Iraq: “We Are Here”

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By Michele Naar-Obed

“We are your farmers, beekeepers, orchard growers, and agriculturalists.  We are the life blood of this region,” the villagers exclaim.  “We have been forced to flee into caves for protection when rockets, bombs and shells are hurled at us.  We live in tents or crowd into relatives’ houses in town because our government cannot protect us in the villages and they have yet to compensate our losses.  We are losing hope for our lives.  However, we will get our lives of dignity back because we know there are people in the international community that believe in us.”

For years, the village people along the border of northern Iraq have been caught in a deadly web woven by governments and politicians, militias and militaries –  all with their own agendas for fighting each other.  Bombings by Turkey and Iran have killed civilians, displaced more than a million villagers, destroyed their farms, and mutilated their livestock.

Despite serious silencing, neglect, and denial of the situation by many government and UN authorities, some officials and members of the international community do recognize the importance of these people’s lives for the good of Kurdish society.

The office of the Prime Minister has begun speaking of building a collective village for 137 Pshdar district families in the Suleimaniya Governate.  This new village will be close to their old villages.  Instead of living isolated in many hamlets, the villagers will come together as one and work the land cooperatively.  The villagers believe this solution will offer them some protection.

Making this village a reality will take a lot of effort.  The villagers must have the right to make decisions regarding its development, and the government must distribute the resources in an honest way.  The international community could have a role to play as well, by pressuring Turkey and Iran to stop bombing civilian areas in Iraq. 

The people have asked for CPT’s   presence in the new village to strengthen their safety.   “We are here and we will live!” the  Pshdar villagers cry out.“We are here!” 

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Mail Alert

We want to inform our constituents about interruptions to both Canadian and US mail services.

As global capitalism continues to exploit, Canada is seeing an increase of folks sleeping on the street. In Toronto, there is a growing encampment on the church property where our office is located. CPT is in solidarity with residents of the encampment.  Unfortunately, some Canada Post workers have since refused to deliver mail to our office. We are unsure if the mail is being stored somewhere or will be returned to sender. To ensure your donations make it to CPT, now would be a good time to switch to online donations, if you are able.  

In the US, postal services have been increasingly unreliable. If you are able, we encourage you to consider a monthly online giving plan which you can easily set up.

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