IRAQI KURDISTAN: Newsletter August 2016–Strategic Planning, Border Bombings, Muslim/Christian Solidarity and More!


19 September 1016

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Newsletter August 2016–Strategic Planning, Border Bombings, Muslimhttps: Solidarity and More!

August 2016

Iraqi Kurdistan


Strategic Planning

Illustration by Julie Brown


Border Bombing

Turkey continues bombing Dupre

By Julie Brown

Turkey Bombs Burn fields and Terrorizes the Village of Dupre : On September 6th CPT visited the village of Dipre and learned that Turkey had once again bombed the area. Villagers reported that at noon on September 3rd four Turkish military planes flew over the village dropping eight bombs onto the fields surrounding their homes. The bombs set the fields ablaze as villagers ran into their homes to take cover from the attack.  “We ran inside and hid wherever we could.” said Sheikh Omer, a resident of Dupre. “Even the houses are not safe but we have no other place to hide.”

Read Julie’s full article here

They Gave US the Keys to Their Homes
By Peggy Gish

Children gathered around CPTers in Dupre village which was bombed by Turkish warplanes. Photo by Peggy Gish.

“They gave us the keys to their homes.” Neighboring Christian and Muslim villages help each other during bombing attacks.

Seventy-year-old Asmar grabbed my hand and welcomed us enthusiastically into the home she shares with her son and village leader, Khan Avdal Muhammed Sdia, his wife, Bilmas, and their children, in the village of Dipre, nestled in the mountains in the Dinarta sub-district in Iraqi Kurdistan. As we drank tea and ate almonds and cashews from their trees, they told our team about the recent round of bombing of their village on May 20, 2016.

Read Peggy Gish’s full article here

Hasni Islam and his son show team members Peggy and Muhammad damaged buildings in Sargali. Photo byJulie Brown.

You Can Say We Lost Our Lives
By Peggy Gish

“Back in 1991, Turkey bombed our village of Sergali so heavily that we left the area,” Hasni Islam, the village leader, told our team.  He pointed to the mountain to the north, behind which the old village had been.  “Because of the ongoing war between Turkey and the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) we couldn’t return to the village area, and so moved to this site and established it as our new village. But now, two months ago (June 2016), Turkey bombed around the village here, and half of the families fled again and scattered to other towns. The other half had no other place to go or the financial means to leave, so are still here, even though they are afraid.” At one time there were 350 families, but now there are only forty.

Read Peggy Gish’s full article here


Recommended Reading

A graphic explanation of the Syrian situation. By Richard Allen Greene, CNN. Graphic by Anastasia Beltyukova for CNN. 

Here is the full report from CNN


Saying Goodbye

Peggy Gish has served with both teams in Baghdad and Kurdistan from 2002 to 2013. Since then, she has been a reservist with the Iraqi Kurdistan team. She came back again this year to be part of our team for one month. As always she contributed a lot with her brilliant writing and communication skills as well as her warm and welcoming personality. The team will miss her happy and passionate presence.

Lukasz Firla is well liked by so many people in Kurdistan. He is known for his dreadlocks, hospitality, and big smiles. From our team members and our partners, to the falafel shop owner, everyone is sad that he has left Kurdistan. Lukasz did not just work in Kurdistan but he lived with people and tried to learn about the history, culture and the way people have lived in the area for thousands of years. After five years being a full time member with CPT Iraqi Kurdistan he will start his new role as our team’s project support coordinator living full time in Colombia.  



We need your support to continue doing this work. Please consider donating to cover: 
$5 – Food for a CPTer for one day
$50 – Day trip to a village
$250 – Support for our team members to learn the local language.
$500 – Support for a local (long-time resident or displaced) delegation participant










Mission: Christian Peacemaker Teams: Building partnerships to transform violence and oppression.
Vision: A world of communities that together embrace the diversity of the human family and live justly and peaceably with all creation.
Values: Christian Peacemaker Teams is committed to work and relationships that: Honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality; Strengthen grassroots initiatives; Transform structures of domination and oppression; Embody creative non-violence and liberating love.



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