free to be queens and kings of their own destiny. 

It was a warning to me that singled her out from this mob of Indiana Joneses: “That one over there—the angelic, sweet, little girl with the springy curls and big smile?  She’s a handful.  Give her a foot and she’ll take a mile.” 

Jimena sure is a handful—a handful of spunk, spirit, and joy.  She’s nine years old and she wants to be a doctor when she grows up to help people with heart problems.  Her toothy grin and the way she snuggles up under my arm and into my heart leaves me no doubt that she’ll save many lives.   

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli Military displaces family, stones observers, shuts down Old City for midnight settler tour

In the first week of August, the Israeli military added to the normal hardships people who live in and around the area of Hebron’s Old City must endure.

On 1 August 2014, the Israeli military occupied the rooftop of the al-Rajabi house in Jebal Johar near the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba at approximately 6 p.m.  According witnesses, the Israeli soldiers left the rooftop at around 7:00 p.m. and fired five tear gas grenades into the home, setting the interior into flames.  The result was a total loss of the family’s personal items. 

 Seven Palestinians live in the home. Five children, four boys and girl are now homeless. 

IRAQI KURDISTAN NEWS ACTION: Syrian refugees donate their relief supplies to newly displaced; have received reduction in rations

 

Relief supplies donated by Basirma 
camp residents

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Syrian refugees in the Basirma Camp near Erbil (Hawler in Kurdish), in the Kurdish Regional Governate (KRG),have donated some of their relief supplies to the newly displaced refugees fleeing Islamic State militants.  They took up this collection from their own rations and paid from their own money to have it transported to people camping in parks and churches. 

CPT’s Iraqi Kurdistan team went out to the Arbat Camp yesterday near Suleimani and heard from Syrian refugees there that they no longer receive flour, just oil, rice, sugar, tea, and some spices.  They must now buy the rest of their food. 

Residents of the camp get a monthly subsistence-level monetary and food allotment, which, those who can, supplement by doing day labor or using money they brought with them when they fled.  The camp currently houses about 500 families, all from Syria, but the authorities are expanding the camp to include 150 more families from the old camp.  The old camp will then receive the influx of people from northern Iraq displaced recently by violence.

IRAQI KURDISTAN NEWS ACTION: United Nations declares highest level of emergency regarding crisis in Iraqi-Kurdistan

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The United Nations has declared its highest level of emergency regarding the humanitarian crisis in Iraqi-Kurdistan.  

The city of Dohuk, north of Mosul, after the arrival of over 150,000 refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has surpassed its ability to feed and shelter all the people who are in grave need.  We hope the U.N.’s declaration will increase the money and resources available to provide for the needs of such people as the Yazdis and other displaced people.  

The photos below were taken today by the team at the Arbat Refugee Camp.  One displays the agencies that are working within the camp.  The other, if you look closely at the receding utility poles, shows the scale of the camp. 


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