IRAQ UPDATE: 1-16 May 2010

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CPTnet
8 June 2010
IRAQ UPDATE: 1-16 May 2010

On team during this period were Brad Langendoen, JoAnne Lingle, Michele
Naar, Zach Selekman, and Derek Ziska.

Turkish bombing of the border villages in the Zharawa area of northeastern Iraq
occurred on 11 May, ruining the farmers’ spring planting.  A woman from the area, whom the team
visited in the hospital, sustained injuries from a bombing on 15 May.  She told the team that when the first
rockets began to make impact, she and her two daughters were washing themselves
in preparation for noon prayers.  The
rocket explosions destroyed their house immediately.  Shrapnel struck the woman in her left arm and left leg,
breaking both limbs.

Despite the physical and economic threats, IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons)
from nine area villages were still working hard on their idea of building one
new village together in a safe place, so the displaced families can break the
cycle of conflict and start normal village life again. 

During this period, IDP representatives, along with CPT, visited the Mayors of
Zharawa sub-district and of Qaladze district on 3 and 7 May to deliver the new
village proposal.  The team also
met with several representatives of the Suleimaniya Governorate Provincial Council
on 11 May to discuss the possibility of their support of the new village.  They will continue to explore ways in
which the Council can assist as partners in the project, including a possible
financial commitment.

Meanwhile,
the team visited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to explore possible
international resources.  One
international NGO advised CPT to bring the proposal to a higher governmental
level and encourage the government to commit financial support because
international resources have shifted from material help to trainings for
democratic governance. 

The team met at least once a week with the IDP representatives to support them
as they dealt with the challenges they have received from different local
groups in the process of forming the proposal and lobbying.

On 8 May, the team traveled to Raniya to interview Mr. Khalid, director of the
Youth Center, about his life and work thus far.  Mr. Khalid has supported the efforts of the team and IDPs in
Zharawa.

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